Fire Suppression Systems — Sprinklers are The Only Fire Safety System That Detects a Fire, Suppresses a Fire and Raises The Alarm!
Two separate incidents of Fire were identified by the London Fire Brigade in November, both were suppressed by ‘Sprinklers’ potentially saving lives and extensive damage to property.
A small Fire in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford was suppressed by Sprinklers in the Service area on the second floor. Some stock items were damaged but the Fire was contained due to the Sprinkler activating. Thousands of people were evacuated from the Centre, two people were treated for minor injuries.
Another Fire in the Kitchen of a Students Accommodation Block, on the 7th Floor, in Stratford was detected and then suppressed by a Sprinkler system. Around 200 students were evacuated and there were no reported casualties. A London Fire Brigade Spokesperson said “For a long time we have been calling for residential tower blocks to be retrofitted with Sprinklers. They save lives and protect property and they are especially important when there are vulnerable residents who would find it difficult to escape like those with mobility problems.”
The benefits of installing a suppression system is clear especially in vulnerable buildings such as purpose built tower blocks and schools.
London Fire Brigade are renewing their call for Sprinklers to be installed in all new build and refurbished Schools after a recent Fire at a School in Mill Hill London.
The Fire started in the doorway of a Store Room which was destroyed and spread to a ground floor sports hall, which was partly damaged. The cause of the Fire is believed to be gym equipment left too near an electric heater. This happened during the evening as there were no reported injuries. If this had happened during a School day it could have been a different scenario.
A London Fire Brigade Spokesperson said “Once again we see a serious School Fire where no Sprinklers were installed.” “The Commissioner as recently as last month called on all new and refurbished Schools to stop ignoring the benefits of Sprinklers and take action to install Fire suppression systems. Last year, the Fire Brigade was consulted on 184 London Schools being refurbished or built and our advice to install Sprinklers was taken in only four of these cases.”
London Fire Brigade have been called to over 80 Fires in a year, all London Schools. In most cases Fire suppression systems are not fitted resulting in millions of pounds wasted repairing Fire damage. To read more click here.
London Fire Risk Assessments advice to customers: Consideration should be given to installing a Fire suppression system at the design stage of a new build or major refurbishment. If incorporated from the design stage Sprinklers are around 1%of the total build. Architects and Designers should carry out a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA). CBA is a logical culmination of Fire Safety Engineering which enables decisions on optimising the balance between safety and cost to be made. Once a Fire suppression system is installed it must be inspected, tested and maintained as per recommendations and requirements.
London Fire Risk Assessments are a Fire Safety Consultancy and are members of the Institution of Fire Engineers, their core business is Fire Risk Assessments for all types of Buildings in and around London. If you have any Fire Safety concerns than please ring LFRA on 01689 890879 their friendly team is waiting to help you alternatively click here.