Call for action after devastating fires destroy Derbyshire schools

A Derbyshire fire officer is calling on the government to change safety legislation so that all new build schools are fitted with sprinklers following three devastating fires in the county.
Eight schools have been affected by fires in Derbyshire since April 2019.Eight schools have been affected by fires in Derbyshire since April 2019.
Eight schools have been affected by fires in Derbyshire since April 2019.

Derbyshire’s chief fire officer Gavin Tomlinson, who is also the

National Fire Chief Council lead for sprinklers, is making the plea after two devastating school fires in Derbyshire over a 48-hour period and three overall since May.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The incidents took place at Ravensdale Infant School in Mickleover, St Mary’s School in Darley Abbey and Harrington Junior School in Long Eaton.

A further five schools have been affected by fire in Derbyshire since April 2019.

Mr Tomlinson said: “It is absolutely heart breaking to see the devastation caused by fire at Derbyshire schools.

“The effect that losing a school has on the community is huge. A school is right in the heart of a community, providing our children with the education they need, so to see this taken away at a time when schools are just starting to recover following Covid lockdown restrictions, is both a huge shock and totally unacceptable when there are fire safety measures that can prevent

such devastation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Over the last few years, through the National Fire Chiefs Council, we have been calling for the government to make changes to fire safety legislation that would see sprinklers fitted as mandatory in all new build and refurbished schools.

“Sprinklers are one of a range of fire safety measures that would not only protect our schools from fire and prevent injuries, but they would also protect against costly rebuilds and of course, protect against the stress and anxiety caused to the children who need their education.

“I am not sure what more evidence is needed to bring legislation in line with Scotland and Wales where it is mandatory for sprinklers to be fitted and for the government here in England to take notice and more importantly, to take action – we have a responsibility to build safer schools.”

Fire investigations into the cause of the fires at St Marys’ School and Ravensdale School are ongoing.