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Cheshire's sprinklers campaign

06 September 2018

CHESHIRE FIRE and Rescue Service has launched a year-long Sprinklers Save Lives campaign.

Every year hundreds of people die in fires and many more suffer injuries, many of which could be avoided if sprinklers were installed, yet still only 2% of the UK’s council tower blocks have full sprinkler systems and less than a third of the 260 schools built since 2014 under the Government’s School Building Programme have sprinklers.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is launching the Sprinklers Save Lives campaign to highlight the importance of sprinklers and suppression systems in both commercial and domestic properties. 

The campaign will underline how sprinklers detect fire and prevent it from growing and spreading, vastly increasing the chances of survival for occupants of a building and driving down deaths and injuries from fire.

Head of Protection for CFRS, Lee Shears, said: “There is clear evidence that sprinklers can be effective in stopping fires spreading and putting them out. They are proven to save lives and property, minimise environmental damage and reduce economic loss. 

“Fires in the home still account for the greatest number of fire deaths and injuries each year, so the installation of sprinklers in domestic premises would have a significant impact in reducing these. There is also a compelling case to be made for sprinklers to be fitted in any commercial premises. In commercial environments, businesses could get back to normal in a relatively short space of time after a fire. It is a well-known fact that many businesses that suffer from significant fires and fire damage never return to operation. Sprinklers can safeguard against that and significantly improve business continuity.”

Throughout the campaign CFRS aims to raise awareness of the benefits of sprinkler systems and to dispel the myths and misconceptions that sprinklers attract. There will be a monthly focus aimed at specific sectors including landlords, construction companies, small businesses, education, health and homeowners. 

Nationwide campaigns to promote smoke alarms, which can help save lives by giving an early warning in the event of a fire starting if there are people in the affected building, have been very effective with 90% smoke alarm ownership recorded in England in 2016/17 (Home Office fire statistics)., but sprinklers actually control and can stop the spread of fires.

“Fire is indiscriminate,” continued Lee, “It destroys lives, homes, families, businesses and history that cannot be replaced. Every year people are needlessly killed and seriously injured in fires. Every year people are made homeless as a result of fire. Every year businesses collapse and people lose their livelihoods as a result of fire. Lives and properties can be saved with this simplest of additions.”