Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 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.


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.



  • Yippee-ki-yay!

    Report this comment


    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


    Friday, February 7, 2014

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

Call for tightening of UK border controls

Suffolk’s “horrified” Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has demanded EU border control reforms after a convicted paedophile banned from the UK was jailed again for returning to work with teenagers.

Highpoint Prison in Stradishall, Suffolk.

A BB gun and ammunition were found by an inmate at a prison in Suffolk.

Newborn baby

Expectant fathers can now be on hand to comfort their partners during early labour in a move to reduce stress and anxiety for mums-to-be.

Stock image.

A motorist is in a critical condition in hospital after a three-vehicle collision in Suffolk yesterday.

Enjoying the sun at Needham Lake

A consultation on new regulations to improve dog control at Needham Lake has been launched.

The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

A Suffolk police officer whose enquiries led to the discovery of more than 400 firearms - one of the biggest weapon finds the UK has ever seen - is set to be recognised.

Bury Magistrates' Court

Shutting Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court will have a “shocking” impact on access to justice in west Suffolk, leaving public transport journeys 245% more expensive on average.

The dog walking group.

The woman in the playing field looks respectable enough. “Expensive-looking hair”, I think; “pricey jacket”. Her dog is big and rangy. He gambols around her feet, before bounding several feet away and squatting, writes Matt Gaw.

Bridge Farm Day Nursery in Martlesham is celebrating an ‘outstanding’ grade in its most recent Ofsted inspection

A day nursery is celebrating being given an outstanding grade by Ofsted at its most recent inspection.

Pupils and staff at Thomas Wolsey School on the site of the teepee that was vandalised.

The headteacher of a special school in Ipswich left devastated after a much-loved teepee was destroyed in a fire has thanked the community for its fundraising help.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages