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Sprinkler case studies

Staffordshire

Amazon Services Ltd - November 2017

On Saturday November 9, 2017 at 12.15pm, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at Amazon Services Ltd, Leahall Way, Grazeley Park, Rugeley, WS15 1UX. This is a storage facility of 63,000sqm and is 16m in height. The fire was located in the picking tower, an area of the warehouse which has 10m high steel racking. Between the racking, walkways have been installed to form four floors including ground to allow pickers access to each level. There is a small gap between the walkway and the racking system.

The building has 75 VESDA detectors and an automatic fire sprinkler system directly above each walkway and in the roof which is approximately 6m above the top of the racking. The fire was located in the racking at level P3 and had spread upwards to the top level P4.

Four appliances attended and BA crews found heavy smoke logging throughout the pick tower and four sprinkler heads activating, one on the P3 and threat roof level. These were all directly above each other and contained the fire preventing horizontal spread. Due to size of the building and smoke logging four appliances attended to assist with emptying the affected shelving and damping down. A total of six BA wearers were deployed during the incident using three portable fire extinguishers to extinguish the fire.

The sprinklers prevented the fire spreading and kept the damage to approximately two per cent of the total stock costs and allowed 100 per cent of the business to resume after 42 hours. Sales were transferred to other UK distribution centres during that time which has saved Christmas for millions of customers.

Finning CAT - September 2017

At approximately 9.20am on Thursday September 18 2017 two appliances from Cannock Community Fire Station and one Officer were mobilised to a fire at Finning CAT in Cannock.

The fire was in a detached single storey pump house, approximately 4m x 4m, caused by a faulty pump supplying water to the main factory. Two Fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus found that two pendent sprinkler heads had activated extinguishing the fire.

The sprinkler system protecting the main factory was recently extended to the pump house following a previous incident involving a pump.

Oak Priory - March 2017

At 5.53am on Thursday March 16, Staffordshire FRS were called to a flat fire persons reported at the Oak Priory, Extracare village. The state of the art building containing 175 flats over three storeys was completed two years ago and benefits from having a misting system throughout both the flats and common areas.

The fire was in the lounge in a second floor, single occupancy flat. The occupier was lead to safety thanks to the alarm system and the quick actions of the staff. A single head of the misting system activated shortly after the occupant had left, containing the fire to an armchair. There was little smoke damage to the lounge and the rest of the flat was left relatively unaffected.

Fire crews attending reported the fire was extinguished and naturally ventilated the flat.

The cause of the fire was accidental.

Bostik Ltd - January 2017

On Sunday January 5 2017 at 7.25pm, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at Bostik Ltd, Common Lane, Stafford. The building is 20,000sqm. The incident involved a chemical vapour fire over an industrial adhesive filling process. The process uses 6641 coating adhesive which contains 35 per cent Toluene. The cause of the fire is believed to be the vapour ignited by static electricity produced by the filling process.

The area of the building where fire was located was two storey and was covered by a sprinkler system. The sprinkler system was unique due to the risk, operating for oneminute using foam then changed to water. The sprinkler system contained the fire to the machine of origin.

Two appliances attended but did not use any fire fighting media as the sprinkler and on site fire team had extinguished the fire. One employee was taken to hospital for precautionary check due to inhaling chemical vapour.

Amazon Services Ltd - November 2016

On Sunday November 13 2016 at 2.10am, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a fire at Amazon Services Ltd, Grazeley Park, Rugeley, WS15 1UX. This is a storage facility of 63,000sqm and is 16m in height. The fire was located in the picking tower, an area of the warehouse which has 10m high steel racking. Between the racking, walkways have been installed to form four floors including ground to allow pickers access to each level. There is a small gap between the walkway and the racking system.

The building has 75 VESDA detectors and an automatic fire sprinkler system directly above each walkway and in the roof which is approximately 6m above the top of the racking. The fire was located in the racking at level one and had spread upwards to levels two and three.

Two appliances initially attended and BA crews found heavy smoke logging and four sprinkler heads activating, one on the first level, two on the second level and one at roof level. These were all directly above each other and contained the fire preventing horizontal spread.

Due to size of the building and smoke logging six appliances attended to assist with emptying the affected shelving and damping down. A total of 14 BA wearers were deployed during the incident using two hose reels to extinguish the fire.

National

Tyne and Wear factory save: March 2017

A manufacturing plant in Birtley was saved from serious damage thanks to a sprinkler system which activated after a fire broke out on the morning of Wednesday, March 22 2017.

Two Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service crews from Birtley and Washington were called to the 24,000m² manufacturing and fabrication factory after the alarm was raised shortly after 10am. The fire was caused by a motor overheating in a shot blasting booth.

The sprinkler system suppressed the fire and confined it to the 20m x 20m shot blasting area. Machinery and all cabling and plastics in the booth were 100 per cent severely damaged by fire.

The fire was extinguished by four fire-fighters wearing breathing apparatus, using two hose reels.

Assistant Chief Officer John Baines, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There is no doubt that having an automatic sprinkler system in this building stopped the fire from spreading and prevented potentially severe damage to the rest of the property and the business itself. I would encourage all businesses to install sprinklers to protect their premises and staff, the general public and fire-fighters.”

A spokesperson for the business said: “The sprinklers have saved us a fortune. I would like to thank the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue teams for the outstanding work they did. The response and efficiency of the teams was exemplary, and in fact helped to keep damage to a minimum. Without their help the consequences could have been far worse.”

Ipswich flat fire save August 15 2017

At 6.50pm on August 15 2017 Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service were called to a fire in a two storey domestic premises in Kesteven Road Ipswich with two pumping appliances being  mobilised to the incident.

Crews were faced with a fire in a first floor kitchen, originating in a microwave oven beneath overhead storage units. The Microwave was shielded in the corner of a the kitchen.

Two sprinkler heads within the kitchen had operated and controlled the fire, containing it in the room of origin. Operational crews extinguishing the fire with a handheld fire extinguisher.

The BS9251 mains fed sprinkler system was fitted in April 2009.

Stanley Mill - October 2017

At 3.34am hours on Sunday October 15 2017, Lancashire F&RS received a call to a fire at  Stanley Mill in Burnley. Two pumping appliances were mobilised

Stanley Mill  is a three storey stone built heritage building configured into multi occupied industrial units. It has a north light roof.

The fire occurred in wooden waste products in a ground floor unit but fortunately one upright head on the buildings tank fed sprinkler system activated to keep the fire in check prior to the arrival of the Fire Service. Crews spent 90 minutes ensuring the fire was fully extinguished and ventilating the area. Damage was reported as being 50m².

Bolton Warehouse - October 2017

Firefighters have spent the early hours tackling a blaze after smoke was reported coming from a single storey warehouse. Crews were called to Vernacare, in Folds Road, at 3.47am on Wednesday October 28.

Fire-fighters using breathing apparatus, hose reels and fans to put out the blaze, which involves cardboard bed pans and urine bottles. It is understood the fire was confined to one corner of the building where the cardboard products were stacked on pallets.

Crew manager Phil Dearden said the fire could have been more serious if it had not been for a sprinkler system being activated.

He said: " Because the sprinklers had activated it had suppressed the fire. "But with it being cardboard and paper, it expands when water gets on it and the stacks had become unstable and collapsed.

"We fought the fire from as close as we could do so safely and used positive pressure fans to clear the smoke and with it being paper and cardboard it is burning in the middle." A fork lift truck was utilised to help fire-fighters

Mr Dearden added: "It could have been a bigger job but the sprinkler has partly done its job and us getting in early stopped it from spreading. He went on to say that despite the fire, the warehouse did not appear to have been seriously damaged.

Ayr flat fire - September 2017

At just before midnight on Monday September 25, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended a living room fire at a 13 storey block of flats at Riverside Place, Ayr.

Four  breathing apparatus wearers were committed to the fifth floor flat and on arrival they found that the fire, which was in some bedding on the living room sofa,  had been extinguished by the sprinkler system.

It is reported that four heads had activated and confirmation of this has been requested, along with more details about the incident.

Knutsford factory - September 2017

At shortly before 3pm on Monday September 25 2017, Cheshire F&RS received a call to fire in ducting at a factory making plastic products on the Parkdale Industrial estate in Knutsford.

Two pumping appliances were despatched to deal with the fire in an extractor unit.

A company spokesperson reported that:"Quick reactions by ALBIS personnel, the response of the fire brigade and the activation of the sprinkler system meant that the fire was contained in the ducting for the extraction system and therefore damage was limited.

"We are assessing the full extent of the damage currently and expect the factory to be running normally once some remedial work and assessment has been completed.

"The evacuation of the factory was carried out extremely quickly and professionally by all and is a testament to our evacuation training and as a result most importantly no-one was injured in this incident.

"We thank the fire brigade for their excellent response."