Household sprinkler scheme to cut blaze deaths

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HOUSEHOLDS are being offered domestic sprinklers in a £200,000 scheme to help reduce the risk of fatal fires.

The project is taking place across Derbyshire and will involve the county’s fire service identifying and targeting the ‘most vulnerable’ properties first, such as sheltered housing schemes.

In total £200,000 is available for the scheme, which includes contributions from district councils. Bolsover Council has allocated £20,000 towards the project.

Derbyshire has seen 27 fatalities from domestic fires since 2010.

Serious incidents include a house fire on Mary Street, Whaley Thorns, in Bolsover district, where 65-year-old Norma Sweeney, was killed last December.

Her husband Bob, daughter and a friend, who had all been asleep in the house, managed to escape by jumping out of an upstairs windows, and one of them via the front door.

Bolsover Council officials have already been working with the fire service, targeting known problem hotspots with educational and promotional literature.

There have been 7,840 home fire safety checks and 11,477 standard smoke detectors fitted in 2011.

Bolsover Council’s cabinet member for community safety, Coun Brian Murray-Carr, said: “This is a brilliant idea and we fully support it. This is an emotive subject as fire can have a devastating effect on families and local communities. So the decision took no thinking about at all.

“We have had our fair share of domestic fires in the district. If this funding saves just one life, it will be well worth it.”