Largest UK housing association begins suppression trial

Largest UK housing association begins suppression trial

CLARION HOUSING, the UK’s largest housing association, has begun trailing a misting suppression system ‘as part of a ramping-up of fire safety initiatives’.

Inside Housing reported on the trial being undertaken by the organisation – which is responsible for 125,000 homes across the UK – stating that it had started ‘trial installations of a misting system in one of our sheltered housing units’. The organisation added that once the trial is complete ‘we will consider whether it can be used in other buildings as part of a risk-proportionate approach, considering factors such as the height of buildings and the vulnerability of residents’.

The news was revealed in the company’s annual accounts and report, with the news outlet stating this was ‘part of a ramping-up of fire safety initiatives’, and it added that Clarion has worked with Hertfordshire fire authorities to test the system ‘by setting fire to a model living room’. Should the trial succeed, the news outlet pointed out that the system ‘could be rolled out to more of Clarion’s stock’.

Mark Hattersley, chief financial officer at Clarion, told Inside Housing: ‘We know fire risk post-Grenfell is absolutely a priority not just for housing associations but also for legislators. Sprinklers are quite regularly referenced and we’re just exploring trial systems and options which could be adopted in buildings in future.’

He also explained why the company was testing a mist system ‘as opposed to conventional sprinklers’, commenting: ‘Rather than deluging a fire with lots of water and doing lots of damage to your building, [a misting system] is more of a fine mist of water. The intention is it still treats the fire in the same way in terms of extinguishing it without damaging the property to anywhere near the same extent [as sprinklers].’