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Archer Academy and Greig City Academy: Fire brigade says schools among those to have fires this year but without sprinklers fitted

PUBLISHED: 15:38 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:03 21 August 2019

Archer Academy in East Finchley. Picture: Google

Archer Academy in East Finchley. Picture: Google

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Schools in East Finchley and Hornsey have been among those highlighted by the fire brigade for not having sprinklers fitted when it attended fires on the premises.

Greig City Academy in Hornsey. Picture: GoogleGreig City Academy in Hornsey. Picture: Google

Archer Academy in East Finchley and Greig City Academy in Hornsey were among those named and shamed by London Fire Brigade (LFB) as it continued its campaign to make sprinklers mandatory in schools.

The fire brigade said it had attended 57 fires at schools, nurseries or colleges this year - and every single one took place somewhere without sprinklers fitted. In Camden, the Crowndale Road Working Men's College was also listed.

Harriet Connides, parent to a child at Archer, told this newspaper: "It's very concerning and hard to believe! It's difficult to blame the school though, schools are struggling for money - the government need to fund them better."

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The fire brigade's deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety Charlie Pugsley said: "Sprinklers are the only fire safety system that detects a fire, suppresses a fire and can raise the alarm. Sprinklers save lives and protect property.

He said "millions of pounds a year" was wasted repairing fire damage that sprinklers could have prevented in London's schools.

The LFB has long campaigned for all schools to be fitted with automatic sprinkler systems - either during rebuilding or refurbishment. They have also advised that sprinklers are particularly important during the summer holidays when buildings are empty and fires can smoulder undetected.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said the safety of pupils and staff at schools was "paramount" and that schools are "fundamentally safe places".

They added that up-to-date fire risk assessments were mandatory, and the DfE was consulting stakeholders on updates to building rules.

Due to the summer holidays, none of the schools mentioned have responded to this newspaper's requests for comment.

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