National Sprinkler Week

Fire Sprinkler Week, running from 3rd to 9th February, has been established to raise awareness and understanding about fire prevention and control and the important role that fire sprinkler systems can play. 
 
Waveney MP Peter Aldous jointly hosted an event at the Lowestoft Fire Station on Friday where fire chiefs and business and council leaders gathered to consider a range of issues from sprinklers in residential care homes to the impact that Wessex Foods fire had on the local community.  
 
Mr. Aldous also participated in a Parliamentary Debate on the matter on 6th Feb in which he highlighted the simple message that the controlling of a fire when its starts is better than repairing the damage that occurs if it is allowed to spread. He also paid tribute to fire fighters who do such a great job, often in hazardous and dangerous circumstances, and how we owe it to them to reduce risks as far as reasonably possible.  
 
With fire authority budgets and resources coming under increasing pressure, it is important to focus on preventing and restricting fires and making fire fighters’ jobs safer and easier. This includes more widespread installation of sprinklers.
 
According to the Department for Communities and Local Government the cost of a fire fatality is estimated to be £1.65m and commercial fires cost more than £2bn to the UK’s economy every year.
 
Mr. Aldous fully supports the Safer Suffolk Fire Sprinkler Coalition which was established in 2012 by leaders of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.  Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council's Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said:
"This is our response to the growing national debate about fire sprinklers. The formation of the Safer Suffolk Sprinkler Coalition sends a clear signal that we do not only intend to join the growing support for sprinklers, but we want to shape it and take the lead in their widespread use here in Suffolk".
 
Suffolk County Council point out that in recent years, Suffolk has experienced devastating and often tragic incidents in which fire sprinklers could have made a crucial difference. Wessex Foods in Lowestoft, which was not protected by sprinklers, suffered a major fire in 2010, resulting in the destruction of the factory and 150 people losing their jobs.
 
Mr. Aldous commented: “We need to do all we can to raise awareness in the business community about the importance of installing sprinklers. Where they are fitted the business will normally be fully functioning again within hours. Where they are not, businesses invariably never recover.”  
 
 
Photo: (left to right) Dave Ryan- Direct Table Foods, Peter Aldous – MP,  Mark Hardingham - Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service, Colin Spence- Suffolk County Council, Stewart Kidd – British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, Andrew Turner – Business Sprinkler Alliance, John Johnson – Care UK
 

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