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Callow Mount safer after sprinklers fitted

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

UK fire safety professionals, Meg Munn MP, local authority officers and elected members met at the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Training Centre to celebrate the successful completion of a project to fit an automatic fire sprinkler system in the 47 flats in the Handbank block in Callow Mount. The effective management of the project meant that the residents, many elderly and vulnerable, did not have to leave their homes while the work was carried out.


Speaking at the launch of the high rise sprinkler project Meg Munn MP pledged to fight for automatic fire sprinklers to be installed in high rise buildings. She would be happier knowing that her constituents were protected from fire, but also she believed everyone in the country has a right to that protection.


Meg commented: "I’m pleased this project in my constituency has demonstrated that sprinklers can be fitted on existing high rise blocks without difficulty. It’s time for government and local authorities to act to prevent further unnecessary loss of life."


The Callow Mount project brought together interested parties from the fire and rescue service, insurance, local government, social housing and the sprinkler industry to demonstrate that high rise blocks can be retrofitted with automatic fire sprinkler systems in an economical way with minimum disruption. The project was managed by BAFSA ((British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association).


Gary Lund, H&S Facilities Manager for Sheffield Homes said: “Our involvement in this project has been to let BAFSA come into a Sheffield City Council tower block and carry out the pilot of the sprinkler system. The feedback from the tenants has been absolutely remarkable.  The time that it’s taken to actually do the full installation to all 47 flats in the tower block has just been incredible”


David Cooke Residents’ chairman had this to say: From start to finish in my flat it took them two days.  No mess whatsoever and I was highly satisfied with the finished product.  All of the residents feel more secure and understand how the sprinkler system will protect each of them in their own flats as well as the whole building.”


Assistant Chief Fire Officer Neil Hessell, from South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “This is an innovative and ground-breaking project, and we are delighted that BAFSA have chosen to pilot it in Sheffield. The sprinkler system further improves the safety of the Callow Mount residents, and the firefighters who would respond in the unlikely event of a fire.”


The Chair of the BAFSA Council Peter Armstrong, stressed that: “the project had in fact been a Sprinkler Co-ordination Group (SCG) initiative managed on its behalf by BAFSA. The SCG is made up of a group of people all with the same objective who have come together to avoid duplication of effort and to strengthen the efforts that we all make”. 


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