Work has now been completed on the sprinkler installations in residential blocks in Tamworth making 396 flats in the town safer.
Having a sprinkler system is like having a firefighter right there in your home, supressing a fire as soon as it starts. This also makes it safer for our crews to go into a building to help those in need if an incident occurs.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service worked in partnership with Tamworth Borough Council as part of the Service’s Community Sprinkler Project to improve the safety of the seven high rise blocks within the area.
The retrofitting process began in March last year (2019) after extensive planning with the council and the residents within the blocks. The project cost £1.6million and ensures that if a fire was to start in one of the flats in would be suppressed within seconds by the new system.
Chief Fire officer Becci Bryant said: “We are extremely delighted to see another phase of the Community Sprinkler Project completed. Our aim at SFRS was to have sprinklers retrofitted in all residential buildings of five floors or more by 2026 and we are well on our way to achieving that goal with installations having been completed in 12 blocks in the county. There are also discussions and commitment from other housing providers and associations throughout Staffordshire to have these systems installed in a further 22 blocks. We are therefore very hopeful that we will achieve are aim ahead of schedule.
“It is thanks to the fantastic partnership working with contractors, the residents and Tamworth Borough Council that we have been able to successfully complete this phase of the project. Hundreds of people in the town will be safer in their homes if a fire was to break out.
“Having a sprinkler system is like having a firefighter right there in your home, supressing a fire as soon as it starts. This also makes it safer for our crews to go into a building to help those in need if an incident occurs.”
Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire and Rescue and Crime Matthew Ellis added: “The work that Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue have been doing to fit sprinkler systems to high rise flats in the area is exemplary and important. It’s easy to talk about preventing tragedy, but these installations across Tamworth will mean people living in high rise buildings are safer.
“I look forward to government strengthening legislation around where and when the use of sprinkler systems is required, and encourage that legislative work to be done as soon as possible.”
Cllr Michelle Cook, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Housing Services and Communities said: “The installation of sprinklers throughout our high rise and medium rise buildings supplements the existing physical fire safety features already present, with the aim of enhancing the overall fire safety for residents.
“Although this work was already planned in as part of ongoing refurbishment work, the decision was made to waive the costs of installation for the leasehold properties throughout the high rise and at Eringden after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and we are happy that the majority of residents have taken up our offer.
“Council staff consulted with tenants and leaseholders about these plans prior to the contract being awarded to Lovell, and we are delighted with the feedback we have received regarding the sprinkler roll-out and the well-managed delivery of the project.
“We hope that residents will now feel safer in their homes and have an increased awareness of fire safety.”