14 Nov Sprinklers should be installed in schools
London’s Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton has called upon the UK government to make fire sprinkler fitting mandatory in all new and refurbished school buildings in England in line with the regulations currently in force in Scotland and Wales.
Fire safety in public buildings in the UK has come under close scrutiny since the Grenfell Tower disaster in London in June and there are about 700 school fires a year in England.
A consultation was started by the Department for Education in 2016 which said building regulations no longer required ‘the installation of fire sprinkler suppression systems in school buildings for life safety.”
“I think that was outrageous,” said Commissioner Cotton. “How can we play with children’s lives like that. What I don’t want to see is a very large school fire that brings about change.”
The UK’s National Fire Chiefs Council said the proportion of new schools built with sprinklers has dropped from about 70% a decade ago to a third last year – and overall, in England and Wales, just 5% of schools have sprinklers.