Tag Archives: tower blocks

96% of Council Tower Blocks in London Don’t Have Sprinklers

Over the past year, you may have noticed us recording sprinkler projects in high-rise tower blocks. As a sprinkler tank specialist, we like to stay up to date with projects. Up and down the country, it seems, landlords are doing their bit to improve fire safety following the Grenfell tragedy. So you may be surprised to learn that just 4 per cent of council-owned tower blocks in London have the life-saving equipment.

According to research, undertaken by Labour and shared with the BBC, only 32 of the capital city’s 837 council-owned buildings above 30 metres have sprinklers. Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones is now calling on the government to set up a “fire safety fund” to help councils. You may recall reading stories on this blog where government cash towards sprinkler schemes was refused.


Necessary steps ‘taken’ for tower blocks

While Housing Minister Kit Malthouse claims the government has done what is required when it comes to fire safety in high rise buildings, many don’t agree – including councils. Some have pledged to spend in excess of £10m to ensure their tower block tenants get the protection they need.

A coroner recommended councils should consider retrofit sprinklers in existing high-rise residential buildings back in 2009 – before the fire at Grenfell Tower. The government is likely to be reminded of that when the fund is mooted.


Sprinklers and a sprinkler tank for robust fire safety

Nationwide Water Solutions, the UK’s foremost sprinkler tank expert, says it is surprised so many tower blocks in London are still without sprinkler systems. A spokesman said: “We are here, ready to assist councils when they consider the importance of water storage for sprinklers. For any council considering retro-fitting sprinkler systems, we offer completely free site surveys.”

If you represent a council keen to invest in fire safety, contact Nationwide Water Solutions. Find out more by visiting the company’s website.


No Government Cash for Sprinklers in Leeds

The Government has turned down a request for cash for sprinklers in Leeds’ tower blocks. Leeds council had asked for cash to improve fire safety in 116 high-rise buildings. The authority is currently spending £10 million on sprinklers in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

The firm ‘no’ was reported to councillors this week. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is reported to have said the Government is currently reviewing fire safety regulations.


‘Sound no’ over cash for sprinklers

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reports Leeds’ director of housing and resources, Neil Evans, saying the £10m “could have been used for other things which we had plans for” but this was a “question of making choices”.

He went on to say: “Money was requested for sprinklers, but the government came back to us and said they wouldn’t support us with the sprinklers programme. We are getting on with it ourselves, but it was a pretty sound no, frankly. The government is saying that they would assist councils who don’t have the money, which I think is a strange way of putting it.”


Cash for sprinklers: Government review

In a statement about cash for sprinklers, the Department of Communities and Local Government said: “The government intends to undertake a technical review of building regulations covering fire safety matters and will publish a call for evidence in the autumn.

“Possible changes to the guidance, including on the use of sprinklers, will be considered in this review.”


Adding a sprinkler tank to fire safety equipment

Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s foremost independent supplier of sprinkler tanks. It is working with building owners and public bodies to fit sprinkler tanks to a range of buildings. Sprinkler tanks store water specifically to fight fires. They deliver water to the point of a fire the moment sensors trigger sprinkler heads. This 24/7 protection helps to contain fires and stop them from spreading.

The company also maintains, repairs and refurbishes sprinkler tanks. It offers an independent inspection service using underwater camera equipment.

For further information visit the website.




Brighton Tower Blocks to be Fitted with Sprinklers

Brighton and Hove council has become the latest to agree to install sprinklers in tower blocks. Two properties have been identified for initial work – Essex Place and St James House. The council will spend up to £150,000 on each building.

The move follows the catastrophic loss of life following a fire at Grenfell Tower in London last year. The tower blocks singled out for sprinklers are considered among the tallest properties in the conurbation. Residents were consulted before the decision to install sprinklers was taken. Despite the huge loss of life at Grenfell, just 37 of the 74 households who responded supported the installation of the life-saving equipment.


Tenants given sprinkler choice

Because of fears about leaks, tenants will be given a choice over having sprinklers in their flat. However, those who reject the idea will be offered a single sprinkler head. Reports say it will be positioned close to the flat’s door – to keep the means of escape covered.

A hybrid sprinkler system is favoured for both projects. Full sprinklers are expected to be fitted in communal areas, including laundry rooms and bin stores.

Residents at three further tower blocks in Brighton – Theobald House, Nettleton Court and Dudeney Lodge – are due to be consulted as part of a programme of installing sprinklers more widely. The move aims to mitigate the known failings at Grenfell.


Invest in a sprinkler tank

Major sprinkler system projects often benefit from a sprinkler tank. It ensures enough water is immediately available to tackle a fire. In large buildings, a sprinkler tank is recommended – because it can contain a blaze and stop it from spreading.

Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank expert. It supplies, installs and maintains sprinkler tanks across the country. For further information or to book a free site visit, go to the website.



Sprinklers: Birmingham Set To Invest

Birmingham City Council is today (Tuesday) expected to confirm it will borrow £31 million to install sprinklers in every one of its high-rise flats – if the Government fails to provide the cash. More than 200 tower blocks in the city will benefit from enhanced fire safety equipment over the next two years. The council, which has reviewed fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire in London, is expected to announce it will spend £19 million on the first phase of its retrofitting programme.

In an ambitious, uncompromising plan, Birmingham plans to invest in sprinklers to safeguard the occupants of 2,725 flats over the coming year. A further 4,408 apartments will benefit from the fire supressing equipment in the next financial year.


‘Residents safer with sprinklers’

In total, Birmingham City Council has 62,000 social homes. It is spending a combined sum of £129 million on a wide-ranging improvement plan. Sprinklers systems are just one of the areas being invested in. Homes will also benefit from spending on lift repairs, insulation, better heating systems and new doors and windows.

The decision to install sprinklers in every high-rise flat has been prompted by advice from fire safety experts. They say tenants are safer with sprinkler systems.


Government slow to provide sprinkler cash

After making all the right noises following the Grenfell fire, the Government is now seemingly reluctant to pay towards sprinkler installation costs. With councils up and down the country making bids for cash, they are being told only ‘essential’ work will win funding. That is despite fire safety experts saying all high-rise flats should have sprinklers.

Birmingham is just one of the many housing providers to ask for cash.


‘Prudential borrowing’ an option

A report to the city council’s cabinet says: “The investment programme includes £19 million of planned expenditure relating to the retrofit of fire suppression systems (sprinklers) as a part of an overall three-year programme anticipated to cost £31m, in relation to which Central Government have been approached for a contribution of £19.4m towards these costs.

“In the event that this funding is not forthcoming, the costs will be funded through prudential borrowing.”


For all your fire tank needs, talk to Nationwide Water Solutions Limited. One of the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank specialists, it supplies, installs and maintains fire tanks across the country.