Work to enhance the safety of high-rise council apartment blocks in Nottingham is nearing completion, with over 1,500 properties across the city installed with sprinklers.
Following the devastating fire at Grenfell, which happened on the 14th June four years ago, Nottingham City Council agreed to fund £8.5m in fire safety enhancement works to tower blocks and flats across the city.
Nottingham City Homes (NCH) has carried out the works, which include:
- Retrofit sprinklers in high-rise flats and communal areas of 13 high-rise blocks
- Upgrade existing intercoms with new video display screens and door entry systems
- Upgrade existing tannoys
NCH had already retrofitted sprinklers in four blocks of low-rise flats before Grenfell, and routinely includes sprinklers in new apartment developments. Cladding on all NCH-managed council blocks meets the required safety standards, and is not the same as that used on the Grenfell Tower.
Recently it was also announced that further additional fire safety measures will be carried out at 375 flats in Bestwood. These measures will include vital upgrades beneficial for residents with a visual or hearing impairment.
Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “Since the terrible tragedy at Grenfell, we have undertaken a huge amount of work with our local partners to enhance the fire safety of our buildings.
“All of our council high-rise blocks have fire risk assessments in place and are fully compliant with current regulations. We have installed sprinkler systems, and upgraded the fire alarms, intercoms and communication equipment. This programme of fire safety improvements will offer further reassurance to the people living in our high-rise blocks.”
“Having significantly funded these fire safety works in council high-rise buildings, we will continue to urge the Government to help us pay for this vital work, so that we don’t have to delay other housing improvements as a result of the additional cost.”
Bryn Coleman, Head of Prevention, Protection and Fire Investigation at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, commented: “Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive. They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.”
Kelly, high-rise resident, said: “My son has autism and I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the works being done in the flat. The two gentlemen who came to do the work were absolutely fantastic and so understanding with him, there was no tutting or rolling of the eyes or getting frustrated with him — it may have taken them a little longer than other jobs because he was there, but they made it a lot more bearable for him.”
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, added: “Thanks to all our tenants and leaseholders for letting us into their homes to carry out this work. Our specialist team at NCH have done a fantastic job installing these sprinklers. Whilst this is an important milestone, we are not complacent when it comes to the safety of our residents. Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, and by working closely with our residents we can ensure everyone feels safe in their home.”
Nottingham’s Council House in Old Market Square was lit green on the evening of the 14th June, to mark the four years since the tragic events at Grenfell and to remember those who lost their lives.