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Reduce the impact of a fire at your premises

16 March 2015

Humberside Fire & Rescue Service is joining with fire and rescue services across the UK in supporting Fire Sprinkler Week 2015, taking place from 16-22 March.

This is the second annual sprinkler awareness campaign undertaken by fire and rescue services and is this year focusing on the way that fitting sprinklers can help businesses and education, by reducing the impact of a fire.

As businesses look to remain competitive in a challenging economic climate, it becomes more important than ever for them to ensure that their key resources are protected, allowing them to continue operating after a fire. It has been suggested that many businesses do not recover after a major fire, and this can have an impact not only on the company itself, but on its employees, customers and suppliers.

Hull caravan giant Willerby Holiday Homes knows the benefits that sprinklers can offer, after they experienced a fire in November 2014. Their premises were fitted with an automatic water sprinkler system which activated in the area of the fire. The sprinkler system was able to limit the damage on the main production line, containing the fire and preventing further spread resulting in minimum disruption for the company.

Dominic Purchon, Technical Fire Safety Station Manager at Humberside Fire & Rescue Service said:

“The cost of installing sprinklers can be as little as £1.39–£1.85 per square foot. In contrast, damage from fire can cost tens of thousands, sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Each sprinkler head is set to operate individually, and it will only be triggered to spray water onto a fire when it reaches its predetermined operating temperature.

If a fire does start in your business, only the sprinklers in the immediate area of the fire will open – all the others remain closed.

If you’re worried about water damage, it’s worth knowing that in a fire, firefighters often use 15 times more water from hoses to do the same job as a sprinkler does alone.”

Fire Sprinkler Week 2015 is being coordinated by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). CFOA is campaigning for a legal requirement to fit sprinklers in higher risk premises, such as care homes, schools and other buildings. Laws in England are lagging behind those currently in force in Scotland and Wales, which require sprinklers to be installed in a range of higher-risk buildings.