Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service today launched a campaign to get sprinkler systems installed in all new build properties. Their call was backed by John Hughes whose mother and brother tragically died in the Penhallow fire in Newquay.
At the moment, only Wales has legislation requiring sprinklers to be fitted and I think that our Council's Planning Policy committee should consider introducing a similar rule here.
Sprinkler systems cost about £400 to install in a typical family home during construction. Contrary to some myths, the risk of malfunction is tiny and they are set to go off only in a room where there is a fire - so they don't bump up insurance premiums. What they do is to save lives alongside smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
In the past I've been rather ambivalent about sprinkler systems because of the costs involved. But having talked to Cornwall's fire fighters about how good they are at saving lives and learned that the myths mentioned above aren't true, I now think that the small extra cost is a price well worth paying in order to save lives and so I'm an enthusiastic supporter of the campaign.