Sprinklers put out chip pan fire in Avondale Square towerblock

Six years after the City of London Corporation decided to fit sprinklers in its three high-rise towers on the Avondale Square Estate, the new system has successfully extinguished a chip pan fire.

Sprinklers put out chip pan fire in Avondale Square towerblock
Avondale Square Estate

We reported in May 2018 that - as a result of the extra attention paid to fire safety in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in Kensington - the City of London Corporation had decided to fit sprinklers in the three tall buildings on its Avondale Square Estate in Southwark, just north of the Old Kent Road.

City of London to fit sprinklers at Avondale Square towers
Sprinkler systems are to be installed in three 20-storey social housing blocks on the Avondale Square Estate, after a decision by the City of London Corporation.

It's taken six years to fully implement that decision, with completion of works now set for May 2024.

Papers for this month's meeting of the City's Housing Management & Almshouses Sub-Committee reveal that the sprinklers have already been put to use.

"A fire occurred in a flat in East Point on Sunday 10 March caused by a chip pan fire," wrote assistant director Pam Wharfe.

"The recently installed sprinkler system was activated by the intense heat generated in the kitchen and extinguished the fire.

"London Fire Brigade attended and turned off the sprinkler discharge. No residents were reported hurt following the incident."

The report also notes that "Of the 222 properties in the three blocks, four leaseholders have not yet provided access, two tenants have refused access (legal proceedings have commenced) and two tenants require further assistance.

"Despite the intrusive nature of the works, resident satisfaction, gauged from ours and the contractor’s in-house surveys has been largely positive, with no 'very dissatisfied" scores for any aspects of the work and, only a few 'fairly dissatisfied'. The issues that caused residents to be ‘fairly dissatisfied’ were identified and promptly addressed."

Tags: Politics & local government, City of London, Old Kent Road, Southwark, London Fire Brigade

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