The success of the Callow Mount retrofit project was evident for all those in attendance at the launch of the report on April 12th (see May issue of FIRE). Make no mistake, this represented an historic day in the progress of sprinkler installations in England.
That the retrofit should a) be so affordable at just over £1,000 per flat and b) be quick and efficient, is a great credit to BAFSA and collaborators on this project. Add in the fact that the retrofit was in a high-rise block gives more power to the sprinkler lobbyist’s elbow. If it is so cost-effective for multi-storey buildings, imagine how much cheaper for sheltered accommodation and the like, where some prominent speakers felt such retrofits should be directed.
Attendees learnt that one of the reasons for this success was that then CFOA President Peter Holland’s challenge to the fire industry to significantly reduce the cost of installation. In effect, the Fire and Rescue Service had upped the ante and the fire industry rose to that challenge. It represents a perfect integration of the whole Fire Sector coming together to make a difference.
Over in the US, the National Fire Protection Association has gone one step further and partnered with industry to launch a new green home exhibition to show the environmental benefit of home fire sprinklers.
According to the findings of a study by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, greenhouse gases released by burning buildings can be reduced by 98 per cent when automatic fire sprinklers are installed. The study also found that automatic sprinklers reduce fire damage up to 97 per cent, reduce water usage to fight a home fire by upwards of 90 per cent, and reduce the amount of water pollution released in the environment. The exhibition will be taking place at Walt Disney World® Resort. Over here the words of Professor Jose Torero still ring in this reporter’s ears from a conference a few years ago when he lamented fire engineers having missed the train when it came to influence at building design stage.
The National Fire Confederation or equivalent has the opportunity to make significant progress. My attention has already been drawn to the Business Sprinkler Alliance having pursued green issues with the UK Green Building Council, BRE and DCLG (see forthcoming issues of FIRE). We may not have Walt Disney but we do have the Ideal Home Show – would that not be a perfect occasion to pursue a similar venture?
The challenge now is, what can the Fire Sector do to progress this vital integration post haste? The only possible solution is uniting to campaign for inclusion and empowering the Confederation to ensure delivery. We will all then be willing to pay our subs and become involved, Local Government Association included, will we not? All we need is for another high-profile leader to lay down that gauntlet.
For more information on the US project visit: http://www.visionhousegreen.com
Posted May 8th, 2012 at 1520 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org