21 February 2018
Nottingham City Homes (NCH) has released a short film to dispel some of the myths around people having sprinklers installed in their homes to improve fire safety.
Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes are now going ahead with the installation of sprinklers in all the 13 residential high rise blocks they own and run in Nottingham. The council has agreed the use of £8.5m to carry out the work – but is still pursuing the Government to cover the costs, as it promised to shortly after the Grenfell fire.
The film explains that sprinklers will not go off as a result of steam and smoke from cooking, showering or bathing, or if someone is smoking or vaping indoors, but will only activate in the case of intense heat or flame. They will also only activate in the room where the heat or flame is situated, and will not go off elsewhere in the property unless there is heat or flame there too.
NCH had already retrofitted sprinklers in four blocks of low-rise flats before Grenfell, and routinely builds sprinklers in new developments of varying kinds.
Chief Executive of NCH, Nick Murphy, said: “This film has been made to offer reassurance to residents. We understand our residents have questions about sprinklers, which is why we’ve produced this film that dispels some of the most common myths around their use. We’ll also be holding events at each of our high rise blocks, to meet with residents and talk them through the process.”
Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said: “Following the Grenfell disaster, we carried out fire safety audits in all of our high rise blocks with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue and tenant representatives.
“The clear conclusion was that we needed to fit sprinklers in communal areas and flats, as well as upgrading or installing intercom and tannoy systems, to keep residents as safe as possible, and we are now pressing ahead with these safety improvements.”
A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive.
"They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.”
Works to install sprinklers will begin in May.