tower block

Manchester council to approve sprinkler systems in 36 tower blocks

Tomorrow should see the £10m fire safety project get the green light, subject to consultation with residents and leaseholders.

In the wake of this year’s Grenfell Tower tragedy, where fire broke out resulting in the loss of 71 lives, Manchester City Council carried out high level fire risk assessments on all council-owned blocks and housing association high-rises.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has visited every high-rise block in Manchester, and provided the council with detailed assessments, taking steps to address safety issues where necessary.

The City Council is now seeking to retrofit sprinklers in a bid to prevent future disasters and ensure the safety of residents.

Bernard Priest, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “We need to get to a position where every person who lives in a high-rise block feels safe in their homes, understands fire procedures for the building, and building owners know what their responsibilities are.

“We are still awaiting the outcome of the national inquiry following the Grenfell tragedy and we are ready to act quickly to any recommendations.

“We believe that we should retrofit sprinkler systems in our high-rise properties, but it is important that we do this in conversation with our residents – and funding the works will need to be in conversation with government for their support.”

Work in progress

Of the 216 privately owned tower blocks in Manchester, 12 have been identified as having aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, and the owners of these buildings have embarked on corrective works or organised fire risk assessments to reassure residents and fire officers that fire safety measures are in place.

This type of cladding is also being replaced on 13 social housing high-rises in the city owned by One Manchester to address safety concerns.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: “Specialist fire officers continue to work with building owners and local authorities, including Manchester City Council, to address fire safety issues and contribute to Greater Manchester’s ambition of a world-class approach to fire safety, which places the expertise of our fire and rescue service at its heart.”

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