Sprinkler systems working in six Leeds Council tower blocks - but not Cottingley Towers

Sprinkler systems have been installed and are working in six council-owned tower blocks across Leeds - but not at Cottingley Towers.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 3:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 3:43 pm
Cottingley Towers, where the fire broke out on Monday

The issue was raised after a fire broke out on the 20th floor of one of the Cottingley Tower blocks on Monday.

-> Fire breaks out at Cottingley Towers in LeedsAfter the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Leeds Council announced a programme of £22M of works to upgrade tower blocks it owns in Leeds.

As part of those works, sprinkler systems were approved for eight tower blocks.

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Cottingley Towers, where the fire broke out on Monday

Six of those tower blocks now have working sprinkler systems, but two of them - the Cottingley Towers - are not yet operational and the sprinklers are due to be switched on in the buildings in 'October 2018', the council says.

A spokesman told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "I can confirm that the other six tower blocks with sprinklers are commissioned and are monitored via our Alarm Receiving Centre Leedswatch.

"The Cottingley tower blocks are on a planned programme and due to be commissioned October 2018."

-> Sprinkler system was not switched on at Cottingley Towers when fire broke outThe council has stressed that a sprinkler system wouldn't have made a difference to the blaze on Monday.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said at the time: "“It is extremely positive and a reflection of the fire prevention procedures that are in place at Cottingley Towers that the fire was contained. Leeds City Council tower blocks were built and are maintained to prevent fires from spreading, and none of our multi storey buildings have flammable cladding.

“We are currently in the process of installing sprinklers at Cottingley Towers as part of our investment programme which are not currently operational as work in on going.

"While this work is set to be completed in the near future, it is important to note however, that this is not what stop fires spreading, because as explained, the design of the building does that already. What sprinklers can do however, is prevent injury and death in the flat where the fire starts.

“We will be continuing to prioritise the installation of sprinklers in buildings which house people who for reason of mobility or vulnerability are at higher risk of not being able to escape their individual flat in which the fire has started.

“The fire was spotted by a council employee and I would like to thank them for carrying out there work so diligently. Council officers have also been on site all day to support those residents affected and will be continuing to provide whatever help where necessary.”