A PETITION started in Southampton calling for sprinklers to be fitted in all high-rise buildings across the UK has gained more than 120,300 signatures.

The campaign is calling for Prime Minister Theresa May to make sprinklers a legal requirement in all tower blocks.

Payroll administrator Tracey Cutler, 49, from Old Redbridge, who started the petition said she only expected to get about 500 signatures.

Speaking to the Echo Ms Cutler said: “The first thing I thought when I saw the news about Grenfell Tower was the Hickman family. I was friends with Catherine Hickman, who died in Lakanal House, London, in 2009.

“I actually went online to sign a petition but when I saw there wasn’t one I just set one up.”

Writing on the petition website she said: “I am one small person in a massive pond hoping to make a difference and save lives.

“I live in Southampton, and I care about this issue because one of my friends lost a family member in Lakanal House in 2009 and the firefighting community in my home city lost two of their own in Shirley Towers in 2010.

“I was horrified to wake up to the news about Grenfell Tower and it struck me that lessons haven’t been learned and the people who died at Lakanal House died in vain since the learnings of their inquest weren’t implemented anywhere else.”

She added: “Please make a change in the law to make it a legal requirement that ALL councils and landlords ensure that ALL high rises of any age have adequate fire alarm systems, fire doors, fire escapes, fire sprinklers and emergency lighting.”

It comes just days after at least 30 are believed to have lost their lives and more than 70 are still unaccounted for after a fire took hold of the 24-storey block in Kensington, London.

Now residents in Southampton are calling for their own block to be demolished due to a catalogue of health and safety issues at Canberra Towers in Weston.

Residents in Millbrook Tower have also banded together to discuss having sprinklers installed in their block amid concerns for safety.

Housing officers at Southampton City Council have issued a letter to residents of all tower blocks in Southampton which says “each flat in our tower blocks is designed to ensure that if a fire occurs, it is kept within each flat.

“In the case of a fire, the advice from the council and from HFRS remains to stay put – ‘unless the fire is in your flat or a direct neighbours, keep your front door closed and windows closed, tune in to your local radio and wait for further instructions from the emergency services.”

As previously reported, leader of Southampton City Council Simon Letts said the decision to install sprinklers in tower blocks would be taken after Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service had conducted investigations, which are due to take place next week.

Communities around Southampton have been collecting goods to donate to those who survived the tragedy in London.