Renowned campaigner and former long-running presenter of Crimewatch, Nick Ross, is the latest high-profile supporter of our drive for compulsory sprinkler installation in all new domestic properties in England.

Following the successful installation of retrofit automatic fire sprinklers in 47 flats in a high rise building on a Sheffield estate, many chief fire officers and leading Fire and Rescue Service stakeholders have been adding their support for domestic sprinkler installation in England. Now TV's Nick Ross has added his weight to the campaign.

"Bravo for your valiant fight against the government's intransigence over domestic sprinklers," he told FIRE. Informed by having worked with successive administrations to try and force the sprinkler message, he added: "It's now a decade that successive civil servants and ministers have been shrugging off entreaties to change the building regulations, or at least to take an active stand in promoting automatic fire suppression, and it's clear that gentle behind the scenes lobbying can't break through their long-standing indifference.

"Publicity seems to be the only thing now that will provoke a change of heart, so more power to your elbow."

Support is also coming from Parliamentarians. Meg Munn, MP for Sheffield Heeley, pledged to fight for automatic sprinklers to be installed in all high rise buildings and even said she would take the question to the House of Commons. "It's time for government and local authorities to act to prevent further unnecessary loss of life."

She said she would table a Parliamentary Question at the earliest available opportunity asking for wider use of sprinklers in such blocks and in all new build high rises.

Evidence of the importance of sprinklers has already come from Scotland, as Keith MacGillivray from the Sprinkler Coordination Group Scotland pointed out. "We retro fitted sprinklers in three multi-storey blocks in Ayrshire in Scotland - about ten years ago thus while the costs are neither recent nor relevant, the effects of sprinklers in these flats is clear for everyone to see," he said.

"We've had two, separate, serious fires in the blocks and on both occasions the sprinklers acted effectively to ensure there was no loss of life, no injuries and minimal fire damage."

He estimated the maintenance cost of retrofit sprinklers was around £250, compared to the average cost of a fire in a single flat being "in the region of £10,000 damage".

The government is yet to respond to this latest installation or calls from FIRE to have legislation passed on the mandatory installation of sprinklers, but Project Manager Steve Seaber confirmed he would be compiling a thorough report which he hoped would convince MPs to act. "This report will form the basis for a programme to promote the potential use of fire sprinklers to enhance the safety of residents to local housing authorities and private landlords, fire and rescue services and the fire protection industry," he said.

"It will provide a fully documented guide to the retrofit process, including comprehensive true and full life costings for all aspects of the project."


Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 1755 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: