New student accommodation at Portsmouth University will not have sprinkler system fitted

As the construction of a 33 storey high new  student accommodation tower block  begins, so has a row over the installation of a sprinkler system within the building.

Once completed, the structure, know as the ‘Blade Tower’, will be one of the tallest constructions in Portsmouth.  As the tower block will be 90 metres high and accommodate students who are classed as high risk occupants, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services senior firefighters are requesting that developers, Wilkin-Jones, consider the inclusion of installing a sprinkler system into the building.

The University pro-vice chancellor, John turner said “The building will not be fitted with a sprinkler system.  Stringent evacuation procedures will be in place in the new building.  In the event of a fire an automatic alarm is triggered and on detection of a confirmed fire, there is immediate evacuation of the building to a place of safety.”

High-Rise flats higher than 30 metres do, under current legislation, require to have sprinkler systems fitted. As this tower block is classed as managed accommodation and will be used as halls of residence the tower block falls into a different category and therefore sprinklers are not mandatory.

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Poundstretcher made to pay £55,000 over fire safety breaches

Poundstretcher, a national store chain, have been found guilty of fire safety breaches under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.  These breaches will cost the chain store £55,000. This is already their second prosecution. Poundstretcher were found guilty of similar breaches in 2009 and were fined £20,500 for these breaches relating to their Halifax and Wakefield stores.

This new prosecution arose after a chance visit to the Castleford store by a fire safety officer. It was observed that the store had failed to ensure the safety of employees and customers by blocking fire escapes, inadequate training of staff and failing to review the fire risk assessment.

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