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Fire Authorities Back ABI’s Call For Warehouse Sprinklers

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Towards the end of last month (July 28th), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) called for it to be made compulsory for warehouses bigger than 2,000m2 to have fire sprinkler systems installed. Currently, it is only recommended that such sites have these systems in place.

The ABI’s proposals (made ahead of the centenary of the Great Fire of London) have now garnered much support from fire authorities and services throughout the country, with signatories such as Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, the London Fire Brigade, the Chief Fire Officers Association and the Fire Protection Association all lending their support.

“Fires in schools and care homes endanger those who most need our protection. Industrial fires can cause disruption to our homes, high streets and transport networks and also put lives at risk. We know sprinklers are particularly effective at reducing the risks posed by fire so the time has come to start requiring them in certain buildings,” ABI Manager of General Insurance Policy, Mark Shepherd said.

The Great Fire of London took place in September 1666, the second tragedy to strike the city in the space of a year following the Great Plague. The fire was sparked in Pudding Lane in a baker’s shop owned by one Thomas Farriner, the king’s baker. His maid had failed to ensure that the ovens were put out at the end of the night and the heat from them ignited Farriner’s wooden house.

Because London was essentially made out of wood at that time, the fire spread quickly – and it was so hot that the lead roof on St Paul’s Cathedral melted.

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