New schools to get sprinkler systems
NEW schools in North Somerset will be built with life-saving sprinkler systems after a successful campaign led by Weston s MP.
NEW schools in North Somerset will be built with life-saving sprinkler systems after a successful campaign led by Weston's MP.
Schools built under the Building for Schools for the Future programme, a Government initiative which includes the rebuilding or refurbishing of primary and secondary schools in the country, will now include the fire safety measure.
John Penrose won the support of more than 100 MPs in the House of Commons and lobbied the Government's schools minister, Jim Knight MP.
Mr Penrose said: "I'm delighted the Government has signed up to life-saving sprinklers.
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"It's taken a long time but the Minister has finally made it clear that he expects new schools to be built, as well as those that are heavily refurbished, to include sprinkler systems as a safeguard against school fires.
"In the past five years there have been nearly 150 arson attacks on schools in the old Avon area. Across the country, over 2,000 schools a year suffer school fires. The majority are set deliberately.
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"School fires cost an estimated £74 million in 2006; an increase of £7 million since 2005. Sprinklers are 99% effective in controlling fires, so as more schools are rebuilt or substantially refurbished we should see a significant reduction in the number and extent of school fires.
"Not only will this reduce the cost and educational disruption schools experience from these fires, but more importantly, save lives".