Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is supporting a national campaign week calling for the increased use of sprinkler systems in UK buildings.
Sprinkler Week 2018 (March 12-16) has been launched by the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC) to demonstrate the benefits of sprinklers and call for a legislative change around their use.
Sprinkler systems automatically apply water to a developing fire, and can control or even put them out before the fire service can arrive.
NFRS Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “Sprinklers save lives and reduce injuries. They also protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to property and the environment from a fire.
“The after effects of a fire can be devastating, and as a service, our aim is to prevent them before they can start. We wholeheartedly support the NFCC’s sprinkler campaign and hope to see the increased use of sprinkler systems in both existing and new housing and business properties in the near future.”
Campaigning for a safer future
The NFCC supports the idea of the risk-assessed retro-fitting of sprinklers in existing buildings, and would also like to see a review of building regulations to ensure fire safety requirements keep up with new building developments.
It particularly wants to see an increase in the use of sprinklers in housing for vulnerable people, care facilities, high rise accommodation, large warehouses, factories, car parks and waste and recycling facilities.
As part of Sprinkler Week, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service will be conducting a live demonstration to give a side-by-side demonstration of a fire developing in a room without sprinklers and in one where they are fitted.
Protection in action
An incident attended by NFRS at a hotel last December illustrated the benefits of sprinkler systems.
Triggered by a fire started by an electrical fault in an empty room, the sprinklers extinguished the flames before firefighters arrived at the scene. No-one was injured and the damage was restricted to the room of origin. Within 30 minutes of fire crews arriving, evacuated hotel guests were able to return to the premises.
CFO Dovey said: “This incident was a perfect example of how effective sprinkler systems can be. The hotel followed all the correct evacuation procedures, and thanks to the presence of the sprinklers the fire was put out before it could cause more than minimal damage, allowing people to safely return to the buildings as soon as our crews had confirmed the fire was out.”