West Midlands Fire Service has issued a renewed call for water sprinklers to be installed as standard in all new buildings on the back of the mounting evidence unveilled during National Fire Sprinkler Week [3-9 Feb].
Operations Commander Dave Baker, Head of Fire Safety for WMFS, said: “Sprinklers save lives, buildings and money. Out of the 380 fire deaths in the UK in 2011/12, 287 were in the home. The case for installation is compelling.
“Not only do sprinklers virtually eliminate the risk of fire becoming fatal, they make the work of firefighters much safer and put a quick and early stop to the destructive spread of fires.
“We’ve had instances of fires starting in factories, but being controlled and prevented from spreading by sprinklers before we arrived. The businesses were up and running again within a couple of hours, but without sprinklers it could have been a very different story.
“We’d encourage any building owner or developer to think seriously about installing sprinklers. The sooner they’re fitted as standard, the better.”
As Cebr research released last week showed, sprinkler systems have been proven to be a cost-effective way save lives, and to reduce injuries for firefighters attending incidents. Because they suppress fires rapidly in the early stages, they also reduce the amount of damage to buildings.
Councillor John Edwards, who chairs West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Last year the Welsh Assembly passed legislation making it mandatory for new domestic build properties to have sprinklers installed. Fire authorities in England now want similar legislation.
“The argument that sprinkler systems are too expensive no longer stacks up. You can fit a new-build house with sprinklers for less than what the builder would splash out on the carpets.
“And we know that the public think sprinklers are a good idea. An opinion poll carried out for the LGA showed that two thirds of people think fire sprinkler systems should be installed in all new homes.”
For more sprinkler coverage use #firesprinklerweek on Twitter or watch our featured video this week below: