Of all of the practical issues surrounding the government advice coming out, since the Grenfell tragedy installing sprinklers is the most direct fight which can be taken to any fire. Unfortunately, due to a number of issues, the installation of sprinklers is still a discussion.
Currently in England, only buildings erected after 2007 and more than 30 metres (98ft) high are required to be fitted with sprinkler systems. In Scotland from 1 May 2005 all new residential care homes, sheltered housing and high rise domestic accommodation above 18 metres high have to be fitted with sprinklers. In Wales the requirement for tower blocks was the same as England. In addition a building regulation requirement for the installation of sprinklers in all new or conversions of dwellings and flats, came into effect on the 1 January 2016.
This leaves the question, what about retrofitting of sprinklers? This would be a challenge if recommended. The landlord has no legal right to demand access to fit the sprinklers inside the flats and the lease may not allow for recovery of the cost of installation in common parts.
However, it would seem to us at 2 Rivers, if the managers of Grenfell had the money to put up cladding, even the cheaper non compliant kind, they had the money to retrofit sprinklers. Would any flat residents anywhere in the country now object to this becoming a requirement even if just for those buildings over 18 metres, or the height from which firemen cannot reach the fire to fight it with extended ladders and hoses?
The answer seems obvious.