Croydon was the first London borough after the Grenfell Tower tragedy to announce it will install sprinklers into its tower blocks. Sprinklers will be installed in Croydon’s 25 tallest blocks at 10, 11 or 12 storeys, and an eight-storey sheltered accommodation block.
Work has commenced in College Green and our contractors Mulalley’s have completed one flat which demonstrates how the sprinklers will look in residents' homes.
Below, you can see the before and after photos of the finished flat and video of the works taking place. You can also view a film made by the London Fire Brigade, showing the outcome of a fire with and without sprinklers.
Also below, our initial set of Frequently Asked Questions. We are currently working with our customers, collating further questions and will update our list regularly.
Time lapse video showing the sprinkler installation within demonstration flat at college green:
Frequently Asked Questions
About the sprinkler installation programme
1. Which blocks are being done first and why?
We are installing sprinklers in our tallest blocks (10, 11 and 12 storeys) and one age restricted (also known as sheltered) block of eight storeys.
98-176 College Green in Upper Norwood will be the first block to receive a sprinkler system. This block was chosen as our partner contractors are already on site delivering other works. We are currently developing a detailed programme with our suppliers for all other blocks and will share this with affected residents once it is available.
2. When is the installation programme due to be completed?
We are aiming to finish all blocks in Summer 2018.
3. Why aren’t you doing the 12-storey blocks first?
When planning our sprinkler programme we have to consider several factors, including whether blocks have more vulnerable residents, whether the block already has water tanks to serve the sprinklers, and location.
4. Are any of the blocks due to have other works? How will the sprinkler project affect this?
Where any other works are planned for blocks where sprinklers will be installed we are working with our partner contractors to carry out all works in the least disruptive way possible.
5. Who will be carrying out this work?
The work is being carried out by our partner contractor Mullaley.
All council officers and the people who work for the contractor (the operatives) will introduce themselves and they will be wearing identification that is clearly visible and which shows their name and photograph and the name of their employer.
You should always check the identity of any persons not known to you before allowing them into your home.
6. Which floors will be done first in my block?
The plan is to carry out preparatory works in communal areas from the bottom floor to top floor first and then the properties, from top to bottom.
7. When will I be informed about work to my flat? When will work start on my flat?
We will be in touch with you at least six weeks before works are due to start in your block to give you more information about the planned works to your block and property and to invite you to meet the project team carrying out the works and ask any further questions you may have.
8. How long will the work take in my flat? Will I have to move out during these works?
Approximately three days, and you will not be required to move out.
9. Will I have to move my furniture / put it into storage?
No - we will move items carefully to accommodate the works.
10. Are there set hours that the contractors will be working?
Work will be carried out only between 8am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. Working during the weekend is unusual and we will write to you if this becomes necessary.
11. Which rooms will have sprinklers? Are they sealed?
There will be one or two sprinklers in each room, apart from your bathroom. The sprinklers are hidden behind a flat white disc unless there is a fire in that room. All sprinklers will be boxed in and painted.
12. How will the works affect my flat? Will the contractor take care with my belongings and keep them clean? Will you need to re-decorate?
We will be using tools that do make noise and dust but we will provide suitable protection to your property and use tools that extract dust as best as possible. The installation is carried out in such a way that re-decoration is not required.
13. I have a disability and need extra support. Is there someone who can help me?
When we contact residents prior to works taking place we will provide the names and contact details of the relevant resident liaison officers for your block. You will be able to contact them directly if you have any concerns or you feel you need extra support.
14. Will I have to be at home whilst the works are taking place?
It is in the interest both of the operatives and yourself that you are present while work is going on in your home, if at all possible. This will give the contractor the opportunity to consult with you if necessary and allow you to ensure that your property is kept secure.
If you are normally at work, you will need to make arrangements to stay at home or ask a responsible person to be in your home on your behalf. The resident liaison officer will give you advance notice so that a mutually agreeable time can be scheduled.
Children under 16 must not be left alone with an operative and should be kept away from contractors and their equipment while work is in progress.
15. How do they work? What sets them off?
Sprinklers are heat-activated rather than smoke activated. In the event of a fire the sprinklers will be triggered at about 57 degrees centigrade, allowing the flat white disc to fall away exposing the sprinkler head. There is a small glass bulb within the sprinkler and at about 67 degrees centigrade the glass bulb breaks releasing a fine mist of water. The water sprays at a wide angle to either extinguish or control the fire in the affected room(s).
16. Will I need extra home contents insurance? Will the council be paying for this?
We advise all residents to purchase contents insurance as this will cover your contents in the case of theft, fire and other damage. The council offers an insurance policy to its tenants and this covers contents in the case of the sprinklers being activated. The cost of this insurance will not increase as a result of the sprinklers being installed. You can find out more information here. If you have insurance with another provider, we advise that you contact them directly.
17. If the sprinklers go off when there isn’t a fire, who puts right my water-damaged flat?
Your insurance company would settle any claim made for water damage.
18. What should I do if there is a fault with the sprinkler?
If you believe there is a fault with the sprinkler system please call the repairs line on 020 8726 6101
19. Do the sprinklers need any regular maintenance, if so, what, how often and by whom?
The sprinkler system will be inspected and maintained on an annual basis by our repairs contractor.
20. If I choose to purchase my property, will I have to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the system?
All leaseholders pay a service charge to contribute towards council upgrades to their block, and sprinkler maintenance will be included in that cost.
Keeping you informed
21. How do you plan to keep residents informed about the sprinkler installation programme?
We will contact residents by letter around six weeks before starting work in their block. This will be followed up with a meeting or drop-in session to hear more and have the opportunity to ask questions of the contractor or council officers.
The contractor, Mullaley, will have a resident liaison officer on site during the period of the works.
22. What right does the council have to carry out this work in my property?
Under conditions of tenancy (Clause 14) the council have the right to enter the property at any reasonable time to inspect, carry out repairs and improvements. We will only enforce this right as a last option as the expectation is that residents will cooperate with us.