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18-05-19

NFCC calls for change to sprinkler regulations during campaign week

This year the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) national sprinkler campaign will run from Sunday 19th May to Friday 24th May and is calling on the government to make changes to legislation to keep people safer in their homes.

Research carried out by NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network investigated how effective and reliable sprinkler systems are.

The findings showed that sprinkler systems operate on 94% of occasions, demonstrating very high reliability.

In addition, sprinkler systems are highly effective when they do operate;  extinguishing or containing the fire on 99% of occasions. This research also demonstrated that in both converted and purpose built flats, sprinklers are 100% effective in controlling fires.

NFCC has since conducted further research on fatalities, injuries and building damage in fires where sprinklers were activated - these latest findings support previous research and will be launched during the week.

Terry McDermott, NFCC lead for sprinklers, said: “The evidence clearly speaks for itself; our research proves that sprinklers are both effective and provide strong fire safety protections as part of a fire safety package.

“Wales and Scotland already recognise this and have implemented measures to make communities safer from fire; we want to see these measures mirrored in England and Northern Ireland as a matter of urgency.

"Fire does not discriminate and is just as dangerous in England as it is in the rest of the UK, we want to see people offered the same protection in England as in other parts of the UK.”

The campaign aims to raise awareness of how sprinklers work and the benefits of having sprinklers fitted.

In addition, the campaign will highlight the disparity in building regulations across the UK. Sprinkler laws in Wales and Scotland offer more protection than in England and Northern Ireland meaning their communities have more fire protection.

Australian fire and rescue services will also be supporting NFCC sprinkler week, and sprinkler campaigns are also being held in America and Canada by the National Fire Protection Association.

NFCC is asking people to support the campaign by following the hashtag #ThinkSprinkler on social media to raise awareness on sprinklers.

Notes to editor:

Wales and Scotland provide the following protections (these are currently not provided for in England and Northern Ireland):

  • Scotland: all new enclosed shopping centres, residential care buildings, high-rise domestic buildings above 18m, sheltered housing complexes, schools, and some warehouses must be fitted with sprinkler systems.
  • Wales: sprinklers are now a legislative requirement in all new residential premises including care premises.

NFCC sprinkler position statement 

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