This week Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, delivered a speech as part of an initiative entitled ‘Make Homes Safe’. During the speech, he called on Government to set aside money to install sprinklers in all high-rise residential buildings and produced a sprinkler head to make his point – a sprinkler head that was given to him at the Labour Party conference in September by members of the BSA (Business Sprinkler Alliance).
In a speech in London alongside the Shadow Housing Minister, John Healey, Corbyn advised only 2% of residential tower blocks in the UK had sprinklers and that many councils have claimed they had been denied funding for safety improvements.
Corbyn called on the Government to learn lessons from past disasters referring to the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy and a 2013 report released after the Lakanal House fire in south London which recommended the retrofitting of sprinklers in high-rise buildings. He stated that “Retrofitting of sprinklers in all high-rise social housing is something that could make a vital difference to people’s safety.”
In September, the BSA exhibited at the Labour Party conference in Brighton as part of its drive to raise the awareness of the benefits of sprinklers to provide property protection as well as life safety. During the conference, Jeremy Corbyn visited the BSA stand and spent time talking to the BSA team about their work, how sprinklers work and the need for the wider adoption throughout all building types.
During the conversation, BSA Chairman Iain Cox, presented a sprinkler head to illustrate how they work. The Labour leader asked if he could keep it and said he would be keeping it on his desk. It looks like the memento of his visit to the BSA stand paid off, with the sprinkler head making an appearance today to reinforce the need for sprinklers to be considered as part of a wider review of fire safety measures in buildings.
Part of the speech can be viewed here http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/jeremy-corbyn-wants-government-set-13880469