Resi sprinklers call after London flats blaze
Image: London Fire Brigade
A huge fire which destroyed a London block of flats has prompted renewed calls for sprinklers to be fitted in all new residential buildings, as well as retrofitting taller buildings.
The blaze took hold at the four-storey, timber-framed building in Sherbrooke Way, Worcester Park early yesterday morning.
At the height of the fire, around 125 firefighters were called in to tackle it. Fortunately, no-one was injured, with all residents evacuated safely.
In response to the incident, Jane Duncan, chair of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety, said: “It is very sad to see another terrible fire occur. I am relieved to hear there has been no loss of life, but the loss of all personal possessions is awful for those involved and my thoughts are with them. While we have welcomed the government’s ban on combustible materials for residential buildings over 18m, this four-storey building fire demonstrates that the application of this regulation may need to be extended.
“The RIBA has consistently argued for sprinklers to be a requirement in all new and converted residential buildings, and to be retrofitted in existing residential buildings above 18m when they are being refurbished. This fire demonstrates the need for sprinklers in residential buildings, and fire warning systems in individual flats, not just in communal parts. However, while important, sprinklers should not be used to compensate for other crucial fire safety measures.”