Rosie Cooper is backing a campaign led by the insurance broker Zurich for all newly built schools to be fitted with sprinkler systems. It comes in the wake of recent figures released showing that fire damage to schools cost £74 million in 2006. The ten year campaign led by Zurich and other groups has been successful with the Department for Children, Schools and Families publishing guidance that all new schools will have sprinklers fitted as standard.
Rosie said: “This has been a long and hard fought campaign for better safety and fire security of school premises. Since becoming an MP I have met with Fire Safety Officers and the European Fire Sprinkler Network to push for action on this important issue. I have consistently raised with Ministers the need for extra fire safety measures in schools. I wholeheartedly welcome this move by the Department for Children, Schools and Families which will significantly reduce the cost and ensuing disruption of fires in schools, ensuring that students in West Lancashire will be safer and better protected than before”.
Zurich is also embarking on a fire-awareness and education campaign around schools, working alongside other stakeholders to tackle the grass root problem of school fire by educating school-aged children about the dangers of deliberate fire setting. Zurich will also continue to offer substantial reductions in fire insurance premiums and excess levels for schools that are fitted with sprinklers.
Rosie added: “I’m sure teachers and students will look forward as much as I to seeing the benefits of these extra fire safety measures in new school facilities. Safety in our schools is paramount and these sprinklers add an extra level of security”.