Fire resilience missing off of threat agenda

The Business Sprinkler Alliance is urging the next government to build the case for fire resilience and commit to actions designed to reduce the impact of fire on the country, the economy and on UK plc.

Past governments have invested heavily in resilience in the fields of flooding, winter cold snaps, terrorism and cyber crime, but fire prevention has been underfunded and, in some cases, ignored. The Business Sprinkler Alliance argue that the urgency for action to effectively protect against fire and to minimise these costs is missing.

Quoting resilient spend elsewhere, including £1 billion for the Somerset floods of 2014, £5 billion for the floods of 2015 and £4.8 billion for the 2015 cold snap, the group report that the annual estimated cost to the UK of fire related incidents is more than £8 billion and rising.

The most efficient and effective way to change the current trend is to ensure that when fires start they are quickly extinguished so that damage is minimised by promoting a greater use of fire sprinkler systems and so enhance UK plc’s resilience to fire.

The alliance also encourages the government to review the Fire Safety Guidance of the Building Regulations, remove sprinklers from the classification as ‘plant and machinery’ for the purposes of the Business Rates, and advise and inform businesses about the threat that fire presents and what they need to do to effectively protect themselves from fire.