Basildon estate to have sprinklers fitted
THE FELMORES estate suffered major fires in 2009, 2012 and 2013.
Yellow Advertiser reported on the installation announcement, with Basildon Council stating that the move was ‘part of an ongoing project to improve fire safety’ on the ‘fire-plagued’ estate. The buildings consist of ‘wooden-framed properties’ and have been ‘plagued by fires’, with the first in November 2009 seeing 90 people evacuated after a large fire, and the second in 2012 seeing five houses damaged, two people hospitalised and several families ‘left homeless’.
In 2013 meanwhile, another fire ‘gutted one property’, damaged six others and forced the relocation of 20 residents to three hotels and two hostels, with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) blaming the fire spread on that occasion on the ‘wooden construction’. At that point, the council announced a ‘raft of fire safety precautions’, including fireproof external cladding and barriers between cavity walls and roof canopies.
Part of the plan was also to install sprinklers in flats, with the statement noting that Basildon Council was ‘now rolling out the sprinkler scheme to all council properties on the estate’. ProRite Ltd will carry out the work at the 268 properties, alongside installing sprinklers in communal spaces within flat blocks, while ECFRS will help fund the project through a £70,000 grant.
Gavin Callaghan, council leader, stated: ‘The council understands the concerns that residents living on the Felmores estate have had for a number of years about the fire safety within their properties and within the communal stairwells. I am delighted that this work is getting underway and the homes across the estate will have this added layer of fire protection. The council takes this very seriously and we will always do whatever we can to improve the safety of homes across the borough.’