Hampshire Chief Officer: sprinklers for high-rise now a must
A statement from Dave Curry, Chief Officer for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service:
"The events of the past week following the fire at Grenfell Tower have left a nation shocked and has led to a loss of life that simply should never happen, in this or any other country. Of course, all of our thoughts and prayers remain with the families who have lost loved ones in this terrible tragedy.
"Fire services train and prepare for incidents of all types and complexity, yet the sheer scale of the incident in west London stretched even the most experienced and battle-hardened firefighters and officers to their limit.
"A week on, there is still a huge amount to be learned about the circumstances and contributing factors to the Grenfell Tower fire. A full investigation is now unfolding, with a public inquiry to follow, through which we will start to understand how this tragedy occurred and how we ensure there can be no repeat.
"While we may be unable to speculate on the specifics of the Grenfell Tower incident, history tells us that sadly lives have been lost in previous high-rise fires. This includes two of our Hampshire firefighters in Shirley Towers in Southampton in 2010.
"Following the inquest into Shirley Towers, the Coroner recommended the retrofitting of sprinklers be considered in all high-rise blocks. This was also the case following the Lakanal House fire in London in 2009, in which six people died.
"Yet disasters such as last week's are still capable of occurring. Since Shirley Towers, we have campaigned for the installation of sprinklers in high-rise buildings and I believe that, as a country, must now commit to the installation of these life-saving devices in all high-rise blocks.
"Time and again, sprinklers have been proven to prevent the spread of fire in buildings and drastically reduce the threat to life.
"In Hampshire, we are working with all high-rise building owners and landlords to ensure all of these structures are inspected and that residents feel safe in their homes.
"Grenfell Tower was a fire on an unprecedented scale, but those living in high-rise blocks will now understandably feel concern around their safety. It is time for decisive action that will not only allow families to feel safe living in buildings such as these, but to prevent anyone having to relive the terrifying events that unfolded in Grenfell Tower last week."