The first ever national Fire Sprinkler Week has launched with widespread support from MPs, Councillors and Chief Fire Officers who have signed an open letter to government calling for more active promotion of sprinklers and a review of provisions for fire sprinklers in building standards.
The letter lists 45 signatures calling for action after independent research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research revealed the loss of £1 billion in GDP and 5,000 full-time jobs2 in Britain through preventable fires in commercial warehouses over the last five years.
Fire Sprinkler Week 2014 is running from 3 to 9 February and is the first in a schedule of annual campaigns that CFOA and the British Sprinkler Alliance has designed to convey the message: controlling a fire as it starts is better than repairing the damage after it has spread.
Paul Fuller, President of the Chief Fire Officers Association, said: "Fires are very real and many losses are wholly avoidable. Fire sprinklers do more for the UK than people know.
"This vital week of activities will encourage the politicians, businesses and construction firms to support sprinkler installation as fire damage costs soar to an all-time high."
Jim Fitzpatrick MP, former fire fighter and Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fire Safety and Rescue said that the Cebr research findings made a compelling argument for the installation
of fire sprinklers in warehouses:
"The current guidance on fire sprinklers in warehouses in the UK only applies to warehouses over 20,000m2. Across Europe and competitor economies the regulations apply to much smaller sizes which mean they are far better prepared and able to recover from fires that threaten their business. The UK government has the power to correct this."
Fire Sprinkler Week will see Fire and Rescue Services, Local Government Authorities and Housing Boards delivering information to promote awareness and encourage uptake of sprinklers in domestic and commercial buildings.
To find out more about Fire Sprinkler Week 2014 and how you can support the campaign, visit www.cfoa.org.uk/FireSprinklerWeek2014