The fire service is working alongside Sheffield City Council to make hundreds of properties in the city safer by installing lifesaving sprinkler systems.
The partnership project between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Sheffield City Council, which is a first in the UK, will see over 540 properties at four locations around Sheffield receive the purpose built automated equipment.
Flats at Gleadless Valley, Westfield, Stannington and Netherthorpe are being targeted to dramatically improve fire safety measures for residents.
One hundred homes have already benefited from the project that started in November, with the rest of the retrofitted installations planned to be in place by September 2015.
Technical fire safety manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “The combination of working smoke alarms and a home sprinkler system reduces the risk of death from fire by more than 80%.
“Automatic fire sprinklers are most effective during the initial stage of a fire occurring, as a properly installed sprinkler will detect the flames heat, initiate an alarm, and activate just moments after the flames appear.
“I would encourage everyone who receives a letter about the work to call the number provided as soon as possible so access can be arranged to carry out this essential work. The quicker the project is completed, the faster everybody’s safety is improved.”
A Sheffield Council spokesperson, said: “We are working hard to make sure that our tenants and leaseholders are ‘fire safe’ and fully aware of the dangers a fire can bring, especially in flats and maisonettes.
“The fire suppression and sprinkler projects are a part of a large four year investment programme for council housing in the city; to ensure tenants are safe in their homes.”
This project follows the successful retrofitting of an automated sprinkler system at the Callow Mount block of flats in Gleadless, a scheme that was also a first in UK, which is now internationally recognised for the improved safety it offers the people living within the building.
The Chief Fire Officer’s Association (CFOA) campaigns nationally to raise awareness of the benefits of sprinklers to businesses and educational establishments.