Sprinkler-holics unite: following the recent life-saving intervention of a domestic sprinkler system in Wales, CFOA Vice President and Fire Sprinkler Association Chair Tom Carroll advocates increased provision of fire sprinklers to save life, injury and property from fire.(CFOA Comment)

My name is Tom--and I am a sprinklerholic. I am not ashamed to admit this because I believe passionately in sprinklers and their ability to improve our quality of life.

What if I were to ask you if I would be popular if I had invented a cure for a horrific disease that kills over 500 people a year? What if I were then to say to you that I had known about this cure for over 100 years--would I still be so popular? Well, this has been the case with fire sprinklers. We have had the technology to save life from fire for that length of time but have not used it.

Over the 30 years I have worked in the Fire Service some 15,000 people have died in fires in the UK; the majority of them in their own homes and many in their own beds. That is the population of a small town. What would have been the reaction had some disaster killed so many all at once? During the same period around 450,000 people have died in fires across Europe. That is the equivalent to the population of a large town, and yet little has been done to prevent this.

As Margaret Thatcher once said: "It is sometime necessary to fight a battle several times to win it" and we must continue to fight for the wider use of sprinklers. …

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