Churchill Mansions Runcorn

CHESHIRE FIRE Authority was thanked by housing provider Halton Housing for a grant that helped the company retrofit sprinklers into a 12 storey residential high rise.

In Your Area reported on the installation of sprinklers at Churchill Mansions in Runcorn, and Halton Housing’s gratitude to the fire authority for providing a £36,000 grant to help fund the project. Sprinklers have been fitted throughout the block in both flats and communal areas, with work completed in August, and the grant provided to help the housing association pay the costs.

The news outlet noted that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has been campaigning for the installation of sprinklers in high rises ‘for several years’, with Cheshire Fire Authority setting aside £160,000 for housing providers to ‘part-fund’ retrofitting in residential premises. Buildings that have seen sprinklers fitted include the three Joseph Groome Towers in Ellesmere Port, while other projects are ‘underway’ in Handforth, Chester and Crewe.

Cheshire Fire Authority funding under the grant is ‘still available’ to associations in the region, with Halton Housing’s director of homes Scott Murray stating: ‘The fact that the flats at Churchill Mansions are now fitted with a sprinkler means that the whole community in the tower block is further protected.

‘We are delighted that every tenant – around 65 people – can sleep safe in the knowledge that in the event of a fire they will be alerted by an alarm and protected by a sprinkler. We would like to thank Cheshire Fire Authority for part-funding the sprinkler system project with a £36,000 grant.’

CFRS area manager and head of protection and organisational performance Lee Shears commented: ‘Fire is indiscriminate and destroys lives, homes, families, businesses and history that cannot be replaced. Fire deaths, including firefighter deaths, can almost be eliminated and lives and properties can be saved through the installation of sprinklers. As such, we are thrilled that flats and communal areas at Churchill Mansions in Runcorn are now fitted with sprinklers.’

Councillor Bob Rudd, chair of Cheshire Fire Authority, added: ‘Sprinklers are the equivalent to having a firefighter ready and waiting in every room of your home or business. This makes the device an ideal choice for property management companies and local authority housing providers to help protect their assets from fire, but also to keep tenants and their families safe.’