Welsh Assembly members backs Warwickshire’s sprinkler campaign

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A CAMPAIGN to fit sprinklers in new build homes across Warwickshire has taken another step forward, thanks to the support of national advocates including Welsh Assembly Member, Ann Jones and Ronnie King, vice chairman of the National Fire Sprinkler Network.

The ‘Fire Sprinklers for Life’ campaign was initially launched by Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service in June 2011. Since that time, the campaign has been gathering momentum and a conference was held at the Trident Centre in Warwick on Friday, September 30 to discuss the issue on a national level.

Key speakers included, Caroline Tucker, who was suffered 75 per cent burns in a house fire when she was 11 years old, Chris Enness, the Chief Fire Officer Associations lead for Domestic Sprinklers, Steve Mills, BAFSA Fire Service co-ordinator, Julian Parsons, Group Manager for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and Barry Walker from Cleveland Fire Service.

Gary Phillips, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The conference was a real success and has helped us to put the campaign on a national platform. Receiving support from key figures such as Ann Jones, who was instrumental in passing the Domestic Fire Safety Measure in Wales has been a real honour. It is clear from all those who attended that fitting domestic sprinklers in new builds should be a priority and we will now be using that to gain support locally amongst planners, developers and housing associations to promote the sprinkler agenda and continue to lobby for legislative change.”

Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, Councillor Richard Hobbs said: “It was a privilege to have such experienced key speakers at the event. Understanding the issues councillors and Assembly Members faced when trying to get a law passed through parliament in Wales has given us a real insight into how we can move things forward here in Warwickshire.

Our first priority will now be to get the buy in to this campaign from planning authorities, homebuilders and domestic sprinkler fitters.”

For further information on the campaign, log onto www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fireandrescue or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UvC931i-wM&feature=related