Pioneering system in high-rise flats could help save lives across the UK

Tower block on Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley, to be fitted with new automatic fire sprinkler system
Tower block on Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley, to be fitted with new automatic fire sprinkler system
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A HIGH-rise tower block in Sheffield is to be fitted with new automatic fire sprinklers to improve safety for residents - and as a test for landlords across the country.

Building regulations only require sprinklers to be fitted to new high rise blocks over 30 metres high.

But after a blaze in a block in Camberwell, London, in which six residents died in 2009, arrangements have been made for one of the city’s tallest tower blocks to be fitted with a new sprinkler system as a test.

The 13-storey block on Callow Mount, Gleadless Valley, is to be fitted with sprinklers to see how easy it is to install a system retrospectively instead of when flats are built.

The £80,000 project is to be funded by the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association and its members.

Sheffield Council cabinet member for homes and regeneration Coun Harry Harpham said: “As well as helping to protect local people from fire, this project that will provide meaningful evidence to local authorities throughout the UK of the potential to economically install fire sprinklers in high-rise properties.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell, of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “This is an innovative and ground-breaking project, and we are delighted that BAFSA have chosen to pilot this initiative in Sheffield.

“We are supportive of community-based projects to increase the safety of local residents. This sprinkler system will certainly mean the residents of Callow Mount will be safer if they were unfortunate enough to suffer a fire in the future, and could save lives.”