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Sprinkler systems set for installation at council blocks of high-rise accommodation

SPRINKLER systems will soon be installed at a block of high-rise flats in Swansea.

Housing

Marking the start of a programme of similar city-wide works at all Swansea Council's high-rise accommodation, sprinkler systems will be introduced in homes and communal areas at Jeffreys Court in Penlan in coming months.

Residents will be informed by letter about a start date for the works as soon as it's confirmed. The council has also arranged drop-in sessions for residents where they'll be able to see the type of sprinkler system being installed and get all their questions answered.

A sprinkler myth guide will accompany the letters to residents, which answers the most commonly asked questions and helps explain how the sprinkler system works.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, said: "Since the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, we've been doing all we can to reassure tenants in our blocks of high-rise flats about the high standards of fire safety that are in place there.

"This has been a tremendous team effort, where officers in our housing and corporate building teams, working closely alongside the Mid and West Wales Fire Service, have pulled out all the stops to give as much reassurance as possible. They should be proud of their fantastic work.

"Swansea was the first council in the UK to get a 'whole system' test of the cladding system used at Clyne Court and Jeffreys Court. Those tests found the system was safe, which was then backed-up by further Welsh and UK Government tests.

"But despite passing these tests, we want our tenants to have the added reassurance of sprinkler systems in their flats and communal areas because sprinklers dampen down fires before they have a chance to spread.

"Where people's safety is concerned, cost isn't a factor."

After the works at Jeffreys Court, sprinkler systems will be installed in all other council blocks of high-rise accommodation in Swansea, with priority being given to blocks that have had exterior cladding fitted.

Installation of sprinkler systems is expected to take about a full day in each flat, so there's no need for tenants to move out or move furniture while the works are ongoing. The sprinkler systems will include a sprinkler head in all rooms, other than bathrooms.

Cllr Lewis said: "It's the council that will be carrying out the installation works, which will allow us to finish the works quicker, while also giving our staff the experience and skills they'll need for more installations of this kind in new council homes and other sectors in future.

"These works follow on from our ongoing programme of sprinkler system installations in communal sheltered complexes across Swansea, which aim to give residents a great deal of reassurance.

"Disruption for residents will be minimal throughout the works programme."

Other fire safety measures in the council's blocks of high-rise accommodation include a hard-wired smoke alarm and a one-hour fire resistant door in each flat. Communal areas are regularly checked for combustible materials and all tenants have been provided with a leaflet on fire safety.


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