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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Sprinkler system minimises damage in flat fire

17/03/2017

Fire Engineer Stuart Ruckledge
Fire Engineer Stuart Ruckledge

Firefighters have praised a housing association and Stoke-on-Trent City Council for installing a potentially life-saving sprinkler system which helped to supress a blaze at a block of flats in Stoke-on-Trent.

“This incident had the potential to be quite a severe fire which could have led to serious injury. As with any incident such as this, it was extremely distressing for the occupant but thankfully they were unharmed."

Fire Engineer Stuart Ruckledge

The Service said that the safety equipment activated immediately when it detected heat from the fire, quickly alerting staff to the fire and putting the flames out.

Vitally, such systems can save lives when emergencies occur but they also have the added benefit of ensuring minimal damage is caused to belongings and buildings.

Fire Engineer Stuart Ruckledge said: “This incident had the potential to be quite a severe fire which could have led to serious injury.  As with any incident such as this, it was extremely distressing for the occupant but thankfully they were unharmed.

“However, the consequences could have been far more serious if the smoke alarm and sprinkler system had not been in place. This fire just goes to show how important sprinkler systems are in helping to minimise the damage that blazes can cause and how housing associations, in particular, can benefit immensely from investing in one.

“Importantly, these systems also increase the safety of our firefighters. Once activated, they can prevent a fire from becoming out of control and posing a significant danger to firefighters.”

At around 5:53am crews were called to the incident in Oak Priory, Holdcroft Road, on Thursday 16 March. Three appliances attended from Hanley and Longton.

A fire investigation established the blaze was started accidentally. The smoke detection system provided an early warning to staff, who were able to help the occupant from the flat to safety and contact the Service for assistance. Due to the sprinkler system, quick actions of staff and the Service’s rapid response no other residents were put at risk during this incident.

The flats are owned by Your Housing Group who worked with Stoke-on-Trent City Council during the building stages to install a state of the art fire sprinkler system, once activated this supressed the heat and smoke levels. Additionally the sprinkler used up to 1,000 less water than a fire fighting hose would have.