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Firefighters demanding mandatory sprinklers to avoid another Grenfell

FIREFIGHTERS are demanding housing developers be legally forced to install water sprinklers to avoid another Grenfell-style disaster.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) called yesterday for all new residential blocks to have sprinklers fitted, as well as buildings that act as housing for vulnerable people, such as care homes and sheltered accommodation.

The LFB says that large development companies have been ignoring the advice of the fire service when building new tower blocks.

Out of the 15 property developers that had recently completed the construction of new blocks in London, only two followed LFB device to install the sprinklers.

As a result, LFB commissioner Dany Cotton said that this is evidence that the building market “will not self-regulate,” and hopes that new legislation will be adopted.

Currently, sprinklers are only mandatory in residential blocks taller than 30 metres.

However, Ms Cotton believes that if more sprinklers were installed, it may help to avert tragedies such as the June 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower, where 72 people were killed.

“Sprinklers save lives, they’re not a luxury,” she said.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack told the Star: “We support the use of sprinklers as part of an overall building fire safety strategy to protect the public, firefighters, property, jobs and the environment.

“However, sprinklers should not be used to compensate for poor standards in other areas of fire safety, including compartmentalisation of buildings and fire warning systems.

“We support the retro-fitting of sprinklers where a risk assessment has determined it is necessary as an additional protection measure.”

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