High number of ‘older’ tenants leads Hackney Council to install sprinklers in 114 flats at Queensbridge Road tower block

PUBLISHED: 16:59 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 19:26 30 January 2018

355 Queensbridge Road will be getting sprinkler systems. Picture: Google Maps

355 Queensbridge Road will be getting sprinkler systems. Picture: Google Maps


Sprinklers will be installed in all 114 flats at a 19-storey Queensbridge Road tower block on the recommendation of fire safety experts – because of the high number of “older tenants”.

All 114 flats will be fitted with sprinklers because of the 'large number of older residents'. Picture: Google Maps All 114 flats will be fitted with sprinklers because of the 'large number of older residents'. Picture: Google Maps

Hackney Council ordered more than 1,800 fire risk assessments (FRAs) in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 71 people in June.

Those tests found some 3,000 jobs needed doing urgently, most of which involved removing obstructions and checking fire doors. But today town hall chiefs delivered letters to everyone living at 355 Queensbridge Road – all council tenants – telling them the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has recommended the installation of sprinkler systems in each flat.

The block is one of 181 in Hackney standing at five storeys or more and is managed by the Tower Tenants Management Organisation.

The letter, seen by the Gazette, was written by director of housing services Michael Scorer and makes clear there is no immediate fire safety risk.

It reads: “The London Fire Brigade have recommended the installation of sprinklers to provide additional fire safety measures due to the large number of older residents who live in your block.”

It also makes clear the tenants will not have to pay for work, and the town hall this afternoon told the Gazette it did not yet know how much it would cost.

Christine Field, 64, who has lived here 14 years, lives on the top floor – but hadn’t given that “a lot of thought” until Grenfell.

She’s now “ecstatic” about the sprinklers and thinks they should have been put in when the building was built.

“I thought I was dreaming when I was seeing Grenfell - to go up like it did was so upsetting,” she said. “Of course you do end up putting yourself in that picture being up the top, and the way my health is going I don’t think I could get down the stairs.”

June Cleevely, who lives on the 15th floor is also pleased.

“It was horrifying watching Grenfell and thinking of the implications,” she said.

“Disabled people and old people can’t actually use the stairs which is the only form of escape. It’s a good idea and quite probably the council should do it in all of their very tall blocks.”

The sprinklers will be installed in the living areas of each home, but not the bathrooms. The work is being carried out by Wates. It will start on Monday and take three days for each flat, taking a total of 16 weeks.

Last week housing chief Cllr Clayeon McKenzie spoke at the full council meeting about the issue, saying the town hall was committed to installing sprinklers in tower blocks if recommended by the London Fire Brigade and the council’s independent assessor.

His remarks echoed those of mayor Phil Glanville, who in September responded to calls for all tower blocks to be fitted with sprinklers by saying it would cost £20million and, without funding from the government, would mean “not doing other things”.

The council has reassured tenants the sprinklers will be discreet, and will only be activated at high temperatures – like that of a fire.

Only fire crews can turn them off, but in the event they are set off by mistake each floor will have an isolation valve so that floor’s can be turned off alone.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories


Ben Pearce reflects on Spurs’ important Premier League win at Selhurst Park earlier today


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger replied immediately when asked the question.

Yesterday, 23:10

Sunday’s League Cup final is eagerly-awaited by a large number of Arsenal fans. Read on as a number of loyal supporters explained to Layth Yousif what the trophy means to them.

Yesterday, 21:42

With the eagerly-awaited Carabao Cup final on Sunday read the latest in our series detailing previous Arsenal League Cup finals by talking to the people who were there. Read on as we recall the shock upset the Gunners suffered against Luton Towin in the 1988 Wembley showpiece as Gus Caesar unfortunately wrote himself into the history books for all the wrong reasons in a crazy game.

Yesterday, 18:41

After appearing to book their spot in the last-four of the FA Trophy, the hosts let a three-goal lead slip against the Heed to force a Tuesday night replay

FA Trophy quarter-final: Leyton Orient 3 Gateshead 3

Yesterday, 10:14

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was in spiky form at his club’s training ground this week ahead of the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday.


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists