South Yorkshire sprinkler schemes receive funding

South Yorkshire sprinkler schemes receive funding

SOUTH YORKSHIRE Fire Authority will fund sprinkler fitting for five housing schemes.

In a release from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (SYFRS), funding for retrofitting sprinklers in the five housing schemes across the county has been made available from the fire authority’s Stronger Safer Communities Reserve Fund. Charities and social housing organisations were ‘invited to bid’ for the money, which had been ‘set aside from the Authority’s reserves to support sprinkler projects on a match funded basis’.

SYFRS fire safety officers hope in turn that schemes ‘will encourage more housing providers to consider installing sprinklers in the homes of residents considered particularly at risk of fire’. The five schemes funded include Austism Plus, a 15 bedroom residential care facility in Thorne, and Berneslaj Homes, six residential care homes in Barnsley.

Three others were in Rotherham, including Great Places, a 24 flat complex; South Yorkshire Housing Association’s five bungalows for high dependency residents, and Target Housing, a four bedroom converted care facility. SYFRS also referred to its Callow Mount project alongside the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), where it ‘pioneered the use of sprinklers in high risk residential settings’ in a ‘UK first project to retrofit an automated system’.

The Callow Mount scheme is ‘internationally recognised for the improved safety it offers the people living within the building’, with SYFRS having also worked with Sheffield City Council to ‘make more than 540 properties in the city safer by installing lifesaving sprinkler systems’. These include installations at council owned flats in Gleadless Valley, Westfield, Stannington and Netherthorpe.

This project is also another ‘UK first’, with SYFRS now ‘actively promoting the use of this type of protection in all types of buildings to build resilience and safety into local communities’.

Steve Helps, area manager for SYFRS, commented: ‘Sprinklers are a cost effective way of making homes safer – they stop fires from spreading, put them out quickly and save lives. We are especially concerned about those people who are most at risk of fire such as those with mobility or mental health problems or people with dementia who may not know how to react, or be able to react quickly enough, if they hear a smoke alarm.

‘We play a key leadership role in helping people to better understand the benefits of sprinklers as part our commitment to reduce the impact of fire on people, property and the environment and this funding is the best possible evidence of our commitment to that goal.’

Linda Burgess, chair of the South Yorkshire Fire Authority, added: ‘The Authority believes that its resources can play an important role in building safer, stronger communities and this funding is one example of how we are achieving this. Member hope this investment will encourage other housing providers to consider installing these potentially life saving devices in the homes of higher-risk residents.’