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Sprinkler systems cut to save funds

The Department of Social Care says it won’t be putting sprinkler systems in public sector housing because it doesn’t have the money.

Douglas Council had appealed for the department to include the systems in all new social housing it builds on the Island and said it was disappointed at a lack of support.

But in a statement, the department says the systems cost up to £6,000 to install – money the government simply doesn’t have.

A demonstration of sprinklers by the fire brigade earlier this year showed just how effective they can be at tackling household blazes.

In its statement, the Department of Social Care says government building regulations don’t require sprinkler systems.

But Minister Martyn Quayle says should those rules change, his department would be happy to revise its building programme and costings.

But that won’t happen until at least 2012 after the Department of Infrastructure reviews the regulations next year.

Mr Quayle says the department takes fire safety very seriously but must stick to its budget and the Department of Infrastructure rules.

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