Call for Sprinklers Following Fatal Fire in Derbyshire
The call is being made by Chief Fire Officer Mark Yates in recognition of an impending increase in fire risk factors. An ageing population, more independent living and modern lifestyles is leading Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service to believe that the number of people who will die in accidental house fires will rise in coming years unless greater steps are taken now to protect the vulnerable in their homes.
Chief Fire Officer Yates said: "The tragic incident in Derby has further highlighted the need for domestic sprinklers. The smoke alarm did its job, alerting some of the occupants to the fire; however, we believe that sprinklers could have protected those unable to escape.
"Enough is enough. Quite simply these losses of life are avoidable. We don't ever want to have to report a similar incident happening here in Herefordshire or Worcestershire 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 a further 8,000 people will have died in that time and 185,000 will 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 and we'd urge the people within their local communities to push this issue with local councillors and MPs. When people are needlessly dying, doing nothing is not an option."
People are being encouraged to pledge their support for the campaign by signing an online e-petition. If the petition receives the backing of 100,000 people it could be debated in Parliament. To sign the e-petition visit: http://www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ and search for sprinklers.