Fire underlines sprinkler need

IF I could respond to Geof Cage (Observer, letters, August 9), I could advise him and indeed all of your readers that myself and my Labour councillor colleagues on the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Combined Fire Authority have some weeks ago (long before Marlborough House) put together an e-petition to Government, that is now up and running for all to sign as regards domestic sprinkler systems.

The fire at Marlborough House once again places before us a number of unavoidable facts. We obviously need to have adequate resources of highly trained firefighters and equipment to deal with major incidents such as Marlborough House.

Sheltered accommodation such as Marlborough House, which is a fairly new building, should have had residential sprinkler systems fitted. It is time that this country had the political will to compel developers to install domestic sprinkler systems in all new build properties and all converted properties. The Welsh Assembly had the courage to do it, why cannot we?

Our move to get this onto the political agenda with central Government is supported by all fire and rescue personnel across the country and of course the British Automatic Sprinkler Association (Stewart Kidd, secretary general), who I have been speaking to in recent weeks.

If fitted they would certainly reduce fire damage to properties and they would save lives of that there is no doubt. I would therefore urge all readers to sign up to the e-petition and make their views known. Please do it today, you could make a real difference to community fire safety in your town. Log onto


Labour Group Leader

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Combined Fire Authority