Orbit Homes becomes the first social housing developer to have new house designs approved by RoSPA

Orbit Homes has become the first social housing developer to have its house designs successfully matched against the Safer by Design framework, by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

This follows Orbit Homes’ announcement earlier this year of its adoption of the Safer by design framework in its Design Standards and commitment that all new Orbit homes will be built to the Safer by Design Gold Standard. Now the company has gone one step further, by having its house designs approved at Gold grade by RoSPA. This means a brand-new home from Orbit will be amongst the safest on the UK market.

Safer by design is a framework which aims to reduce the more than 6,000 accidental deaths – and many more serious injuries – that occur in our homes each year. These safety standards go above and beyond the UK’s building regulations and work to reduce accidents in the home by designing out commonly known causes.

Errol Taylor, Chief Executive of RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), said: “Every year, thousands of people are killed due to unintentional injuries sustained in the home environment, and it’s the most vulnerable family members – the under-5s and the over-65s – who are most at risk. For example, falls on steps and stairs alone are a leading cause of accidental death in the home, with at least 700 people dying as a result of falling on domestic stairs every year. With the huge, Covid-related growth of home working, we also need to guard against a rise in home accidents within the working-age population.

“This is why we are very proud of our relationship with Orbit Homes and their ongoing commitment to making homes of the future safer. By achieving our Gold Standard Orbit are making a clear statement to the industry – Safer by design is not only commercially viable, where there is a will it is easy to implement. We are rightly excited as these are some of the first homes that have been designed in line with the standards. We now look forward to continuing this important partnership that will ultimately, through better design, reduce the number of people needlessly dying and getting hurt in their own homes.”

Helen Moore, Group Director of Orbit Homes, said: “We are committed to being at the forefront of building safety and innovation in order to provide high-quality homes to our customers. To be recognised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for our house designs is a fantastic achievement and one that we’re extremely proud of. This will ensure that customer safety is at the heart of what we do so our homes can provide peace-of-mind for their owners.”

Orbit has a long history of ongoing commitment to safety and best practice, with a number of firsts under its belt. In addition to its commitment to safety through its Design Standards and house type range, Orbit is also the only affordable housing provider to have achieved BS9997, British Standards in Fire Risk Management Systems, and has launched a fire safety app in conjunction with Firemark Education to raise awareness of fire safety measures with customers, employees, and the general public.

Safer by design offers housebuilders the opportunity to have their homes graded by RoSPA, based on the interventions included in the framework, which can then be displayed to all potential homeowners.

For more information on RoSPA’s Safer by Design framework, see www.rospa.com/home-safety/advice/safer-by-design