Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) has completed the installation of a full sprinkler system throughout the Mount Wise Towers to help keep residents safe.
Installation work was completed this month with Mi-Space the contractor responsible for overseeing the crucial safety work. The sprinkler install was the next stage in a significant programme of works that have been taking place at the Towers.
Luke Pollard MP was invited to come and down and turn on the completed sprinkler system and said:
“I’m really pleased to see Plymouth Community Homes continuing to put the safety of residents first. Working to improve fire safety following the terrible Grenfell fire was one of my first campaigns as a new Member of Parliament and was a wakeup call to improve tower block safety standards across the country.
I want to pay tribute to the superb team at Plymouth Community Homes for all the work they have done to reassure worried residents – installing 24-hour fire wardens on all floors, relentlessly campaigning with me for emergency money to remove and replace the dangerous cladding and now installing a brand new full sprinkler system. There can be no compromise with safety.”
The decision to fit a sprinkler system was made after consultation with residents and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. Sprinklers have been installed in each flat and to all communal areas in the Towers.
John Clark, Chief Executive for PCH, said:
“Work to continuously improve fire safety at the Mount Wise Towers has been ongoing since June last year and the safety of our residents has always been and remains our top priority.
“We’re pleased with how quickly the sprinkler installation has taken given the difficulty of the task of retrofitting this type of system. The sprinklers are now operational in all communal areas and in each resident’s home.”
Scaffolding has started being erected at Lynher and Tamar House as PCH look to begin replacing the existing cladding and replace it with External Wall Insulation (EWI).
Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, has worked with PCH over many years, supporting them on planned housing improvements and property maintenance projects and, through its residential division Mi-space Living, delivering new high quality social housing.
AJ Eaton, Divisional Director for Mi-space UK, said:
“We are proud to be a trusted partner for PCH and to have been selected to carry out this essential work to install sprinkler systems across all three Mount Wise towers.
“It was a challenge technically and in terms of timeframe, and the great success of the project is the result of the close working relationship developed between the Mi-space site team, PCH and the community of residents who have been fantastic in welcoming us into their homes and supporting us throughout our work. This allowed us to access and complete 100% of the properties in a very tight timescale.
“It is wonderful that the local MP is here to see what has been achieved and we are delighted to be showing Mr Pollard around this fully installed and operational new system.”
“It’s important to remember that the Towers have had a range of extensive fire safety measures in place including: 60minute fire doors, smoke and heat detectors in flats and communal areas, 24/7 fire safety wardens, non-combustible protective boarding on walls of stairwells and regular visits and meetings with the Fire Service.
“As always we would like to thank our residents for their continued patience, co-operation and understanding whilst work to the Towers has and is being undertaken. We would also like to thank the local community, MPs and councillors for their support and we will continue to work with our partners in the Fire Service and Plymouth City Council until the cladding has been fully removed and replaced.”
- The sprinkler system is designed to work independently of the fire alarm system and has a backup generator in case of a power cut.
- Sprinkler heads will only activate once the temperature reaches 68C.
- Only the closest sprinkler to the fire will activate, spraying water onto the fire and putting it out as soon as possible.
- Sprinklers won’t respond to everyday things – like burned toast for instance.
- Sprinklers are like having a 24/7 firefighter in your home.