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Misinformation could cost lives

Misinformation could cost lives

Fire in Essex home results in single head sprinkler save

There has been an attempt to spread misinformation about a straightforward domestic sprinkler operation following a fire in a bunk bed in a housing association home in Essex.  Commercial interests antithetical to sprinklers have claimed that the sprinkler system was not effective or that it caused significiant water damage.

Colin Chantler of Triangle Fire has had a meeting with all parties today and BAFSA is pleased to report the facts.

These are simple and show that despite speculation by misinformed parties and those who have other commercial motives to question the efficacy of sprinklers, the system worked as it was designed to do.

1. This property is one of three terraced properties that have fire sprinkler systems installed by Triangle Fire Systems, these were mains fed and the system valve group (see attached) housed in a kitchen cupboard.

2. The fire is still under investigation but it appears that it was started by children with a lighter. The source of the fire was the bedding and mattress of the lower bunk in a bedroom (Creating a shielded fire)

3. An adult occupier was made aware of the fire and attempted to extinguish the fire with saucepans of water.

4. It appears that the fourth saucepan of water had just about extinguished the fire when the fire had generated enough heat to actuate the single sprinkler head in that room.

5. Any reports of 3 to 4 heads actuating are nonsense. It has been confirmed by physical inspection that all the cover plates on all the sprinklers in the house were intact.

6. On arrival the fire and rescue service did not undertake any fire suppression activity as the fire had been extinguished.

7. More water damage that could be reasonably expected in such a fire appears to have been the result of no one knowing how to operate the stop valve. At a meeting with the housing association today, immediate action was taken to brief all occupiers of sprinklered properties on how this can be done when it is clear that a fire has been extinguished.

BAFSA takes full responsibility for this statement and hopes that it will serve to counter specious and spurious suggestions that sprinkler systems are not effective in suppressing and controlling fires in occupied dwellings.