Thursday, 9 May 2013

Sprinklers in care homes

Independent fire safety experts Safety Management UK are the latest to put pressure on government ministers to make fire sprinklers law in care homes, having written to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association’s (BAFSA) campaign has seen growing momentum in the last few years, voicing a powerful argument for modern sprinkler systems that have no known safety issues and are found to control 99 per cent of fires in sprinkler-controlled buildings.

The tragic deaths of fourteen residents at Rosepark care home, in South Lanarkshire, in 2004, provided a powerful argument for the installation of sprinklers, especially after the results of 141 days of evidence were published in 2011, as do the conclusions of the recently published verdict into the 2009 Lanakal House fire, in Southwark, where six people lost their lives.

this smacks of a hollow press release.

in an ideal world all care homes should have sprinkler system, but with recent financial failures of large organisations and social care providers / housing association under pressure to cut back there has to be other priorities. firstly being a well maintained fire detection system and an up to date risk assessment.

the cost of a sprinkler system and its related on-going maintenance as a retrofit in an old building is considerably more expensive than a new install, and then you still have facilities management issues.

if you look in America, the sprinkler system is promoted to the building owner to save the building, the occupants are in many cases secondary as their protection is provided by the detection system and evacuation policy...

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