Types of premises
Residential care homes
Older people, people with mental health problems and those with mobility issues are the groups most at risk from fire. We consider that all residential care homes should be fitted with sprinklers.
In Scotland there is already a requirement within Building Standards for all new build residential care buildings to have automatic fire suppression systems installed. We believe that there should be the same level of protection here in West Sussex.
Hundreds of schools in the UK have a fire each year. The impact of these fires is significant, not just in financial terms, but also in terms of the devastating effect on the communities they serve and the disruption to students, teachers and families.
The effects on children’s education are not confined to lost course work but often include longer travelling times, disrupted social groups and poorer facilities. If sprinklers were considered at the design stage of building a new school or the refurbishment of existing buildings, costs could be kept to a minimum - as low as 1% of build costs.
There is a compelling case to be made for sprinklers in any commercial premises on the basis of loss of production or interruption to business.
It is a recognised fact that 85 per cent of small and medium businesses that suffer a serious fire either never recover or cease trading within 18 months. The installation of sprinklers in these types of premises could prevent this.
Fires in the home still account for the greatest number of fire deaths and injuries each year. While it would be ideal for all domestic premises to have sprinklers, it is recognised that this is not practical or realistic.
We would encourage developers, residents of West Sussex and social housing landlords to encourage the installation of sprinklers in the homes of the most vulnerable people - young people, old people, people with mental health problems and those who have mobility problems.