Sprinklers being considered for high rise blocks - The Leamington Observer

Sprinklers being considered for high rise blocks

Leamington Editorial 6th Jul, 2017   0

WARWICK District Council is considering installing sprinklers into high rise blocks following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The authority owns seven such blocks in the district – Eden Court, Southorn Court, Ashton Court, Christine Ledger Square, Radcliffe Gardens, Stamford Gardens and Westbrook House.

Tenants of the 371 council flats in the blocks have been understandably nervous since the Grenfell inferno in London claimed the lives of up to 80 people.

Although the council was quick to send out letters highlighting fire safety arrangements the council had in place – including weekly alarm testing, daily fire hazard checks, ensuring all flats had working smoke detectors fitted, and monthly emergency lighting testing – the addition of sprinklers would help ease tenants’ minds.

A resident living in Christine Ledger Square in south Leamington told The Observer: “I have spoken to a number of fellow residents and they are uneasy since seeing what happened in London.

“It was good to see the council react so quickly in sending out letters, and while they offer a certain amount of reassurance, you can’t help thinking ‘what if?’

“I think fitting sprinklers is the way to go. Of course, the question then arises how much that is going to cost a council, which like other local authorities, is looking to make cuts.”

The council has also assured residents it would now make emergency repairs in communal areas a priority – a move also welcomed by the Christine Ledger Square resident, who has lived in the block for over a decade.

“It is vital the council keeps on top of maintenance. We had a problem a while ago with the intercom system. For months anyone could just walk in through the main door – and many vandals did just that. They could easily have started a fire!”

The district council confirmed it had actively started looking at the possibility of installing sprinkler systems.

A spokesman said: “We have asked suppliers of sprinklers to visit our blocks to provide technical options and costs for the installation of sprinkler systems. We will then carefully consider the options available and how sprinklers combine with other fire safety measures.”

The council has confirmed none of the blocks have the same type of cladding used on Grenfell Tower, but the materials used were currently being tested as part of an overall fire safety check, set to be completed towards the end of next week.


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