This week (18 – 24 May) is
national sprinkler awareness week. Recently we had an incident where the
sprinkler system saved both life and property at Winchester Court, Sherwood.
Crews from Stockhill and Arnold
fire stations attended Winchester Court, Chestnut Walk, Sherwood following
reports of a flat fire on the ninth floor.
Upon arrival one resident had
self-rescued thanks to the early warning and activation of the buildings sprinkler
and alarm system.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue
Service (NFRS) have worked collaboratively with Nottingham City Homes (NCH) by
providing advice and guidance on the retro fitting of the sprinkler systems
since the Grenfell Tower fire in June, 2017. Following this tragic incident,
sprinklers have now been retro fitted in all areas of Winchester Court and are
being fitted in all Nottingham City Homes’ high-rise blocks to ensure the
safety of their residents from fire.
The sprinklers at Winchester
Court activated, extinguishing the fire which is believed to have been caused
by a portable heater being positioned too close to furnishings. Swift action
was taken by the crews to provide emergency first aid to the resident and to
access the stop valve and isolate the supply of water to further reduce damage
within the property. Due to the early extinguishing of the fire there was
minimum damage to the property which was limited to the room where the fire
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue
Service have also been looking closely at data which shows that suppression
systems minimise the size of a fire before it spreads, premises with them
present had 99.5% less damage compared to those without a system installed.
Where sprinklers were installed
we found the damage to the premises never exceeded 50 sq/m; whereas premises
without sprinklers, in some cases, exceeded 10,000 sq/m.
Business Education Advocate,
Iona Loffman said: “Once again, this incident provides evidence to prove that
“sprinklers save lives”. Due to the hard work by Nottingham City Homes and
Nottingham City Council in retro fitting sprinkler systems within all of their
high-rise blocks, another life has been saved and another fire extinguished,
reducing building damage and cost to Nottingham City Homes and the public
purse. NFRS continue to support the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC)
position on sprinklers which save lives, reduce injury and protect
firefighters, whilst limiting damage to property and the environment caused by
“This is also an important
reminder to be extremely careful when using portable heaters, particularly
during the winter months. Remember to ventilate the room when the heater is
being used, do not air or dry clothes over a heater and try not to place a
heater too close to furniture, bedding or curtains.
“In the last 5 years, the
Service have had no casualties or fatalities where suppression systems were
present, which suggests having a system installed can not only save lives but
can reduce the size of the fire to assist escape.”
Nottingham City Homes’ Interim
Head of Health and Safety, Andrew Bruynseels, said, “This incident proves once
again that sprinklers save lives, and our residents can rest assured that their
safety is our number one priority as we near completion of our sprinkler
install programme at all the high rises we manage across the city.”
At NFRS, we have recently
updated our position statement on installation of suppression systems in
accordance with NFCC guidance. For further information on sprinklers and why
they save lives, please see the statement here: https://www.notts-fire.gov.uk/business-safety/sprinkler-statement