Five housing schemes across South Yorkshire will be fitted with sprinklers, thanks to Fire Authority funding. The schemes have all benefitted from money made available earlier this year from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue 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. Fire safety officers hope the schemes will encourage more housing providers to consider installing sprinklers in the homes of homes of residents considered particularly at risk of fire. The five funded schemes are:
Autism Plus, Thorne- a 15 bedroom residential care facility
Berneslai Homes, Barnsley- six residential care homes
Great Places, Rotherham- a 24 flat complex
South Yorkshire Housing Association, Rotherham- five bungalows for high-dependency residents
Target Housing, Rotherham- four bedroom converted care facility
Fire Authority Chair Cllr Linda Burgess, said: "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."
Area Manager Steve Helps, said: "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."
SYFR has pioneered the use of sprinklers in high risk residential settings, leading a UK first project to retrofit an automated system at the Callow Mount block of flats in Gleadless. That scheme is now internationally recognised for the improved safety it offers the people living within the building. It has also worked alongside Sheffield City Council to make more than 540 properties in the city safer by installing lifesaving sprinkler systems at council owned flats in Gleadless Valley, Westfield, Stannington and Netherthorpe. This project was another UK first.
The installation of sprinkler systems in new build homes is now mandatory in Wales and SYFR is actively promoting the use of this type of protection in all types of buildings to build resilience and safety into local communities. For more information on sprinkler systems, visit http://www.syfire.gov.uk/business-advice/fire-sprinklers/