Sheffield Council plans to install sprinkler systems in all city tower blocks

Tower blocks in Netherthorpe
Tower blocks in Netherthorpe
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Sheffield Council is set to announce the instillation of sprinkler systems in all of its 24 tower blocks.

Sheffield Council is set to announce the instillation of sprinkler systems in all of its 24 tower blocks.

Local authority bosses will tomorrow begin a series of meetings with residents to discuss the plans.

The announcement comes after the death of dozens of residents in the Grenfell tower block fire in Kensington, London.

The authority has said it's already 'spent millions' on fire safety in its council homes and improvement works have been carried out over the last five years.

Bosses said they had 'always intended to review its policy on sprinklers later this year, at the end of that five year programme, but is bringing the commitment forward to provide 'extra reassurance' to residents.

The council will start consulting on a block by block basis later this year with tenants and leaseholders. There is already one tower block with sprinklers – Callow Mount – which was retro-fitted in 2011, as part of work with the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

Some 21 of the council’s 24 tower blocks have metal cladding. This is fire proof as the insulation is mineral and rock wool, with fire breaks at the floor and party walls. This creates a fire-proof box around each flat to the external structure to prevent the spread of fire to other flats.

The other three are brickwork-clad and designed to operate in the same way as the other 21 but in these cases have a separate metal fire barrier installed.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety at Sheffield Council, said: “We have done a huge amount of work in recent years to make sure our tower blocks are safe. The cladding systems are fireproof and comply with building and planning regulations.

“We had always intended to review our position on sprinklers later this year. But as an extra reassurance to residents, I am today announcing this has been brought forward and we will be fitting sprinklers in all 24 blocks.”