Sprinkler case studies

On this page you can find examples of how sprinklers have saved buildings and stock

Sprinkler system saves building and stock

A few years ago, a sprinkler system helped prevent a major Cheshire medical distribution company from going up in smoke after a fire at the premises.

A total of 12 fire engines and an aerial platform were sent to the incident at Reliance Medical Limited on Radnor Park Industrial Estate, Back Lane, Congleton at the height of the fire, which took place in the early hours of a February morning.

The Service’s Head of Protection at the time explained: “This building contained a huge amount of stock, with the company employing some 50 people.  Thankfully, a sprinkler system contained the fire to one area which, although some stock was damaged, meant the majority of stock and the building were saved and will be back in operation within just a couple of days.

“Companies very rarely recover from a fire such as this, but the sprinkler system did its job and minimised the impact on the rest of the building, containing the flames to one area."

When they arrived crews found a fire in a single storey building. Hose reel and main water jets were set up to tackle the fire. Water was also sprayed on the buildings next to the one on fire, to stop it from spreading.

This incident started at around 3am and by 7.30am crews had successfully dealt with the fire and prevented it from spreading to other buildings. However, without the sprinklers activating initially, this story would have almost certainly been much worse for both the future of this business and its premises.

Business Safety Manager Tracey Carter is now running a 12-month campaign to promote sprinklers so is using this incident as a case for all business owners to consider fitting sprinklers in their own premises. She said: “This is a perfect example of how sprinklers work to suppress the flames and although there was damage, the rest of the building escaped this fire. We would urge all business across the county to use this incident as a reason to fit sprinklers in order to protect their business, their staff, customers and our firefighters.”

Following the fire the Reliance Medical Managing Director at the time said: “Whilst work has been paused for a couple of days to allow for us to take stock, without the sprinkler system we’d be talking two years, if not longer. As it is, we will be back to business as usual by Saturday.

“I would encourage any business which doesn’t have sprinklers to think very carefully about what they would do in a situation like this, and how their business would survive a fire. We certainly know and appreciate the value of sprinklers here at Reliance Medical."


Here is Reliance Medical Limited managing director Andy Pear talking about the fire and how the sprinkler system and firefighter actions averted a major disaster for his company.


Map of fires and sprinkler saves (opens in new window) 

Last updated: Wednesday 31 March 2021