Tower block's sprinkler system upgrade complete to offer 'safety and reassurance' post-Grenfell
PUBLISHED: 13:55 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:25 31 July 2019
A new £275,000 sprinkler system has been installed at Lowestoft's only residential tower block to offer "additional reassurance and enhanced safety."
Following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in July 2017, then-Waveney District Council carried out a thorough examination of St Peters Court, putting the building's fire and safety measures under the microscope.
At a meeting with tenants, then-council leader Mark Bee announced plans for the new system for residents of the 16-storey tower block.
East Suffolk Council have now announced the system went live earlier this month on July 5, with new 'one-hour' fire doors for every flat among the improvements.
Councillor Richard Kerry, cabinet member for housing, praised the project, which was carried out by BMS Sprinklers. He said: "The residents of St Peters Court have told us that they are really happy with the Council and the steps that we take to ensure the safety of all tenants.
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"However, after the dreadful events at Grenfell Tower, we entirely understood that there would be some anxiety, so although the sprinkler system was not absolutely required, we felt it was the right thing to do - not just to provide additional safety but also peace of mind.
"The conduct of both BMS Sprinkler staff and tenants, who have been very flexible and accommodating to allow these difficult works to be completed satisfactorily and on time, has been really important.
"BMS Sprinklers have been incredibly professional and have done a fantastic job. However they couldn't have done it without the patience of our residents who knew there would be disruption to their flats but who were very patient throughout."
In November, a trial installation was carried out in a vacant flat, which provided residents with an opportunity to view the scope of the system and give feedback.
Mark Bedford of BMS Sprinklers said: "It has been a pleasure to work with East Suffolk Council on this project.
"Everyone has pulled together, tenants, our engineers and the council's own staff to complete on time and on budget.
"It is refreshing to work with a proactive authority who clearly hold their residents best interests at heart."