A tower block in Pontypool is the first of its kind in Wales and possibly the UK to have been retro-fitted with a sprinkler system. Fairview Court is the first high rise in Wales owned by registered social landlord Bron Afon Community Housing to benefit from have this safety measure fitted.

Fairview Court is a 12 storey high block with 70 flats; all the residents remained in their properties whilst the work was carried out.

Wales was the first country in the world to make sprinklers a mandatory requirement in all new build homes and flats thanks to the efforts of Ann Jones AM. The law does not require landlords to fit them in older homes but Bron Afon Community Housing took the decision to fit them at Fairview Court and over the next 6 months will be fitting them at The Tower in Cwmbran, a 21 storey high rise and at Monmouth House. They have also fitted them at their flagship retirement complex, Pleasant Court.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have applauded the initiative shown by Bron Afon Community Housing in retro fitting sprinklers to the flats at Fairview court.

Richard Matheson, Head of Legislative Fire Safety, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure will require the fitting of sprinklers in new build homes. Bron Afon have clearly demonstrated the value they place on fire safety by going beyond this requirement and fitting a sprinkler system to an existing building. The fitting of sprinklers to these flats greatly enhances the safety of the residents and firefighters who may attend a fire at the premises."

Dave Sharman, Bron Afon Community Housing's  Director of Property, said: "We looked carefully at the lessons learnt from fires in high rise blocks and have been working closely with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. For us, the safety of tenants and leaseholders is paramount and the evidence is that sprinkler systems are the most effective way of fighting fire and preventing loss of life.

"The sprinklers are only activated at a temperature of 68 degree centigrade, which is 10 degrees higher than the highest recorded temperature in the Sahara so it is pretty much impossible to set them off by burning the toast. Only the sprinkler nearest to the fire will be activated and usually within one minute or less. As well as putting out the fire, the sprinklers greatly reduce the particles contained in smoke so reduce the risk of injury from smoke inhalation."

Please visit us at: www.southwales-fire.gov.uk 


Posted September 21st, 2011 at 1600 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com