Nottingham City Homes installing sprinklers in tower block flats following London fire fears

Overhead view of the Victoria Centre flats. Photo: Google Maps.

Nottingham City Homes says it will install sprinklers at its tower block flats following the Grenfell Tower fire in London after residents said they were concerned for their safety.

The company today (June 16) sent a letter to residents living at the Victoria Centre flats saying it will “begin a programme of sprinkler installation in corridors and all communal areas as a matter of an added safety measure”.

The organisation said it will also discuss with residents if they would like sprinklers installed inside their individual flats.

Nottingham City Homes added the cladding external insulation material rendering the building is not the same as the system used at Grenfell Tower – which is thought to have accelerated the fire.

The cladding system in the city centre flats is a “resin based system” – which is different to the more-flammable polyurethane system in the North Kensington block.

Letter sent to residents at the Victoria Centre flats.

The news comes after the company yesterday said its three tower block flats in Sneinton contained cladding which is  ‘100 per cent fire retardant’ [resistant] after a resident told Notts TV they thought the cladding was a ’cause for concern’.

And Nottingham City Homes said it will test the intercom system present at the Victoria Centre flats and review the alarm system to ensure “all blocks have an alarm [they] can hear”.

Adam Girland has lived at the flats for four-and-a-half years.

He said the installation of sprinklers is ‘appropriate’ and, after the London fire and a bomb scare last year in the intu Victoria Centre directly below the flats last summer, residents questioned their safety.

Mr Girland said: “It’s a step forward but it’s only on paper at the moment. The flats are 40-50 years old now and things have not changed in those years.

“There’s things that have been put in to the flats in those years that haven’t been updated.

“I’ve lived there four-and-a-half years and never heard the alarms tested as they [Nottingham City Homes] say they undertake weekly fire alarms but I’ve never heard them.”

Nottingham City Homes says it will review the national ‘stay put’ fire safety policy with Notts Fire and Rescue Service.

The policy advises people in tower blocks to remain in their flats in the event of a fire.

Mr Girland added: “A lot of work needs to be done at the centre and the review of the stay put policy which, obviously with the tower fire in London, is a big bone of contention.

“And also with the bomb scare last year, which was a another bone of contention, people were left without knowing anything about the flats.”