We think it’s both useful and interesting to consolidate and report a selection of recent fire sprinkler ‘saves’ and other related news – the more of these that there are, the better for everyone… whether it be building occupants, property owners, insurers, fire service personnel or the industry itself. Here are some to digest:
- On 6th January 2019, fire crews attended Tamar House in Plymouth after a fire broke out on the 11th floor. Six appliance attended and evacuated the building but the fire had been extinguished by the sprinkler system which luckily had very recently been installed and activated. The building had actually been identified as having similar material to that of Grenfell and was in the process of having it removed. Thanks to Plymouth Community Homes taking a pro-activate approach the damage was minimal and there were no casualties.
- Sprinklers vs. no sprinklers: In November 2018, a chip pan fire that spread throughout a Morrisons supermarket in Folkestone caused the roof to collapse and destroyed most of the store. Four weeks later, an oven fire in the ground floor bakery of a Sainsbury’s in Cheshire was extinguished by an automatic sprinkler in under three minutes.
- The follow-up report from the balcony fire at West Hampstead on 3rd July 2018, prepared by the London Fire Brigade, is well worth a review. The fire started on the 3rd floor of a 7-storey building, and spread quickly to other balconies…in total, an ‘unprecedented’ 12 sprinkler heads were activated in five apartments. “Without [fire sprinklers] the outcome of this incident may well have been more serious [and] seriously compromised the safety of residents and firefighters.
- One from overseas… the story could have been very different at Melbourne’s Neo200 complex without fire sprinklers. A discarded cigarette on a 22nd floor balcony caused a fire which quickly ripped its way outside up to the 27th floor… the cladding on this building is almost identical to that on Grenfell. Several fire sprinklers activated to contain the fire to some apartments and balconies, preventing more widespread damage and the distinct possibility of casualties. Link: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/04/apartment-fire-in-melbournes-spencer-street-prompts-new-fears-over-cladding