Cheshire firefighters support national sprinkler week
It’s National Sprinkler Week from 12 March, a National Fire Chiefs Council campaign that is being supported by Cheshire firefighters.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) will be encouraging landlords, housing associations, business owners and schools to consider retro-fitting sprinklers in buildings where people are most at risk from fire.
Staff from the Service will be engaging with local businesses, social housing landlords and schools in the area, raising the profile of sprinklers and dispelling some of the myths that surround these types of fire suppression systems.
Station Manager Ian Kay, who is a Protection officer with the Service, explained: “Sprinklers are the equivalent to having a firefighter ready and waiting in every room of your home and business.
“Sprinklers suppress fire before it has a chance to take hold and spread which in turn limits the damage it causes to buildings and property. They protect against the real cost of fires on people, property, business sustainability, communities and the economy.”
Fitting automatic fire sprinkler systems can provide business continuity peace of mind for all businesses large and small, including educational institutions, manufacturers and suppliers. Sprinklers contain fires to the immediate area of ignition which means that, although there will be damage in that area, the rest of the building should be unaffected meaning that companies can be up and running again very quickly.
Sprinkler systems are an ideal choice for property management companies and local authority housing associations, not only to help protect their assets from fire but also to keep tenants and their families safe.
Ian concluded: “We would urge all businesses, landlords and schools across the county to fit sprinklers in order to protect their business, their staff, students, customers and our firefighters.”
Sprinkler myths dispelled
When there is a fire all the sprinkler heads go off at once.
Wrong. Each head is independent and only the head(s) adjacent to the fire go off as the heads are activated by heat and not smoke
Sprinklers can go off accidentally.
Wrong. Records show that the chance of an accidental discharge from a sprinkler is in the region of 16 million to one. They will only go off if there is a fire which increases the heat beyond the defined sprinkler trigger point (typically 135 to 165°F (57.2 to 73.9°C).
Water damage is as bad as the fire damage.
Wrong. A typical sprinkler discharges 55 litres per minute. A firefighting hose discharges over 600 litres per minute. You can expect a sprinkler to discharge less than 5% of the water used by the fire service.
Sprinklers are hugely expensive.
Wrong. Actually, the costs of installing sprinklers are roughly equivalent to carpeting the same building in new buildings. However, damage from fires can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds - sometimes running into millions of pounds. Losses from fires in buildings protected with sprinklers, in comparison, are estimated to be one-tenth of those in unprotected buildings. Fitting sprinklers can save money in some areas - insurers will often offer premium discounts to premises with sprinkler systems, and policy excesses may be lower.