20 June 2017
Sheffield City Council is tomorrow (21 June 2017) starting a series of meetings with tower block residents, and will be announcing that it will be fitting sprinklers in all 24 blocks.
The authority has already spent millions on fire safety in its council homes and improvement works have been carried out over the last five years. The authority 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.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield City 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.”
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.
Twenty one 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.