A partnership project to fit sprinklers at supported accommodation in Dorchester aims to save the lives of young people.

The partnership between Dorset Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) and Magna Housing Association means that the current and future tenants of the accommodation will benefit, with both companies contributing to the cost of the project.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service’s Business and Partnership Engagement Officer Emma Turner, said: “In May 2012, a serious fire occurred at the premises. The occupant of the fire-affected room was lucky to escape and was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. Emergency procedures were followed and all other occupants were able to leave the building safely.

“Whilst no one was injured, the fire damage was severe, resulting in the occupants’ belongings being destroyed. Should anything like this happen again, the new sprinkler system will activate in the affected room and will put the fire out.”

The case for installing sprinklers is very good, with no one in the UK dying in a building that is covered by a sprinkler system. It is expected that the systems put in place could save the lives of up to seven people per year.

Magna Housing’s director David Aldwinckle said: "We take fire safety in our properties very seriously and were pleased to work with the fire service on this project. “We look at the type of property and who is living there and identify what measures are most appropriate for keeping them safe.

“Hopefully the sprinklers will never be used, but it is good to know that they are there in case of a fire.”

The Domestic Sprinkler Project was commissioned last year by DFRS’s Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter to explore new ways in which the service could use sprinklers in its prevention activities, helping to meet the ever evolving needs of Dorset’s communities.

Ms Turner added: “We are committed to delivering this initiative to protect our communities and are currently working with other housing providers who are interested in this approach.”

If any other housing providers, organisations or agencies are interested in taking part in this initiative contact Emma Turner on 01305 252785.