8 Jul 2010

Firefighters union challenges response policy

4:07 pm on 8 July 2010

The union representing firefighters says lives will be lost unless Fire Service changes its policy on responding to buildings with sprinkler systems.

Since the end of April, the Fire Service has been sending only two engines to fires at many buildings fitted with sprinklers.

The Professional Firefighters Union says sprinkler systems don't always control fires, as demonstrated by two cases on Wednesday in which sprinklers failed to operate. It says the policy will lead to a tragedy.

The Fire Service says two appliances were sent to each of the fires on Wednesday, found signs of smoke, and immediately called for more appliances. It says this response shows its policy is working effectively.