Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is echoing calls made by Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service for the fitting of sprinklers in new domestic properties and those that are vulnerable from fire.
The call comes following the deaths of six children in a house fire in Derby on Friday. The call is being made by Staffordshire’s Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Chris Enness, who is also the Chief Fire Officers’ Association lead officer for sprinklers.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Chris Enness said:
“This tragic incident has further highlighted the need for domestic sprinklers. The smoke alarm has done its job, alerting some of the occupants to the fire, however only sprinklers could have protected those unable to escape.
“Enough is enough. Quite simply these losses of life are avoidable. We don’t ever want to have to report a similar incident happening here in Staffordshire but we’re in danger of having to do so if action isn’t taken soon. Just last weekend a family of five had to jump from an upstairs window due to a fire at their home in Burton, so these types of incidents aren’t isolated. Let’s not wait another 25 years for evidence to say we should have introduced the widespread fitting of sprinklers - a further 8000 people will have died in that time and 10 times that number will have been seriously injured.
“Wales have already introduced legislation which will see all new build domestic properties fitted with sprinklers as standard. It’s time England followed suit and we’d urge the people of Staffordshire to push this issue with their local councillors and MPs. To do nothing is accepting that this is OK when it clearly isn’t.”
For more information about sprinklers visit the business section of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s website: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk.
Seven Sprinkler Statistics
- Sprinklers operate once the temperature hits approximately 68ºC.
- The likelihood of a sprinkler operating accidentally is estimated at 16 million to one – you’ve more chance of winning the lottery!
- In domestic house fires firefighters often use 10 times more water from hoses to do the same job as a sprinkler. This increases considerably with larger buildings or commercial premises - in tackling the Windsor Castle fire, 7 million litres of water was used.
- Statistics show that widespread use of sprinklers could save up to 96% of the 5.6 billion litres of water used annually in the UK to fight large fires - three months supply of water for the entire population of a city the size of Leeds!
- Losses from fires in buildings protected with sprinklers are estimated to be only one tenth of those in unprotected buildings.
- More than 40 million sprinklers are fitted worldwide every year.
- US Government employees on business only stay in sprinklered hotels because the Government will not otherwise pay their expenses.