National Seminar makes a plea for greater sprinkler use in homes and businesses

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is supporting the position of the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) in urging the UK Government to change its stance on sprinklers. In particular it is asking for sprinklers:

to become a requirement in all new high-rise residential structures
to be retro-fitted in buildings more than 30 metres tall when they are refurbished
should be retro-fitted in high-rise residential buildings over 30 metres with a single staircase, regardless of refurbishment plans
should be provided in new residential care premises and specialised housing
At TWFRS’ Sprinkler Seminar, during National Sprinkler Safety Week, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, John Baines said:

“The research conducted by the NFCC confirms just how important sprinklers can be, within the range of fire safety solutions for new and existing buildings. Sprinklers save lives, reduce injuries, protect property and minimise the impact of fire on businesses. They also help to protect firefighters and reduce the impact of fires on the environment.

We believe that this compelling evidence deserves a positive government response.”

This week, TWFRS welcomed to its headquarters in Barmston, Washington, a number of key national experts across the field of sprinklers. This included Terry McDermott, CFO Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and the NFCC Lead for Automatic Water Suppression Systems, who gave the audience an overview of the recent research on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom; Ian Gough, from the sprinkler trade association BAFSA, who presented on sprinklers in schools and Nick McCormack from Merseyside FRS who described a challenging car park fire.

The seminar also included, housing provider Gentoo and South Tyneside Housing who shared with the audience their own sprinkler journey and demonstrations on sprinkler effectiveness.

John concluded:

“As a service we actively promote the installation of sprinklers and Automatic Suppression Systems in homes and businesses. Sprinklers already play a major role in protecting lives, homes and businesses and we would very much welcome the UK Government following the lead from Scotland and Wales, and by doing so providing greater protection particularly to those in our vulnerable communities, who need it the most.”

At the seminar, TWFRS also launched an updated version of their  sprinklers booklet (PDF), with key information for residents and businesses.