Fire chief calls for sprinklers to be fitted in new homes

Flood evacuation practice at Stoke Goldington'''Wk 10 MPMC

Flood evacuation practice at Stoke Goldington'''Wk 10 MPMC

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Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Mark Jones, has renewed the call for sprinklers to be fitted in new homes as they are built.

He is urging people to sign an online petition, which could be debated in Parliament if it receives enough support.

Mark said: “There is a perfect storm of fire-risk factors approaching, including an ageing population and more independent living for people with special needs.

“This combination may cause an increase in the number of people who will die in accidental house fires in coming years.”

He said this month’s tragic fire in Derby, which took the lives of six children, had further highlighted the need for domestic sprinklers.

“The smoke alarm did its job, alerting some of the occupants to the fire, but we believe that sprinklers could have protected those unable to escape.

“Quite simply, these losses of life are avoidable. We don’t ever want to have to report a similar incident happening in our area, 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, government figures show that a further 8,000 people will have died in fires in that time and 185,000 could 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.

“We’d urge the people of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to push this issue with their local councillors, planning authorities and MPs. When people are needlessly dying, doing nothing is not an option.”

Mark is encouraging local people to pledge their support for the campaign by signing an online petition. If it receives the backing of 100,000 people it could be debated in Parliament. To sign the petition, visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/4409