Fire chief's sprinkler plea

PUBLISHED: 12:12 02 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:37 28 May 2010

TOM Carroll, Cambridgeshire s fire chief, is demanding a change in the law to get sprinkler systems installed in all new schools in the country. He said: It is mad. The Government has pledged £5billion to build better schools, but not made sprinklers com

TOM Carroll, Cambridgeshire's fire chief, is demanding a change in the law to get sprinkler systems installed in all new schools in the country.

He said: "It is mad. The Government has pledged £5billion to build better schools, but not made sprinklers compulsory.

"As a result, £100million of new school buildings go up in smoke in Britain each year - the equivalent cost of 45 new primary schools.

"We have seen the devastation school fires cause. It is not just bricks and mortar that are destroyed, it is children's education, so sprinklers should be compulsory."

A county council spokesman said sprinkler systems were fitted only after detailed risk assessments prove they are appropriate for particular buildings.

"Sprinkler systems don't prevent fires starting - we put a lot of emphasis on fire prevention," he said. "Water can also cause a great deal of damage if they are set off inappropriately. You have to weigh up all the pros and cons in each situation.

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