Fatal fires should end sprinkler debate once and for all.(Comment)

Fourteen residents died in the Rosepark care home fire, Uddingston, Lanarkshire, on January 31. A week later another elderly resident died at the Old Rectory residential care home, Gamfreston, Tenby. In the meantime Fire Service stakeholders and politicians were bickering over sprinkler installation during parliamentary debate. Shortly after that three young children died in a house fire in Lancashire ...

'How many people died in fires in houses equipped with water sprinklers and not equipped with water sprinklers in 2003?' asked Conservative MP Charles Hendry in a written question to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Fire Minister Nick Raynsford replied: 'The latest available information relates to calendar year 2002 and is still provisional In thai year; fire and rescue services in the UK attended 22 fires in dwellings equipped with water sprinklers, there were no deaths reported. In the same period, there were 64,613 fires in dwellings not equipped with water sprinklers, and 443 deaths.'

To clarify the Minister's caveat references to 'latest' and 'provisional', we should explain that there has never, that is 'never' been a death in this country in a domestic premise titled with sprinklers. Not just last year, not just the year before, not ever.


A public' inquiry is to be held into the Rosepark Care Home fire in Uddingston. Lanarkshire. The blaze was believed to have been started in a storage cupboard and smoke spread quickly through the two-storey building. It is believed that the cupboard may have been used to store flammable materials including cleaning fluids. Flames from the fire only spread about ten feet and most of the residents died from smoke in halation within minutes of the alarm being raised at 0437 on Sunday morning.

Following The uddingston blaze. Scottish National Party Justice spokesperson Michael Matheson said the tragedy showed why all care homes should have sprinklers fitted His private members bill was lodged in the Scottish Parliament in November and will require all HMOs and sheltered housing operators to in stall sprinklers. …

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