John Ray School fire prompts nationwide sprinkler campaign
Chief Fire Officer David Johnson is spearheading a campaign to change planning law to make the installation of sprinklers compulsory in domestic dwellings and other high risk premises like schools.
The move this week follows a major fire at a school in Braintree which has had a devastating effect on a local community and severely disrupted the education of many local children. That’s not to mention the inevitable financial impact of such a serious incident on already hard-pressed education budgets.
Members of the Essex Fire Authority have put their full support behind the campaign and passed a motion at their meeting on September 4 recommending that: “Any further school built in Essex should have a Sprinkler system included. All consultations from planning authorities for new schools, care homes, hospitals, HMO’s, student accommodation or residential accommodation for the elderly or vulnerable will receive a recommendation to include the provision of a Sprinkler system.”
Essex County Fire & Rescue Service has endorsed the Authority’s position and has recently created a £250,000 fund for the retro fitting of sprinklers in high life-risk premises to support a high profile campaign promoting the benefits of water suppression systems.
This week, CFO Johnson, wrote to all Members of Parliament seeking support for all new domestic dwellings and other high risk premises, whether new or existing, to have sprinklers fitted.
“It is a simple fact that sprinkler systems are by far the most effective tool in helping prevent a fire from developing and undoubtedly save lives,” he told MPs.
“As such, we seek your support in this regard and ask that you write to Brandon Lewis MP, who has ministerial responsibility for the Fire Service and urge him to seek a change to the current planning law making the installation of sprinklers compulsory in domestic dwellings and other, high risk premises.”
Members of the public can lend their support to the campaign by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook and Twitter.