Cleveland Fire Brigade is strengthening calls for the fitting of sprinklers in new domestic properties, following the tragic fire in Derby that took the lives of six children.
The call is being made by Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton who is warning about a perfect storm of fire risk factors approaching. An ageing population and more independent living is leading Cleveland Fire Brigade to believe that the number of people who will die in accidental house fires will rise in coming years.
Chief Fire Officer Hayton said: “The tragic incident in Derby has further highlighted the need for domestic sprinklers. The smoke alarm did its job, alerting some of the occupants to the fire, however we believe that 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 Cleveland but we’re in danger of having to do so if action isn’t taken soon. Let’s not wait another 25 years for evidence to say we should have introduced the widespread fitting of sprinklers – at current rates a further 8000 people will have died in that time and 185,000 will have been seriously injured.
“Wales has 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 Cleveland to push this issue with their local councillors and MPs. When people are needlessly dying, doing nothing is not an option.”
Cleveland Fire Brigade have actively supported the provision of sprinkler systems for many years and, in their quest to reduce fire deaths in the home, have pioneered the first low cost sprinkler system in the country.
Cleveland Fire Brigade have funded the fitting of 32 sprinkler systems in houses and bungalows on new housing developments at Maxwell Court and Belle Vue Hartlepool. The properties have been developed by the Vela Group (Housing Hartlepool).
People are being encouraged to pledge their support for the campaign by signing an online e-petition. If the petition receives the backing of 100,000 people it could be debated in Parliament. To sign the e-petition visit this page and search for sprinklers.