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New schools will get fire sprinklers, pledges Kent County Council

KFRS will encourage fitting fire sprinklers in Kent schools
New schools in Kent will be fitted with fire sprinklers

Kent Fire and Rescue Service is working with council planners and architects to promote installation of sprinklers.

New schools in Kent are to be fitted with sprinkler systems, following a decision by Kent County Council to improve fire safety. The move will see officials from Kent Fire and Rescue service working with council planners and architects to encourage the installation of systems in all new or large renovation projects. It comes less than five years after a 'devastating' fire at Lympne School, near Folkstone, which saw more than 200 children evacuated and the building gutted.

Chief Fire Officer Charlie Hendry, who has been leading a campaign by the fire service called Safer with Sprinklers, said: "We saw the devastating effects of fire when a blaze destroyed Lympne School near Folkestone in 2006." No-one was hurt but precious schoolwork and an important community resource were lost, causing a huge amount of upheaval and upset. It has only been within the last year that the children have been able to get back to normal in their new school.

"Existing protocols suggest that local authorities 'should' rather than 'must' consider sprinkler systems and so the council's approach is a tremendous development, sending out a clear signal to other local authorities that sprinkler systems are a vital fire safety measure." Last year, nearby Medway Council made it mandatory for all new schools in the area to be fitted with sprinklers. 

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