A FIRE chief has called for sprinklers to be installed in all of Dorset's high-rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

Only tower blocks 30 metres tall or more and built after 2007 currently need to be fitted with sprinkler systems under law.

However, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Ben Ansell said that's not good enough and more still needs to be done.

Speaking at the Emergency Services Family Fun Day held in Bournemouth on Saturday, Mr Ansell said: "There's a really important safety message here.

"As part of this event, we've been offering people our 'safe and well' checks, particularly those who are at risk, not just from fire but from other dangers within their homes.

"We've also been having sprinkler demonstrations. Sprinklers are particularly important for people living in high-rise buildings.

"At the moment, sprinklers are only required at high-rise residential buildings 30 metres tall or higher and built after 2007.

"In Scotland, it's 18 metres or higher.

"We'd ask, why the difference? The 30 metre requirement does not apply to older buildings, meaning owners of blocks built before 2007 don't have to fit a sprinkler system."

As reported in the Daily Echo, the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has been working with building owners to inspect and check almost 250 high rise residential tower blocks across its area since the tragedy at Grenfell.

Fire crews are visiting 202 blocks of five to eight storeys, most of which fall within the local authority areas of Bournemouth and Poole. In addition, fire safety officers are focusing on a further 40 blocks of nine storeys and above.

Mr Ansell said: "Some local authorities have been retrofitting sprinklers to some blocks, and we're absolutely encouraging that.

"However, we'd want to reassure those living in high-rises that we're working closely with building managers and local authorities to make sure all blocks are safe.

"We're also following national guidance on cladding."

In June, Su Spence, chief executive of the Poole Housing Partnership (PHP), said sprinklers could be installed in the company's high-rise blocks if ordered by councillors.

None of the PHP's six blocks in the town has a sprinkler system and there is only one staircase in each of the buildings.

Residents were told cladding added to Sterte Court Bay View and Sterte Court Sea View during a £7 million refurbishment in 2014 is not the same kind as used at London's Grenfell Tower and has been fire tested.

However, a sample of the cladding has been sent off for independent testing, and bosses at the PHP plan to conduct their own mock fire safety test.