Put sprinklers in all schools, professional bodies urge

Leading professional construction institutes have joined the UK’s National Fire Chiefs Council in calling on the government to require the installation of sprinklers in schools, including the retrofitting of sprinklers when refurbishments take place.

The joint statement issued by the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors comes ahead of parliamentary scrutiny on the Building Safety Bill.

"Lives, stock and property are saved by the use of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS), which includes sprinklers," they wrote.

"At present, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their requirements on sprinklers in schools, yet the science of fire knows no political or geographical boundaries.

"Fire safety of occupants and firefighters is of primary concern. Loss of schools in a community can have devastating effects."

They noted that recent research (PDF) by insurer Zurich has proven the benefits of sprinkler systems.  

Each of the professional bodies will bring forward guidance for our own professionals in line with this statement in the absence of government legislation.

Image: Shaw-cum-Donnington Church of England Primary School, Donnington, England (Simon Burchell/CC BY-SA 4.0) 

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