Fire Sprinklers...


The Extent of the Problem

In the UK each year there are around 45,000 fires in dwellings and while many of these involve damage which is little more serious than the need to redecorate, it must be remembered that more than 500 people have died in fires in their home in the UK almost every year since 1945. The introduction of smoke alarms in the late 1970s has helped to reduce some of this appalling death toll, but further improvement is necessary.
So, unlike smoke detectors which can only warn of the need for evacuation, sprinklers can actually save those who cannot help themselves.

A few facts:

  • There have been no multiple fire deaths in the UK as a result of a fire in a dwelling with a working sprinkler system.
  • US experience shows that more 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 actually operate.
  • Sprinkler heads can be completely concealed.
  • Sprinkler systems do not need pumps or tanks if mains pressure is adequate.
  • Sprinklered buildings prevent fire fighter deaths.
  • Sprinklers do not 'false alarm' - they will only operate if there is an actual fire.
  • For a small additional cost, an alarm switch can be built-in to the system to call the fire and rescue service automatically should the sprinklers operate.
  • Maintenance costs for sprinklers are very low.
  • Sprinklers save lives and property. They are the only devices which can detect a fire, sound the alarm, call the fire and rescue service and extinguish or control the fire.
  • Despite many preconceptions and misinformation, sprinklers are not difficult, unsightly or expensive to install in homes or dwellings of any size.
  • Since the UK started to take the idea of sprinklered homes seriously in the late 1990's, it has been estimated that 25 lives have already been saved by the systems.
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