Campaign launched to install sprinklers
Sprinklers are instant firefighters, likened to having a firefighter in every room 24/7 – they are safe, cost-effective and offer protection to life and property.
Head of protection for CFRS Lee Shears said: “Fire is indiscriminate. It destroys lives, homes, families, businesses and history that cannot be replaced. Every year people are needlessly killed and seriously injured in fires. Every year people are made homeless as a result of fire.
“Every year businesses collapse and people lose their livelihoods as a result of fire. Lives and properties can be saved with this simplest of additions.”
Campaigns to promote smoke alarms, which give an early warning of fire, have been very effective with 90% smoke alarm ownership recorded in England in 2016-17. But sprinklers actually control and can stop the spread of fires.
Mr Shears added: “There is clear evidence that sprinklers can be effective in stopping fires spreading and putting them out. They are proven to save lives and property, minimise environmental damage and reduce economic loss.
“Fires in the home still account for the greatest number of fire deaths and injuries each year, so the installation of sprinklers in domestic premises would have a significant impact in reducing these.
“There is also a compelling case to be made for sprinklers to be fitted in any commercial premises.
“In commercial environments, businesses could get back to normal in a relatively short space of time after a fire. It is a well-known fact that many businesses that suffer from significant fires and fire damage never return to operation.
“Sprinklers can safeguard against that and significantly improve business continuity.”
A live fire demonstration was held at the campaign launch, as featured in a video, which compared two identically furnished school reception classrooms – identical apart from one being fitted with a sprinkler and the other without.
The aim was to prove the way in which a sprinkler system contains the spread of fire and the difference in damage in the two scenarios.