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The coroner’s report of the inquest into the deaths of two residents of a care home fire calls on the relevant government Minister, Michael Gove, to respond to a concern that care homes are not required to be fitted with sprinklers and that this could lead to further deaths. All the expert witnesses who gave evidence to the coroner expressed concern that sprinklers were not required and the fire investigator gave evidence that had a sprinkler system been in place, the deceased would very likely have survived. The Minister must respond by 7 April with ‘details of action to be taken or proposed to be taken, setting out the timetable for action. Otherwise you must explain why no action is proposed.’

Sprinklers are required in new care homes in Scotland and Wales but not in England, where they are an option to self-closing fire doors for each bedroom.