Work under way to install £200,000 sprinkler system at tower block
PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 30 December 2018
Archant © 2017
Work to install a £200,000 sprinkler system at a Lowestoft tower block in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy is under way.
Contractors have started fitting the extensive system throughout St Peters Court, including in each flat of the 16-storey residential building.
It follows a trial installation in a vacant flat in November, which provided residents with an opportunity to view the scope of the system and give feedback.
Despite the block’s strong fire safety record, Waveney District Council (WDC) promised in 2017 to make a range of improvements in the aftermath of the Grenfell blaze which killed 72 people.
As part of the substantial maintenance programme, the council has overseen the installation of a new fire detection system and upgraded fire retardant material to stop the spread of fire from windows to cladding.
The replacement of flat entrance doors with new ‘one hour fire doors’ is ongoing and will soon be complete.
Earlier this year, residents praised WDC for dealing with their concerns and helping to make them feel safe in their own homes, while the council stated the safety of tenants was its “number one priority”.
In Norwich, the city council has been spending more than £2m throughout 2018 in an attempt to improve the safety of hundreds of people living in tower blocks.
Meanwhile, the draft report resulting from a fire risk assessment conducted in November has concluded that the risk level at St Peters Court is now ‘tolerable’, falling from the 2017 classification of ‘significant’.
The full report will be presented to WDC’s overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday, January 3.
And yet, despite efforts to make widespread safety improvements at St Peters Court, the issue of cladding on high-rise tower blocks across the UK remains a pertinent issue.
In October, it was revealed that five tower blocks in Norwich would have their cladding replaced after failing fire safety tests.
While WDC has emphasised that the external cladding system on St Peters Court is completely different from that of Grenfell Tower, it has vowed to commission work early in 2019 to view random sample areas and assess the manner in which the cladding was originally installed back in 2001.