Fire chiefs welcome change in legislation

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FIRE chiefs have welcomed new life-saving legislation that will help prevent firefighters becoming caught among cables in fires.

All new wiring systems must now be metal, rather than plastic, when supporting cables in escape routes.

Melted plastic trunking and fallen cables were found to be a contributory factor in the deaths of two firefighters at Shirley Towers in Southampton in 2010.

Hampshire, alongside other fire and rescue services, have since lobbied for the change in UK wiring regulations, which came into force at the turn of the year.

Chief officer Dave Curry said: ‘Following the death of our two colleagues, Alan Bannon and Jim Shears, the coroner found that fallen cables hampered their attempts to escape and proved a key factor in the tragedy.

‘He recommended a change to the legislation and we have lobbied hard over the last two years to bring this about.

‘This small but vital regulatory change will help protect both the public and firefighters.’