Cross party group of MPs backs sprinklers plan

A cross-party group of MPs, tasked with improving fire safety in residential tower blocks, has given its backing to Wandsworth Council.

The local authority is currently planning to retro-fit sprinklers in a number of sheltered housing and temporary accommodation buildings, and also plans to do the same in 100 high rise residential blocks across the borough.

This is consistent with the advice being given by a host of industry experts including the London Fire Brigade.

In the letter to Cllr Kim Caddy, Cabinet Member for Housing, the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group said that it fully supported Wandsworth’s plans.

The group’s Honorary Administrative Secretary wrote: “This is consistent with the views of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group and you have the Group’s support for this life saving initiative.”

Councillor Caddy said: “The All-Party group has examined this issue in great detail and to have their official support is a really positive endorsement of what we are doing.

“After the terrible events at Grenfell we made the move to install sprinklers in all our tower blocks of ten storeys or above so they were brought into line with current new build standards where sprinklers have been mandatory since 2007.

“This will improve fire safety in around 6,400 homes and was based on advice by professional bodies whose expertise is in this area.

“We will simply not allow a tragedy like Grenfell to happen in our borough and our decision to retrofit sprinklers is being made as a responsible landlord and freeholder whose first priority is the safety of its tenants. I am pleased that our decision has received official support from such an important body.”