Salford blocks see sprinklers fitted

Salford blocks see sprinklers fitted

THE 12 blocks run by housing company ForHousing in the city have seen sprinklers fitted in a £5m scheme, after over 100 residents expressed concerns post Grenfell.

Manchester Evening News reported on the installation of sprinklers in the 12 blocks, which came about after ‘more than 100’ calls were made by worried tenants to the company in June 2017 in response to the Grenfell Tower fire. ForHousing then announced plans to ‘crack down on fire safety measures’ in 17 of its high rises in the city, including a £5m scheme to install sprinklers in 12 of the blocks, and this work has now been completed.

The news outlet noted that residents ‘are now at ease’ after the installations were finished, and these included retrofitting sprinklers in homes and communal areas of five blocks in Barton Village and seven in Eccles. The Barton Village blocks include Engles, Mees, Enfield, Cawdor and Wade, while the Eccles blocks include Charter, Southway, Craunton, Kemball, Ewood, Cremer and College Croft.

In more detail, it was revealed that the pipes leading from the water supply in the buildings ‘will be permanently filled with water under pressure’, and the sprinklers are ‘capable of delivering water to the fire as soon as a sprinkler head is activated’ as a result. ForHousing also added that larger water tanks have been installed in the buildings ‘to ensure the systems are as effective as possible’.

Resident Peter Memory, who lives in College Croft, was one of the 120 residents who called post Grenfell, and commented: ‘I sat and watched TV and couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a tragedy and should never have happened. Seeing what happened to people living at Grenfell Tower was an extremely worrying time for many people living in high-rise blocks. It made me ask questions about just how safe it was living here and I had to call and ask.

‘Before I retired two years ago, I spent 30 years working for a builders’ merchant as a driver. I was a safety officer there, so I knew what to do in the event of a fire. But clearly not everybody has that kind of background and so swift action has meant the world to them. My wife and I now feel safer than ever. We know that if a fire does ever happen the sprinklers will turn on.

‘My neighbours were all happy with the work they had done too. These new sprinklers will give me a peace of mind, they’re not perfect but hopefully it will go a long way in helping me and my family sleep better and feel a lot safer.’

Henry Terefenko, chief executive officer of ForHousing, added: ‘'The safety of tenants and their peace of mind is our top priority. We took the decision to install sprinklers, not because we lacked confidence in our existing fire safety arrangements, which we had immediately reviewed, but because we knew some tenants did not feel safe in their homes. The decision to install sprinklers has provided additional reassurance to tenants. We believe it was the right thing to do.’