Aerial photo of Ben Ainslie Racing team base in Portsmouth by Shaun Roster.

Aerial photo of Ben Ainslie Racing team base in Portsmouth by Shaun Roster.

Ben Ainslie’s challenge for the America’s Cup has been given a helping hand from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Olympic legend’s team base, currently being built in Old Portsmouth, is one of a number of local businesses the Service has recently been consulting with over the installation of sprinklers.

The Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team base, which opens in May, will be fitted with sprinklers to help protect the America’s Cup challenger’s operation in the event of a fire.

The announcement comes as Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service backs a campaign highlighting the importance of sprinklers in protecting businesses. Fire Sprinkler Week 2015 (16-22 March) aims to show how sprinklers can dramatically reduce the impact of a fire. Research has found up to eight out of 10 businesses fail to recover after a serious fire.

Steve Foye, head of community safety at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We fully support this campaign and would urge business and property owners, particularly those in charge of high-risk premises, to install these life saving systems.

“Many businesses struggle to recover from the impact of a serious fire. For a building such as the one being built by Ben Ainslie’s team, the impact of a fire could be the difference between them winning the America’s Cup or not.

“As a service, we continually champion the installation of sprinkler systems and are proud to stand up with other fire services to raise awareness of their life saving benefits during Fire Sprinkler Week.”

The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), which is co-ordinating Fire Sprinkler Week, is campaigning for a legal requirement to fit sprinklers in higher risk premises, such as care homes, schools and other buildings.

For more information on Fire Sprinkler Week, go to cfoa.org.uk/FireSprinklerWeek2015.

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