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leisure design & build is the premier title for specifiers, architects and operators active in the ever-growing leisure build sector. ldb is the only magazine to link the construction and the leisure industries, it encompasses developments across both the private and public sectors to give a truly holistic view of the way the industry is performing and developing.
News - November/December 2017
Fire chiefs call for sprinklers in all new English schools
The National Fire Chiefs Council is calling for all new school builds or refurbishments to have sprinklers fitted - a policy that is mandatory in Scotland and Wales. Figures show the proportion of new schools built with sprinklers had dropped from about 70% a decade ago to a third last year - and overall, in England and Wales, just 5% of schools have sprinklers.
The NFCC part commissioned independent analysis earlier this year which looked at more than 2,000 incidents attended by UK fire services in sprinkler-protected buildings. It found that sprinkler systems correctly operated on at least 94% of the fires and controlled or extinguished 99% of those fires.
NFCC believes if sprinklers were considered at the design stage of new build or refurbishment of existing buildings, costs could be kept to a minimum.
Each year, more than 1,300 schools in the UK suffer fires large enough to be attended by fire and rescue services; 56% per cent of these are classed as non-accidental. According to government estimates (DCLG), the average cost of school fires between 2000 and 2004 was £58 million per year.
Statistically there is one in 20 chance of a school having a fire. By engaging with designers and architects, NFCC believes schools could be designed to incorporate a fire safety system as standard.
The NFCC says it “strongly believes that sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed - or even extinguished - before the fire service can arrive.”