The views of our residents, community partners and stakeholders are very important to us, and we use these to make informed decisions and improve your housing services.
Currently in England, sprinklers are only a legal requirement in new residential blocks over 30 metres tall. Protecting all residents living in Westminster’s existing tall buildings from fire is our priority and in 2017 we committed to installing in-flat sprinklers.
Since then we have investigated how to do this and installed sprinklers into a high-rise supported building in Pimlico. Now, we are asking leaseholders and tenants to tell us their views on how we can install more sprinklers to make buildings safer.
We agree with London Fire Brigade, alongside many other local authorities, that sprinklers are important and one of the best ways to stop a fire. However, we acknowledge it’s important to be pragmatic and take time to plan this work. We do not want to rush installations or escalate leaseholder costs.
We have fitted a sprinkler system into high-rise building in Pimlico and before we go further, we want to hear your views. That’s why we are asking leaseholders and tenants to tell us what they think about installing sprinklers into existing flats, in tall buildings, by completing a questionnaire by 18 December 2019.
The insights from this research will inform our thinking and allow us to make future decisions.
Things we would like you to think about
There is a body of evidence, which proves sprinklers can save lives, by providing much needed time when a fire occurs. They are the only system that tackles the fire immediately at the source. Unlike in the movies, sprinklers are triggered one by one where an increase in temperature occurs in a room – they don’t all go off together throughout a building.
We have compiled a brief information sheet about sprinklers, including estimated costs to install them, and we encourage you to review this before completing the questionnaire.
How to take part
The online questionnaire is open from 13 November to 18 December 2019. Printed copies are available upon request. If you have any questions or would like to request a printed copy, please contact us.
We are emailing all residents and writing to leaseholders to encourage them to take part. Our visiting officers will also be door knocking properties, assisting leaseholders and residents complete the questionnaire and to ensure no one is digitally excluded.
In early 2020 we will email all who complete the survey an update on how their views have been considered.