St Leger Homes of Doncaster has confirmed that works to install sprinklers into its nine high-rise buildings have now been completed. The news follows the publication of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report.
Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London, the local housing provider has been working closely with colleagues at Doncaster Council to improve fire safety across its housing stock.
Doncaster Council funded fire safety works in all of St Leger Homes’ high-rise buildings at a cost of around £6m, with sprinkler installations accounting for over half of the total spend. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority contributed £200k to the installation of sprinklers at Silverwood House from their Safer Stronger Communities Reserve fund.
All works were undertaken by Fortem, part of the Willmott Dixon group.
In addition to the installation of sprinklers and other fire safety improvements, the passenger lifts at Silverwood House were also replaced and the communal areas in this building upgraded.
Arturo Gulla, Director of Property Services at St Leger Homes, said:
“Safety has been the main concern when looking at the changes that needed to be made to our high-rise buildings. Our tenants are always at the heart of our work and we believe the installation of sprinklers in every home, will make a real difference to people living there.
“Since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, we have been working closely with our colleagues at Doncaster Council to ensure fire safety is improved and that any changes that need to be made happen as quickly as possible.
“Listening to the needs and views of the tenants is central to what we do and we are delighted to have set up a new High Rise Forum for tenants living in our high rise properties, so we can ensure these unique views are included in our decision making processes going forward.”
Cllr Glyn Jones, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing and Equalities at Doncaster Council, said:
“It is crucial that all of our residents feel safe in their homes and that’s why we committed a significant amount of our council’s capital budget to improving fire safety in our council housing.
“The retrofitting of these sprinklers in our high rise buildings will be hugely reassuring for all of the residents who live there. We gave a commitment to make this a priority and have now delivered on this mayoral pledge.”
Roger Brason, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s sprinkler advocate, said:
“We’ve championed the use of sprinklers, particularly in high-rise buildings, for quite some time, so we’re delighted that all of the blocks in Doncaster now have them.
“These devices not only help protect life, but help protect property too. In most cases, they will extinguish a fire completely and prevent it from spreading any further. The fact that people living in high-rise buildings across Doncaster now have such a high level of fire protection really is excellent news.”