New sprinkler systems are to be retrofitted to 21 Leeds City Council-owned residential high-rise blocks in east Leeds after an opportunity arose to bring forward the planned programme of works.
Significant work is already due to take place at the 21 blocks in the Burmantofts area as part of the District Heating Network scheme, which will see new internal heating systems fitted in each of the 1380 flats. It has now been agreed that whilst this work is being undertaken, new sprinkler systems will also be installed.
Before the tragic events at Grenfell Towers in London, Leeds City Council’s Housing Leeds had already started a programme of retrofitting sprinkler systems to its high rise blocks, initially focussing on blocks reserved for older people, who may be more vulnerable in the event of a fire. However, as a result of the events at Grenfell Towers, it was decided to prioritise the retro-fitting of sprinkler systems to all of the council’s remaining high rise blocks.
The contractors which are carrying out the District Heating Network scheme, Vital Energi, have agreed to complete the sprinkler installation at the same time. They will align the installation of the sprinklers to match the other works within the programme.
Councillor Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said:
“Ensuring our high-rise blocks are fire safe is a priority for us, and although we identified that none of our blocks is at risk in the same way as Grenfell, we are aware that installing sprinkler systems offers additional safety measures and reassurance for our tenants.
“I am very pleased that we have identified an opportunity to bring forward this work for the flats in east Leeds. By carrying out this work at the same time as the heating works, we are not only reducing the amount of disturbance for our tenants but it also offers cost savings as well.”
Rob Falcon, Project Director at Vital Energi, said:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Leeds City Council to carry out the sprinkler system installations simultaneously to delivering the Leeds PIPES Project. This is beneficial to the residents and stakeholders due to keeping disruption to a minimum, whilst providing a high quality and efficient project delivery to the residential area.”