Public housing tenants in Richmond will be better protected from fire emergencies, thanks to a new safety blitz announced by the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Richmond Richard Wynne today announced the Richmond, Fitzroy, and Collingwood public housing estates would get extra sprinklers, smoke detectors and smoke lobbies, as part of a $21.7 million safety package in the Victorian Budget 2018/19.

The Labor Government’s fire safety package will support upgrades to corridors and common areas on hundreds of floors of high-rise public housing.

The devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London has highlighted the need to consider fire safety in public housing, while a corridor fire at apartments in Fitzroy last year, saw more than 200 people evacuated and 50 others treated by paramedics.

Fires in high rise public housing are most likely to start in common areas, and these improvements were recommended following a fire safety review by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

New fire safety equipment is already being planned for estates in Fitzroy and South Melbourne. The remaining upgrades will roll out over four years across other housing estates, following a design and tender process.

Victorian high-rise buildings – which meet all current fire regulations – have concrete floors and walls which limit any spread of fire between units. Every unit has a sprinkler system and smoke alarm installed.

High-rise fire safety system checks are carried out on a monthly basis by qualified and registered fire services contractors.

Quotes attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne

“In a fire, seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Richmond public housing tenants deserve to feel safe, with the best possible fire protection.”

“This investment will make sure we have the right safety precautions covering every floor, and every inch, of Richmond high-rise public housing.”