Specialist HA installs sprinklers in its tall buildings

One of the country’s largest providers of retirement and extra care housing has installed water sprinklers in all six of its residential buildings over six storeys high.

Housing 21 owns and manages around 21,000 properties in 150 local authority areas. It said it acted after putting fire safety at the top of its agenda. The water sprinkler installations were done as part of a programme of works to help contain fires and to stop them spreading.

The group said it will be reviewing its fire alarm “zoning” within buildings and carrying out the most intrusive Type 4 fire risk assessment surveys during the course of the current year.

None of the six buildings fitted with sprinklers had cladding which was identified as being “at risk”, according to the association. Housing 21 said in its annual report that it had spent £9.9m on property improvements during 2018/19.

As part of a new strategic plan, Housing 21 is aiming to build 2,100 extra care homes and 210 new retirement homes by March 2022. The Government is consulting on a recommendation that sprinklers be made compulsory in all new residential buildings of 18 metres or taller, down from the current requirement of 30 metres or higher.

By Patrick Mooney, Editor