Work will start this October and finish next spring on installing fire sprinklers for every resident in the council’s 25 tallest tower blocks.
The sprinklers will go into individual flats or communal areas of the council’s 25 tallest blocks at 10, 11 or 12 storeys, plus sprinklers will also be installed for residents of an eight-storey sheltered accommodation block in Addiscombe.
At its June cabinet meeting, Croydon was the first London borough after the Grenfell Tower tragedy to announce it will install tower block sprinklers. An update report going to July’s cabinet meeting sets out the sprinkler timings and other measures the council has taken since the fire. These include:
• Checks confirming all 39 council tower blocks meet fire brigade standards
• Confirmation that its 16 tower blocks with cladding have good-quality, fire-retardant materials
• Regular update letters and door-to-door visits to all council tower block flats
• The creation of a fire safety board with London Fire Brigade (LFB)
• Initial discussions with LFB about considering sprinklers in future for the council’s 13 tower blocks between six storeys and nine
• Fire safety checks on the council’s other 1,061 residential blocks of less than six storeys
• A survey of all other council buildings
The borough’s new fire safety board meets regularly to review work done so far by teams across the council since the fire in Notting Hill, and its job is to ensure targets are met and to plan ahead. Its focus includes overseeing future fire safety in all council-owned buildings, updating and strengthening council policies, checking fire alarms and encouraging landlords and businesses to do their own safety reviews.
The board is made up of council staff covering areas including housing, estate management and community safety, plus senior representatives from London Fire Brigade. As its work programme develops, the board could expand to include representatives from other sectors.
“Croydon Council’s first priority after Grenfell was ensuring the safety of our tenants and leaseholders; that’s why we double checked their buildings meet fire standards.
“From setting up our fire safety board to installing sprinklers in 25 tower blocks by next spring, this council is doing all it can to limit future fire risk in Croydon by responding robustly to the Grenfell Tower tragedy.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning