A Fire Sprinkler system is a combined fire detection and extinguishing system that provides continuous protection 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, whether the premises are occupied or not.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service supports work to increase the number of sprinkler systems installed in 'at risk' premise such as newly built schools and residential care premises. We are working with the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, the National Fire Sprinkler Network, local councils, social care services, landlords, architects, construction companies and others to achieve this.
Some benefits of a sprinkler system are:
- Saving life and property
- Preventing serious injury
- Environmentally friendly
- Safety for the firefighter
- Acknowledged by the fire service and other agencies
- Validated by insurance companies
The Safer Suffolk Fire Sprinkler Coalition was established in 2012 by leaders of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service; Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council's Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said:
"This is our response to the growing national debate about fire sprinklers. The formation of the Safer Suffolk Sprinkler Coalition sends a clear signal that we do not only intend to join the growing support for sprinklers, but we want to shape it and take the lead in their widespread use here in Suffolk".
In recent years, Suffolk has experienced devastating and often tragic incidents in which fire sprinklers could have made a crucial difference. Wessex Foods in Lowestoft, which was not protected by sprinklers, suffered a major fire in July 2012, resulting in the closure of the factory and a loss of 150 jobs to the local community.
By contrast, occupants of a multiple occupancy home in Ipswich were saved by a fire sprinkler system in 2008 after a fire was started deliberately in their basement. They were quickly alerted and escaped unharmed from the building. When firefighters arrived they extinguished the small fire that had been contained by the sprinkler system. Residents were able to return to their homes the same day.
The Chief Fire Officers Association has produced a supporting document to promote the use of such systems and dispel some myths:
A Guide to Automatic Water Suppression Systems (AWSS) and Their Practical Application (PDF, 1.7Mb)
For more information about Sprinkler Systems, please contact the Business Support Team on 01473 260588 and ask to speak to the Duty Fire Safety Officer.