Southampton council to put sprinklers in high-rise blocks - but will Portsmouth do the same?

Two firefighters died while battling the blaze at Shirley Towers in 2010. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire
Two firefighters died while battling the blaze at Shirley Towers in 2010. Picture: Chris Ison/PA Wire
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High-rise tower blocks in Southampton will be fitted with sprinkler systems as a safety precaution - but will we see the same changes in Portsmouth?

Southampton City Council has announced flats will be ‘retrofitted’ with sprinklers, with the initiative being rolled out from next week.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Dave Curry has said sprinklers in flats provide the 'ultimate protection'. Picture:  Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Dave Curry has said sprinklers in flats provide the 'ultimate protection'. Picture: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

It comes after last week’s tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in London, following which 79 people have been confirmed as dead or still missing.

Work will take place at the city’s tallest tower blocks as a priority but it is not known when the remaining flats will have sprinklers fitted.

Dave Curry, chief officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said sprinklers were like ‘having a firefighter in every room’ and provided the ‘ultimate protection’ in case of an emergency.

The service has campaigned for sprinkler-fitting since two firefighters lost their lives in a flat fire at Southampton’s Shirley Towers in 2010.

We want to assure all of our residents that their welfare and safety is our highest priority.

Councillor Jennie Brent

At the inquest following the fire, the coroner recommended the fitting of sprinklers in all high-rise blocks.

Today a Portsmouth City Council spokeswoman did not directly answer whether or not the council would also put in sprinklers to the city’s high-rise blocks.

She also did not answer whether the council supported the comments made by Mr Curry.

Councillor Jennie Brent, the city council’s cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We want to assure all of our residents that their welfare and safety is our highest priority.

Fire devastation at Grenfell Tower      Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Fire devastation at Grenfell Tower Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

‘We will continue to work closely with the Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, and will evaluate any recommendations the government make to ensure that our properties meet the required fire safety standards.’