Fire safety work at 18,000 Sheffield households

Star news
Star news

Fire safety improvements are to be made to more than 18,000 low-rise flats and maisonettes across Sheffield over the next four years.

Householders in council flats who allow workmen from contractor Kier to access their property will also benefit from a free fire safety check to keep families safe.

Improvements will include upgrading fire doors, fitting smoke seals to existing doors, and putting fire-stopping barriers on pipes which serve multiple flats.

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: “We want to make sure that our tenants and leaseholders are as safe as they can possibly be, so we’ve worked closely with South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue on this project.

“We’re already on target to complete work to over 2,000 properties before the end of March, which is a fantastic achievement.”

The council and Kier have teamed up with SYFR so that homes can get a free fire safety check in addition to the improvements being carried out.

Fire officers will offer further advice on fire safety and provide additional help to vulnerable households by providing items such as smoke alarms for the hard of hearing or visually impaired.

They can also provide flame-retardant bedding and throws for those deemed at risk from smoking in bed or falling asleep while smoking under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication.

The partnership will also organise visits to secondary schools in Sheffield during the course of the programme to raise awareness of fire safety in the home.

Mark Beeley, investment manager at Kier, said: “If a fire starts in one flat or a communal area then these improvements mean the fire and, more importantly, smoke is contained and much less likely to spread to other flats.

“Gaining access to properties is our biggest challenge.

“I would encourage everyone who receives a letter from Kier about the work over the next four years to call the number provided as soon as possible to arrange access to carry out the works.

“Where customers don’t allow access then Sheffield Council will follow a legal process to gain access which is costly, time consuming, easily avoidable and puts people at increased risk.”

Fire safety work began in low rise flats and maisonettes in September last year.

All high-rise flats and sheltered housing schemes have already benefited from the improvements.