That rivers cannot quench.(Sprinklers)

Nearly 50 years ago, a fire occurred at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago. The fire department arrived within two minutes of the first call but were unable to prevent the deaths of 92 pupils and three teachers. Some schools in the area had already been fitted with sprinklers. Are we in a position to say that a similar disaster could not occur in the UK today?

SCHOOL FIRES NUMBER OVER 2,000 each year in the UK, putting them in one of the highest categories of risk. Many fires are deliberate and the most severe usually occur when schools are unoccupied.

As a high risk premises, it would be reasonable to assume that the precautions to protect such an integral part of a community would be paramount. Yet fire officers are becoming concerned with the reluctance on the part of some key stakeholders to accept that there is one solution available that at one stroke could eliminate most of the risk of fire from schools and colleges--automatic sprinklers.

The impact of a severe fire in a school is devastating--not only financially but also in terms of the disruption to school work and the lifelong trauma caused to child victims. Unfortunately, despite Fire and Rescue Service managers' best efforts, the attempt to gain a national acceptance that sprinklers "are a good thing", seems to be thwarted at each turn. …

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