London

School on fire in London every third day

There was the equivalent of one fire every three school days in London last year, new figures show.

London Fire Brigade released statistics showing there were 113 accidental fires at schools in 2011, along with 36 arson attacks.

The organisation is now calling for all schools to be fitted with sprinkler systems.

Nationally one in eight schools suffered an arson attack last year - costing about £65m.

A third of that sum is accounted for by London.

Chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority's community safety committee, Councillor Susan Hall, said: "The number and regularity of school fires we attend is yet more evidence that local authorities must stop ignoring the huge benefits of sprinklers.

"As well as making sure the children in their care are protected, those responsible for our schools should recognise that sprinklers can dramatically reduce damage by stopping fires from spreading so quickly.

"This would help to protect the significant amount of public money invested in our school buildings."

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