Retro-fit sprinkler program
Retro-fit sprinkler program to our high rise and sheltered housing schemes has been led by central government and responses determined by the Hackitt Report released in May 2018.
This major works program will take around two years to complete and is part of our commitment to providing you with safer homes, the highest levels of fire safety and fire protection. The works will add to the fire safety measures already in place in our buildings.
We will be the third council in the UK to introduce Retro Fit Sprinklers to its high rise residential properties. The sprinkler system will be gifted to tenants and residents meaning there will be no costs to leasehold service charges or tenants rent.
We have seven high-rise buildings which comprise of 356 general lettings flats and 86 sheltered flats. The buildings are Brent Court, Harrow Court, Shaftesbury Court, Gladstone Court, Highcroft, High Plash and The Towers.
The benefits of sprinklers
Sprinkler systems save lives. Our system will provide an audible alarm to alert occupants within the dwelling of any activation. Activations will be localised to dwelling of activation and will dissipate smoke and fire, containing and the fire, whilst reducing the potential spread of harmful toxic emissions fires produce.
Additional fire safety works
Electrical testing in Harrow and Brent court is now underway. Our in house contractor ECS will be upgrading the electrics to comply with existing NICEIC regulations, and to provide another layer of fire safety Aico smoke and C02 will also be installed.
Sprinkler project update
All residents within the 1st phase blocks of the sprinkler program (Brent Court, Harrow Court, and High Plash) will receive an introduction letter, confirming the project teams contact details, the stages and the duration of works, and project information. Residents within the remaining blocks (Highcroft, Shaftesbury Court, Gladstone Court, and The Towers) will receive periodic newsletters
Periodic updates will be published on this website and the Chronicle publication.
Additional fire safety measures
Fire Safety Champion
Fire safety in blocks of flats is undergoing many changes some concerning legislation and others focusing on refurbishment. Another priority is listening to residents’ voices, concerns and ideas and enlisting Fire Safety Champions. After all it is you who live, use and spend the most time in the blocks. We would like you to help us address your main concerns, explore your ideas for improving fire safety and together we can re-formulate our fire safety strategy putting residents at its heart.
How fire travels
All buildings are built to withstand the spread of fire and smoke for an accepted period of time. This is done by walls and doors being built to correct standard. It’s important this standard is maintained. Any hole made through a structure must be sealed correctly to stop the spread of flames and smoke.
Regular practice and familiarisation exercises within our blocks
The Council works closely with Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service. Stevenage Fire Station, and other Stations Regularly visit the blocks for familiarisation. Inspection of fire fighting equipment. The Seven High Rises blocks have a number of fire fighting equipment. All are regularly tested and inspected, along with quarterly calibrate.
Undertake Safe and Secure home visits focusing on vulnerable residents
Contact us to arrange a home safety visit. The visit will include smoke detector test, inspection of fire doors, and what to do in the event of an incident. A home safety visit can also be arranged by Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue at: Request a visit to your home or school | Hertfordshire County Council
Provide guidance and information around assembly point and signage
On the back of every flat front door in the high rise flat blocks should be an action plan stating instructions on what to do in an incident. All blocks with a complicated communal lay out will have a green running man indicating what direction to leave by. If any of this information is missing please contact us.
This work also presents an opportunity to demonstrate how we liaise and work in partnership with Herts Fire and Rescue Service.
For more information and to view a video about the benefits of sprinkler suppression systems please see the London Fire Brigade website.