Fire Sprinklers are a lifesaving piece of equipment

Fires can spread out of control in a matter of minutes, to the point of which you would have no control. Through having fire sprinklers installed in your property, you are giving yourself or your residents that extra time to escape, whilst giving the fire rescue teams that extra time to respond. They are a piece of fire protection which in our minds, is a no brainer as to its effectiveness. 

If you live in a high-rise tower block, regulations in England made it a legal requirement for all buildings constructed since 2007 and which are taller than 30m, are required to have sprinkler systems fitted in the property. However, if you are a landlord or a resident and feel as if your residence needs a fire sprinkler system fitted, then that is down to you. We would suggest that you do get sprinklers fitted, if not for peace of mind, you may be able to reduce insurance premiums and other costs through having the fire protection system.

Benefits of having fire sprinkler systems installed in your property

There are so many positives of having a fire sprinkler system installed. We are sure that you have read the news and the one question everyone is wondering, is 'why did they not get fire sprinklers installed'? There are 40 million sprinklers fitted worldwide each year.

In buildings fully protected by sprinkler systems, 99% of fires were controlled by the sprinklers alone, and 60% of fires were controlled by the spray from no more than 4 sprinklers. In 2015, a spokesman for the Chief Fire Officers Association said that nobody had ever died n a fire in the UK in a property with a "properly installed sprinkler system working the way it's meant to".

So here is a list of benefits for if you are one of those people who are in two minds into whether you should spend the money, or leave it:

  • Reduce death and injury from fire
  • Reduce the risks to firefighters
  • Protect property and heritage
  • Reduce the effects of arson
  • Reduce the environmental impact of fire
  • Reduce fire costs and the disruption to the community and business
  • Permit design freedoms and encourage innovative, inclusive and sustainable architecture

Other points to consider when considering fire sprinklers

If the benefits didn't sway you in the right direction, and you are still undecided, here are some points to consider:

  • The potential trauma and disruption to individuals and communities following a fire would be reduced
  • Sprinklers have the potential to reduce significantly the cost of rehousing tenants and any necessary major refurbishment work following a fire
  • The true installation and whole life costs can permit a cost-benefit analysis of sprinkler installations in relation to potential repair and re-housing costs following a fire
  • Retrofitting sprinklers as part of a major refurbishment project would incur only a small proportion of the overall costs
  • The full life costs of a sprinkler system should be compared with other upgrading fire protection measures so that the benefits of each can be carefully weighed up
  • The retrofit design and installation can be adapted for high-rise blocks with different layouts
  • There have been no multiple fire deaths in the UK because of a fire in a dwelling with a working sprinkler system
  • US experience shows than 98% of all fires in sprinklered dwellings are extinguished with only one sprinkler head operating
  • The same data suggests there is a 57% reduction in the likelihood of death for those in the room of origin
  • Only the sprinkler heads in the immediate vicinity of the fire operate.  It is a common myth that all heads operate – this is not the case
  • Sprinkler heads can be completely concealed and will only operate with heat
  • A properly installed sprinkler system should be less likely to leak than any other water supply service within a building as the components of the system will have been subjected to a rigorous quality assurance regime and are listed by a third-party certification body
  • Sprinkler systems do not need pumps or tanks if mains pressure and flow rate is adequate
  • Sprinklers do not 'false alarm' - they will only operate if there is an actual fire
  • A water flow alarm can be installed in the system which can be connected to the fire alarm system.
  • Maintenance costs for sprinklers are very low
  • Sprinklers save lives - and property - and are the only devices which can detect a fire, sound the alarm, call the fire and rescue service and extinguish or control the fire
  • Since the UK started to take the idea of sprinklered homes seriously in the late 1990's, it has been estimated that 35 lives have already been saved by the systems.
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The Callow Mount Retrofit Project 

The first high-rise retrofit project here in the UK in 2011. Callow Mount is a 1960’s 13-floor block of flats in Sheffield which provides sheltered housing.

This was a project that was part-funded by the British Automatic Sprinkler Association (BASFA) and sponsored by the Sprinkler Coordination Group (SCG), who was appointed to carry out the work.

The project was rolled out on time (the entire retrofit completed in just four weeks – 30 August to 28 September) and within budget, vindicating the opinion of sponsor (SCG) and funder/director (BAFSA) that projections from third parties, tabled to Government bodies, had unhelpfully overestimated the costs of retrofitting.  Indeed, the final ‘bill’ for the Callow Mount retrofit was greeted with some surprise.

Installation details:

1 - The water supply was taken from existing service main supplemented by twin booster pumps;

2 - CPVC pipework was surface mounted or boxed in;

3 - No re-housing of residents required during installation;

4 - Side wall heads were installed in the flats, and pendants in service areas, lobbies, and bin stores.

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Water Mist

Water mist is becoming more popular especially in smaller compartments with limited ventilation.  There can be a cost advantage over water spray in standalone systems if there is no need for a fire main, pumps and tanks, however, mist is less effective on slow, smoldering fires.  High-pressure mist demands high-quality water and stainless-steel pipework

Unlike sprinkler systems, water mist systems are “project specific” and each hazard or occupancy requires its own very specific design. It is therefore not possible to design a mist system simply by reference to one of the various standards available – unlike sprinkler systems where reference to BS EN 12845 or BS 9251 enables a full design to be produced and a fully compliant system to be installed.

Suggested checklist for those considering Water Mist Systems

There are a lot of things that you should make sure you know before you make a final decision on a water mist system:

  • Tested and approved by a third-party approval body such as LPCB, VdS, UL or FM for the specific application intended? Has all testing been carried out by a capable laboratory such as BRE, FM, UL, SINTEF, VdS, SP, VTT or CNPP? 
  • Are products and components specific to the system approved for such use by a qualified third-party approval body? 
  • Can all claims made by the system supplier be verified? 
  • Is there a formal agreement between manufacturer and installer? 
  • Has the installer received training from the manufacturer? 
  • Does the testing and approval data correspond to the intended use of the system, including hazard classification? 
  • Does the geometry of the space to be protected, including ceiling height, correspond to the testing and approval data? 
  • Where insurers are the AHJ, ensure compliance with the insurer’s requirements/questionnaire/checklist.

 

We're fully accredited and certified

Here at Ventro, our team is fully accredited to carry out passive fire auditing, installations, and maintenance. We always take great pride in making sure our team is fully capable of carrying out their job to a professional, high-quality level that is recognised by leading certified bodies within the fire safety industry.

We are accredited under the BM Trada Q-Mark Fire Door Installer and Fire Stopping schemes. We are certified under the Fire Door Inspection Scheme, the Fire Industry Association, as well as the Safecontractor scheme. Our team is also fully trained under the CHAS (Contractors Health And Safety) Scheme and the Constructionline certification.

To read more about our accreditations, please follow the link below:

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Why not send us a message?

If you would like to know more information about our company, or how we can help you, please send us a message by filling in the form on the right, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Why not speak to one of our passive fire specialists today?

Tel: 0845 38 10 999
Email: info@ventrogroup.com

We look forward to hearing from you.


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