Waking Watch Replacement Fund: Government Announces £18.6 Million Funding to Replace Waking Watch Patrols

Get support to enhance fire safety in your building

With the replacement of costly waking watch patrols a priority for the government in England, Amthal is supporting building managers to take advantage of a new funding incentive to enhance fire safety measures in all residential buildings. As one of the nation’s trusted fire protection partners, we can help you to select, install and maintain the right fire alarm systems and other fire protection measures for your building. 

What is the Waking Watch Replacement Fund and is my building eligible?

The Waking Watch Replacement Fund (WWRF) aims to support the installation of the latest fire safety alarms, a cost-effective alternative to waking watch services. Where they exist, waking watch services will be replaced by alarms in all residential buildings in England.  

Previously £35m in funding was released, but this was limited to buildings taller than 17.7 metres, and £27m for buildings of all heights. In a significant step towards improving fire safety measures and ensuring the wellbeing of residents, the UK government has allocated an additional £18.6 million funding package to allow building managers in all residential buildings to put alternative fire safety measures in place. 

In order to be eligible for funding, a building must:

  • Be located in England
  • Be a residential building
  • Currently have Waking Watch patrols in place

Importantly, the replacement fire alarm system must meet the standards required by the government. As part of our complete fire protection service Amthal offers guaranteed compliance, now and always.

The Challenge: Reimagining Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings

The tragedy of Grenfell Tower in 2017 highlighted the need for enhanced fire safety in high-rise buildings. 

The reliance on waking watch patrols, though well-intentioned, posed several challenges—ranging from exorbitant costs to potential human error and delays in response time. Recognising these issues, the government has taken a proactive stance to revolutionise fire safety practices.

Total Protection for Residents

The recent allocation of £18.6 million signifies a significant paradigm shift in fire safety strategies. 

Instead of traditional waking watch patrols, this funding will facilitate the installation of smart fire alarm systems and the latest life safety technologies. 

These advanced systems not only offer swift detection and alert capabilities but also enable quicker evacuation procedures, minimising potential risks to residents.

Guaranteed Compliance for Building Managers

The Government has said the common fire alarm system installed should generally be designed in accordance with the recommendations of BS 5839-1 for a Category L5 system.

This means:

Enhanced Early Detection: Advanced fire alarm systems leverage state-of-the-art technology, enabling rapid detection of potential fire hazards. This early warning mechanism empowers authorities and residents to take prompt action, potentially preventing the escalation of a fire incident.

Reduced Response Time: With smart alarm systems in place that can be remotely monitored, response times can be significantly reduced. Automated alerts can be routed to emergency services, expediting their arrival and potentially averting catastrophic consequences.

Cost-Efficiency: The funding allocation not only focuses on safety but also recognises the financial strain of traditional waking watch patrols. By investing in modern technology, the government is not only enhancing safety but also easing the financial burden on building owners and residents.

Peace of Mind: The introduction of advanced fire safety systems offers residents and building managers a renewed sense of safety. Knowing that smart technology is safeguarding their lives and property fosters peace of mind and a heightened sense of well-being.

Collaborative Approach and Implementation

The success of the Waking Watch Replacement Fund initiative hinges on collaboration between the government, building owners, property managers, and fire safety experts. 

The seamless implementation of technology-driven solutions requires meticulous planning, installation, and maintenance. By working together, stakeholders can ensure that these systems are not just installed but also effectively integrated into the daily lives of residents.

How Amthal can help

The £18.6 million government funding earmarked for replacing waking watch patrols with advanced fire safety systems supports a new era of smart building safety in the UK. 

This commitment to innovative technology demonstrates a dedication to proactive prevention, swift response, and resident well-being. As buildings evolve to embrace the latest fire safety measures, the nation moves one step closer to ensuring that tragedies like Grenfell Tower are never repeated.

As your trusted fire protection partner, Amthal can support the seamless transition to compliant fire safety measures, with due consideration from specification to the building type, building manager responsibility and ultimately resident safety. 

We will ensure that systems are installed with minimal disruption to residents, offering total protection for all buildings.

Contact us

For more information about fire alarm installation as part of the Waking Watch Replacement Fund, contact our expert fire protection team today.