Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Suffolk: Blockbusters like Die Hard to blame for fire sprinkler myths, says Suffolk MP

19:42 06 February 2014

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Blockbuster movies such as Die Hard are to blame for the myths around fire sprinklers, according to a Suffolk MP.

shares

Waveney MP Peter Aldous made the claim as he called for the devices to be fitted more widely in the wake of a major fire in Lowestoft.

Mr Aldous said jobs and a business in the town could have been saved if sprinklers had been fitted in the Wessex Foods meat processing factory, which was destroyed in 2010.

He said the Government owed it to fire authorities, whose budgets are coming under increasing pressure, to reduce the risks, with fire chiefs strongly advocating the more widespread use of sprinklers.

He said: “The impact on the local community was far-reaching.

“A factory that had been in operation for 30 years was closed permanently with the loss of 150 jobs and there was a significant knock-on impact to the local economy.

“Other consequences included local road disruptions, evacuation of some nearby residents, environmental impacts, pest control and odour problems from rotting meat and the impact of using 50million litres of water to tackle the fire.”

Mr Aldous said that if sprinklers had been fitted the outcome would have been “completely different” and fire crews would have been back at the station within an hour.

He said that the myths surrounding the systems, including that sprinklers always go off accidentally and operate whenever a smoke detector goes off, were all untrue.

He added: “Perhaps the myths that have grown up about fire sprinklers can be attributed to Hollywood; sprinklers all going off at once and dramatic fires make good box office.

Die Hard is the movie which gives the worst false impressions. It grossed $140million, whilst Backdraft grossed over $15m.

“Yes, the characters played by Kurt Russell and William Baldwin were real heroes, but we need to be putting in place a system that prevents them from having to go in to such dangerous buildings.”

He urged other local authorities to follow the lead of Suffolk County Council in making new sprinklers in care homes part of a deal when they transferred them to a private sector operator.

He called for the Government to promote both an increased acceptance of and a wider use of sprinklers, and said that fire sprinklers should be removed from being classified as “Plant and Machinery” fixtures for rating purposes.

He also called for a review into the size of building when sprinklers were required.

shares

2 comments

  • Yippee-ki-yay!

    Report this comment

    RC

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

  • I would say that companies who chose not to fit sprinkler systems do so because of the cost of the systems. I cannot imagine in boardrooms across the county they make a decision based on John Mclain destroying the Nakatomi towers. Die Hard is a great film but maybe SCC should be watching Clueless instead.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Friday, February 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

 Felistowe beach

Winds of up to 70mph have been felt across East Anglia.

Felixstowe Road, levington closed after roofing blows off building.

The road is closed in both directions between the Strattonhall Drift and the Bridge Road junctions.

Isaac's new extension

A churchgoing burglar in a suit who stole drills and a laptop from an Ipswich waterfront pub has been jailed for eight weeks.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A drunken shoplifter who stole vintage port, lager and a coat from Ipswich town centre stores has been given a conditional discharge.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail passengers face delays in north-east Essex after plastic sheeting became caught up in overhead electric wires.

Launch of the great East Swim 2016.

One of Britain’s top open water swimmers has said the amazing challenge of the sport should inspire people to take part in one of the region’s largest mass-participation swimming events.

Sycamore Close, Ipswich

A man who brandished an axe when baliffs came to his Ipswich home to collect a court debt has been jailed.

Former Brett Works

A national developer is proposing to build a care home on the Brett Works site in Hadleigh.

Marks and Spencer in Westgate Street, Ipswich

A purse was stolen from an elderly woman in Marks and Spencer in Ipswich town centre, police have said.

Two men have been charged after an axe was allegedly brandished when court bailiffs went to a house on the outskirts of Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24