COMPANIES are being sought to install sprinklers in two council-owned tower blocks in Poole.

Approved in 2018, the work at Sterte Court is part of a wider scheme which will also see cladding on the two ten-storey buildings upgraded.

The £650,000 contract for the project is being advertised by Poole Housing Partnership – the arm’s-length company responsible for BCP Council’s housing in the town.

Poole council had considered installing sprinklers in the two buildings in 2014 during previous refurbishment but decided against the move.

But the Grenfell Tower fire and discussions with the fire service prompted a rethink on the position.

“These blocks…were recently refurbished to bring them up to current housing needs and standards,” the contract documents say.

“This work included the cladding of the façade and the original balconies were replaced with a fully-enclosed balcony system.

“There is now a requirement to retrofit a new fire suppression sprinkler system to all flats.

“[This will] provide safe and secure housing for those who live in the buildings and ensure that these blocks remain safe and fit for purpose for the future years.”

Previous estimates for the cost of installing sprinklers, produced at the time of the project’s approval in 2018, were £300,000 per block.

Then Poole council cabinet member for housing, councillor Karen Rampton, said the use of the equipment in tower blocks was now included in Dorset fire service’s best practice guidelines.

The project has been timed to fit alongside the replacement of cladding on the blocks which is required due to “poor workmanship” during its original installation which had resulted in panels bowing and rivets failing to hold the material in place.

Sprinklers are due to be installed at other blocks of flats managed by Poole Housing Partnership during planned refurbishment works.

The project at Sterte Court is due to start in the spring.