One week after the Grenfell tragedy, our board decided to install a sprinkler system in our sole tower block at Arundel Court, Blackley, making us what we believe to be the first housing association in Greater Manchester to have retrofitted sprinklers, as a result of the June events.
Like the entire nation, horrified and shocked at the devastation and loss of life at Grenfell, our board felt compelled to take proactive action rather than waiting for the outcomes of various enquiries. We were determined to get work started at Arundel Court before waiting to hear back on any potential government funding- safety was the only priority. Funded from existing budgets, our sprinklers were a necessary investment and commitment to the safety of our tenants.
All of our Arundel Court residents were consulted throughout the planning and implementation stage of the sprinklers and we were able to offer reassurance and clarity where needed. Sprinklers are the only fire system which detect and suppress a fire as well as raising the alarm; they will help save lives.
We are delighted to announce that 6 weeks after work first began, our sprinkler system has been completed for the entire block. We worked with GMT Fire Protection to install 4 discrete sprinklers in each flat causing minimal disruption to residents. Two half-day visits were required for each property and tenants have responded positively to our intentions, contractors and the overall completion of the programme.
Mrs Hamilton of Arundel Court explained her positive interactions with our contractors who were ‘excellent, very very helpful and happy to explain every process and answered all questions’. Mrs Hamilton complimented the contractors on their efficiency and dedication to ensuring her fittings were redone until suitable and she was happy, commenting on the ‘brilliant neat job’ adding that ‘I don’t even notice them anymore’ because of their discrete design. The recommendation of sprinklers for other residents ‘especially to those in other tower blocks’ was the verdict from Mr O’Brien who lives with his wife, as they ‘put your mind and ease and you feel safe’.
At Arcon, we take great pride in what we see as a necessary measure to helping to protect the lives of our tenants. We acknowledge we are fortunate in only having to address these concerns in a single tower block, unlike other providers, who we are sure would like to take similar action now themselves, if they could.