Sprinklers to be installed in 24 high-rise tower blocks across Sheffield in wake of Grenfell tragedy

Tower blocks in SheffieldTower blocks in Sheffield
Tower blocks in Sheffield
Sprinkler systems are set to be installed in 24 high-rise tower blocks across Sheffield.

The news has been announced by Sheffield Council this evening and comes in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Sheffield Southey councillor Jayne Dunn said on Twitter: "I have just announced that @SheffCouncil will install sprinklers systems in all our 24 tower blocks."

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The news comes as the death toll from the Grenfell Tower tragedy rises to 79.

abour has demanded answers from the Government after leaked letters appeared to show ministers were repeatedly warned that fire regulations were not keeping people safe in high rise blocks like Grenfell Tower.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey has written to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid demanding a formal response after the BBC said the letters show ministers were warned that people living in high rises were "at risk".

The dozen letters, sent by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group in the aftermath of a 2009 fatal fire in Lakanal House, south London, warned the Government "could not afford to wait for another tragedy", according to Panorama.

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The parliamentary group wrote in March 2014: "Surely ... when you already have credible evidence to justify updating ... the guidance ... which will lead to the saving of lives, you don't need to wait another three years in addition to the two already spent since the research findings were updated, in order to take action?

The Grenfell Tower ablaze in LondonThe Grenfell Tower ablaze in London
The Grenfell Tower ablaze in London

"As there are estimated to be another 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection, can we really afford to wait for another tragedy to occur before we amend this weakness?"

After further correspondence, then-government minister Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams replied: "I have neither seen nor heard anything that would suggest that consideration of these specific potential changes is urgent and I am not willing to disrupt the work of this department by asking that these matters are brought forward."

The group replied: "We're at a loss to understand, how you had concluded that credible and independent evidence which had life safety implications, was NOT considered to be urgent.

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"As a consequence the group wishes to point out to you that should a major fire tragedy, with loss of life, occur between now and 2017, in for example, a residential care facility or a purpose built block of flats, where the matters which had been raised here, were found to be contributory to the outcome, then the group would be bound to bring this to others' attention."