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Businesses urged to consider sprinklers

20 March 2019

With sprinklers now mandatory on all new domestic buildings in Wales, businesses are being urged to review if they should install the technology to protect employees in the event of a fire.

Professionals responsible for protecting the livelihoods of workers will hear from fire safety expert Ritchie O’Connell at the latest meeting of IOSH's North Wales Branch.

They will be joined at the event in St Asaph by Ann Jones, Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd, who was responsible for getting the sprinkler law passed in Wales.

She said, “I am delighted to join the IOSH meeting and to hear from them on the issue of sprinklers in all new home builds here in Wales. I am proud that I steered this law from the back benches and proud that Wales is the first country to have this law.

“It is a pleasure to be at this meeting, especially to hear how we can all work together on the important issue of fire safety, more poignant now following the dreadful incident of Grenfell Tower.”

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017, which killed 72 people, it was revealed that the tower block didn’t have sprinklers, nor do the majority of the UK’s council and housing association-owned tower blocks.

Chair of the IOSH branch Rachel Jones said, “Fire safety is something we have to get right. We have seen all too often the devastating effects of fire. Grenfell Tower was one example and there have been many more.

“Of course, we rightly concentrate a lot of effort on fire prevention, but we need to be ready to ensure people are safe should a fire break out.

“Having the law passed in Wales to make sprinklers mandatory in new domestic builds was a big step forward. But people are also vulnerable to fire at work, so as well as residential properties, businesses need to review if they need full sprinkler systems.

“Quite simply, sprinklers can save lives, so delegates at our event will be able to find out the latest in this technology to ensure that the people they work with are offered the best possible protection from fire risk.”

The talk by Ritchie O’Connell, director of The Fire Practice, will be held from 6.30pm on Thursday 21 March at The Oriel Hotel, St Asaph.