East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is calling on more building owners and construction companies to make sprinklers a priority.
It’s National Sprinkler Week (17-23 May 2021) which is co-ordinated by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC).
Jo Fowler, who leads partnership work on sprinklers with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have already worked with a number of local partners to help them achieve the benefits that sprinklers can bring for their premises and the people in them. We encourage anyone who would like more information about sprinklers and how we can help to get in touch”
Fire sprinklers are widely recognised as the single most effective method for fighting the spread of fires in their early stages.
The NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) carried out research to investigate the effectiveness and reliability of sprinkler systems.
They found that sprinkler systems:
- Operate on 94% of occasions demonstrating very high reliability.
- When they do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasion.
- In both converted and purpose-built flats, sprinklers are 100% effective in controlling fires.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service supports the installation of sprinklers in all new and converted school buildings regardless of their height and retrofitting to existing buildings when refurbishment occurs.
At present, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their requirements on sprinklers in schools yet the science of fire knows no political or geographical boundaries.
There are around 1.500 fire in schools each year in the UK. Local incidents include a fire at Stafford Junior School, Eastbourne in November 2020, Buckwoods School, Guestling in September 2019 and at Shinewater School, Eastbourne in October 2015. A disused school in Newhaven was the scene of a fire in December 2017.
The most expensive school fires cost in the region of £2.8 million to address.
The cost is to the education of pupils, businesses that work with schools and local communities that support and are supported by schools.