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Expert training for council staff to carry out sprinkler installations

Staff at Swansea Council will receive expert training to start installing sprinkler systems in the authority's high-rise accommodation buildings this autumn.

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Given high demand for sprinkler systems across the UK since London's Grenfell Tower tragedy, the council's corporate building and property services team will be trained to carry out the installation work themselves to make sure it's finished as quickly as possible.

Cllr Andrea Lewis, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Energy and Building Services, says the plans will give the council's high-rise residents even more reassurance about high standards of fire safety. 

"The intention is for our staff to receive expert training to carry out the sprinkler system installation work ourselves," said Cllr Lewis. "This will allow us to finish the works quicker, while also giving staff the experience and skills they'll need for more installations of this kind in new council homes and other sectors in future.

"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.

"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 has since been 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 shouldn't be a factor."

Jeffreys Court in Penlan will be the first council block of high-rise accommodation to benefit from new sprinkler systems. 

With refurbishment work there nearing completion, it's expected sprinklers will start to be installed in the building's flats and communal areas in November.

Council officers will be visiting Jeffreys Court residents in coming weeks to update them with the plans and answer any questions they may have.

Once refurbishment work has finished at Clyne Court in Sketty, sprinklers will also be installed there in coming months.

This is part of a major project to install sprinkler systems in all 11 of the council's blocks of high-rise accommodation, with priority being given to blocks that have had exterior cladding fitted.

Following fire service advice, work to finish all remaining cladding works at the council's blocks of high-rise accommodation is taking place.

Other fire safety measures in these blocks include a hard-wired smoke alarm and 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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