CFO Peter Holland has hailed a pioneering project in Sheffield to fit sprinklers at a block of high-rise flats. The President of the Chief Fire Officers Association joined South Yorkshire's Chief Fire Officer on a visit to the Callow Mount flats in Gleadless 13 September where a sprinkler system is being installed to enhance the safety of the 47 residents there. It is the first time in the UK such a system has been retro-fitted to a block of flats, and will give residents precious extra minutes to escape in the event of a blaze.

Peter Holland, who is also Chief Fire Officer of Lancashire Fire and Rescue, said: "This is an extremely impressive and cost-effective project. Flats such as these are already fire safe but this development will no doubt further improve residents' safety in the unlikely event of a fire.

"What is also so impressive is that the people living here are able to remain in their flats throughout the installation process, causing them minimum disruption. I hope that we can now promote this fantastic project throughout the rest of the country".

The project, funded by an £80,000 grant from the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), follows in the wake of the fire at Lakanal House flats in Camberwell in 2009, where six people died. Since the tragedy, the Chief Fire Officers Association has campaigned for the greater use of sprinkler systems to help save lives.

South Yorkshire's CFO Jamie Courtney added: "We are delighted to be involved in such a ground-breaking and innovative project which improves both residents' safety, and the safety of firefighters who would be called on to tackle a fire. We now need to engage with fire and rescue services across the UK in the hope that this project is repeated elsewhere."

BAFSA members are funding the installation at Callow Mount through financial donations, provision of components and labour in kind, and further support has been received from the International Fire Sprinkler Association. The project is expected to be completed around the end of September.

 

Posted September 16 2011 at 1640 by Phil. Comment by emailing: philip.mason@pavpub.com