Sprinklers protect life, protect buildings and keep firefighters safer. This was confirmed in a parliamentary debate on fire safety and sprinkler systems at Westminster Hall recently by a wealth of experts.
They work and make complete sense as an important layer of safety, but why is one not making use of them? Is now not the time to finally act on this?
Overall fire safety
Requested by Sir David Amess MP, and former firefighter and MP Jim Fitzpatrick (Chairman and Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group), the debate made it abundantly clear that sprinklers should be part of overall fire safety solutions in both new and existing buildings.
There was a unified voice across the members in the chamber and we wholeheartedly agree with all the experts, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), the Building Research Establishment, London Councils, RICS, RIBA and COIB, to act and legislate now.
The members emphasized the need to listen to the experts and not the myths. Fire and Rescue Services tackle fires across the country every day. They understand the challenges of those fires and the need to control them quickly to avoid loss of life and damage to property, and of course the danger they are exposed to when firefighting.
Maintained sprinkler systems
Sprinklers save lives, save businesses, save jobs and protect the environment
The evidence shows that sprinkler systems have an operational reliability of 94% and of those cases, they extinguished or contained the fire on 99% of occasions across a wide range of building types.
There are no cases on record of multiple fire deaths occurring in buildings with appropriately designed, and properly installed and maintained sprinkler systems. “The ABI states that in the UK no one has ever died from a fire in a fully sprinklered building,” said Jim Fitzpatrick.
Automatic fire sprinklers
And Sir David Amess confirmed, “Wales and Scotland are much further ahead in regulating for automatic fire sprinklers in their built environment. This nonsense can no longer go on and we will not accept it. We want action on this, and we want sprinklers to be installed retrospectively, particularly in new school buildings.”
The nation will benefit if more are fitted because sprinklers save lives, save businesses, save jobs and protect the environment. If one acts now, one can make a difference.