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11.12.17

Manchester City Council to fit sprinkler system in 36 high-rise blocks

Manchester City Council is set to approve the installation of sprinkler systems in 36 of its high-rise blocks, in response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

The work will begin following the implementation of high-level fire risk assessments, which aims to ensure compartmentation of flats – designed to contain fire within an individual dwelling and stop any spread.

Council representatives have also written to every owner or building manager of the 216 privately-owned high rises identified in the city to understand whether the cladding or other building materials used present pose any potential safety issues.

“We need to get to a position where every person who lives in a high-rise block feels safe in their homes, understands fire procedures for the building, and building owners know what their responsibilities are,” said Cllr Bernard Priest, deputy leader of the council.

“We are still awaiting the outcome of the national inquiry following the Grenfell tragedy and we are ready to act quickly to any recommendations. However, we already know that a review into enforcement powers of councils and the fire service is vital to ensure the legislation is in place to fully protect residents.

“We believe that we should retrofit sprinkler systems in our high-rise properties, but it is important that we do this in conversation with our residents – and funding the works will need to be in conversation with government for their support.”

Deputy mayor of Greater Manchester, Bev Hughes, added: “Through the work of the Greater Manchester High Rise Taskforce, we have been able to take swift action to reassure residents living in high rises across Greater Manchester and make sure that the right fire safety advice is in place.

“Specialist fire officers continue to work with building owners and local authorities, including Manchester City Council, to address fire safety issues and contribute to Greater Manchester’s ambition of a world-class approach to fire safety, which places the expertise of our fire and rescue service at its heart.”

Immediately following the Grenfell tragedy, Salford City Council, Sheffield City Council, Croydon Council and Southampton City Council all confirmed similar sprinkler systems would be put in place.

Just eight council housing buildings were found to pass key fire safety tests back in September.

Top image: Rick Findler PA Wire

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