FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to sign a petition calling for sprinklers to be compulsory in all new dwellings.
If the petition receives the backing of 100,000 people it could be debated in Parliament and potentially become law in England.
The petition comes after the introduction of a law in Wales, which will make sprinklers compulsory in all new homes.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service says the use of sprinklers will reduce the number of fatalities.
It comes as Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service forced developers to make a U-turn on initial plans not to include sprinklers in Portsmouth’s 330ft ‘Blade’ building in Victoria Park.
The 33-storey building will house 600 students when it is completed in 2013 and firefighters say sprinklers will increase safety.
Adrian Murphy, from West Sussex Fire and Rescue, said: ‘Sprinklers are like the equivalent to having a firefighter ready and waiting in every room of your home.
‘There are a lot of misunderstandings regarding how sprinklers work, but the reality is they only activate when the temperature reaches over 68 degrees centigrade and even then only activate in affected rooms.
‘There are a number of blocks of flats that have had sprinklers fitted and the residents in those areas have reported feeling much safer in their homes. No-one has ever died in a fire when their home was fitted with a sprinkler system.’