Fire chiefs urge all schools to install sprinklers

The National Fire Chiefs Council has redoubled its efforts to have all schools fitted with sprinklers following recent blazes at two schools in Derbyshire.

Gavin Tomlinson, chief fire officer of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and NFCC’s lead for sprinklers, said: “It is devastating to see the impact of these two fires over the weekend. These fires are resource intensive and to see the damage which could have been reduced substantially by sprinklers is heart-breaking.”

Roy Wilsher, chair of the NFCC, added: “England is lagging behind Scotland and Wales when it comes to introducing legislation to fit sprinklers in schools. NFCC believes all new schools -- and those undergoing refurbishment -- should have automatic fire suppression systems fitted.”

Research from the NFCC suggests the rate of schools being fitted with sprinklers may have fallen from 70% to as low as 15% of new builds.

According to figures from the Association of British Insurers, the most expensive school fires cost in the region of £2.8m to address. Over a four-year period, an average of 24 large loss fires occurred every year, totalling £67.2m.

Image courtesy of Zurich Municipal

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