Printer Friendly

UNION FEARS FOR SCHOOLS' SAFETY.

Byline: By BEN TURNER Education Reporter

PUPILS are being put at risk by plans to build Liverpool's pounds 400m new schools without fire sprinkler systems, union officials claimed today.

The Fire Brigades Union said the safety features should have been made compulsory as part of the large Building Schools for the Future programme.

Liverpool council is behind a multi-million pound makeover to transform 32 high schools to be rebuilt or refurbished.

But the council has not budgeted for sprinklers as part of the scheme.

A spokesman said its new buildings would be assessed on a "school by school basis" to determine whether to install the heat activated devices which reduce the extent of damage by dousing the source of a fire.

There are on average 40 school fires a week in the UK, at least one involving a Merseyside school. Figures show pounds 74m of damage was caused from school fires last year.

Merseyside Fire Service is backing a national call for sprinklers at all new schools.

Les Skarratts, secretary for the Merseyside FBU, said: "This is a missed opportunity and one that potentially puts the lives of pupils and teachers at risk. Sprinklers protect the school and the firefighters called out and the cost of installing them is far outweighed by the benefits to the whole community."

NASUWT national executive member John Rimmer said: "It is not mandatory but that could change, and the cost of installing them at a later date would be astronomical."

Liverpool's cabinet member for education Cllr Paul Clein said: "You have to ask whether the cost is justified as you could count on one hand the number of fires in schools when someone is actually in the building.

"However we will also take a look at new government guidelines on this issue."
COPYRIGHT 2007 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 13, 2007
Words:298
Previous Article:Fillies win glances by short hem.
Next Article:Three saved from city night fires.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |