Ann's Sprinklers

In the Assembly yesterday Ann Jones AM had the honour of presenting the first private members proposal for a LCO. She chose a non partisan issue that received the support of the whole Assembly:
for the Assembly to acquire the ability to change building order regulations in order to insist that all new house builds in Wales have a sprinkler system fitted as standard.

Before she became an AM Ann Jones worked for the fire service in Rhyl, so she knows better than any other Welsh politician about the devastation that a house fire can cause to property, people and communities. If a person of Ann's experience says that such a measure can reduce that devastation and save lives then her measure has to be supported.

However chatting to some people last night I found a considerable amount of "concern" amongst ordinary householders about the measure.

Most of us who have smoke detector alarms fitted in our homes have had the experience of false alarms. You know the sort of thing - smoke from a neighbour's garden bonfire wafts through your open window on a summer's day and the alarms go off. - A nuisance but not a big deal. - But a false alarm that dumps gallons of water on your furniture and electric goods would prove very expensive (and make the burnt toast too soggy to scrape the black bits off).

Unless Mrs Jones and the fire service can reassure householders that the risk of false alarms from sprinkler systems are fairly negligible, I don’t see her measure gaining the popular support, outside the Assembly, that it will need to succeed. Can such a reassurance be given?


  1. Another piece of the nanny state driving up the cost of living unneccesarily

  2. Yes the nanny state, how depressing. When is the Assembly going to do something about affordable housing for young Welsh couples, when is it going to do something for the Welsh language such as actually use it as a working day to day language within the Assembly civil service - say just a couple of departments using Welsh. No we get this nonsense - oh it will save lives and all the Assembly members trail along like lemmings. Why not give the hospitals a good scrub that would save lives ...dozens of them. What nonsense.

  3. how much will this costs us, will our insurance have to go up incase of accidently sprinkling.
    Will this be free to Communities First areas etc etc.
    I agree with anon -we have more pressing concerns to spend Assembly time and money on surely.

  4. I had the same thought myself a while back when a friend bought her first house.

    It may also give Welsh Water the opportunity to raise water rates, and personally I cannot see the installation, maintenance etc being cheap.

    I agree with Anon and VM that there are more pressing concerns, or was this just an opportunity to get their 'first' rushed through at the Assembly stage?

  5. Won't this measure only apply to new homes?

  6. agree with much that has been said its easier to deal with smaller issues at the edges than it is to tackle some of major issues facing Wales head on because that would actually mean taking some hard decisions and showing leadership, our politicians have a poor track record in this area.

  7. "Won't this measure only apply to new homes?"

    It does - was only thinking how much extra a person would need to purchase a new house, and eventually someone will have to pay the maintenance costs once the 'guarantee' has run out.

  8. But surely sprinklers should save on insurance premiums in the long run. I know they are installed in many new schools