sfrsFire experts and housing chiefs have come together to deliver an innovative £150,000 safety upgrade in two low rise blocks of council flats in Hanley.

The co-operation between Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is a first in the region in ensuring that council owned flats get the latest in fire technology.

The 72 flats at Ashmore Walk and Matthews Walk were built in the 1960s and the project is a test bed for the city council which is looking at upgrading fire safety in all of its blocks of apartments.

The council rents out 3,000 flats at affordable rents, as part of its 19,000 low cost rental operation, helping local people afford a quality home in the city.

With a mix of tenants from single people to families living in the flats at Ashmore Walk and Matthews Walk, the two blocks provide the partners with a real opportunity to show what the new technology can do.

Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety Janine Bridges said all the council’s homes met the latest safety regulations but this system went above and beyond.

“We are absolutely committed to providing quality homes for our communities and safety is central to this," she added. 

“Sprinkler systems are used widely in hotels and business and have massive benefits over traditional passive features like fire doors. The sprinklers don’t just limit the fire, they put it out.

“Quality affordable homes are the building blocks for good communities. The city council provides thousands of affordable quality homes for local families, plus we are helping regenerate existing older homes, working with private landlords to improve standards and helping developers build hundreds of new homes for the next generation.”