Hampshire & Isle of Wight

£1m sprinkler plan agreed for Southampton tower blocks

Shirley Towers
Image caption The plans for the sprinkler system come following the deaths of two firefighters in a ninth-floor flat

Three Southampton tower blocks are to get sprinkler systems following a £1m investment by the city council.

The move will see the system installed in each individual flat, and some communal areas such as bin stores at Albion Towers, Sturminster House and Shirley Towers.

The proposals were approved by the authority's cabinet earlier.

It comes after two firefighters died in a fire at Shirley Towers on 6 April 2010.

Jim Shears of Poole, Dorset, and Alan Bannon of Southampton became entangled in cables that had fallen from the ceiling as they battled a blaze in a ninth-floor flat.

The council said the work would be paid for by its Housing Revenue Account.

The plans for the sprinklers have been backed by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Image copyright fire handout
Image caption Jim Shears (left) and Alan Bannon died in Shirley Towers in 2010

In a statement, the service said: "Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive.

"They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire."

Following an inquest into the firefighters' deaths in 2013, a change in wiring regulations is also being brought in.

The British Standard regulation will require electrical cables to be mounted in metal trunking instead of plastic from July.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites