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Fire officers back sprinklers as national study highlights safety success

Fire safety experts are calling on South Yorkshire businesses and housing providers to consider fitting sprinklers, after a national study found they successfully dealt with a blaze in almost all recorded incidents.

The research, led by the National Fire Sprinkler Network in conjunction with the National Fire Chief’s Council, found sprinklers were effective in 99 per cent of fires where they were fitted and went off.

Researchers looked at more than 2,000 fires over the last five years in both homes and businesses, finding that sprinklers which actuated contained a fire in nearly two thirds (62%) of cases and put it out completely in the rest (37%).

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) says the findings are further evidence why businesses, care homes and social housing landlords should consider installing the potentially life saving devices.

Business Fire Safety Manager Amy Jenkinson, said: “Sprinklers are a cost effective way of making businesses and high-risk homes safer – they stop fires from spreading, put them out quickly and save lives. We are especially concerned about those people who are most at risk of fire such as those with mobility or mental health problems or people with dementia who may not know how to react, or be able to react quickly enough, if they hear a smoke alarm.

“We play a key leadership role in helping people to better understand the benefits of sprinklers as part our commitment to reduce the impact of fire on people, property and the environment and this nationally significant research supports our message.”

SYFR is one of the leading fire services in the country for its pioneering use of sprinklers in high risk residential settings, leading a UK first project to retrofit an automated system at the Callow Mount block of flats in Gleadless. That scheme is now internationally recognised for the improved safety it offers the people living within the building.

It has also worked alongside Sheffield City Council to make more than 540 properties in the city safer by installing lifesaving sprinkler systems at council owned flats in Gleadless Valley, Westfield, Stannington and Netherthorpe. This project was another UK first.

The installation of sprinkler systems in new build homes is now mandatory in Wales and SYFR is actively promoting the use of this type of protection in all types of buildings to build resilience and safety into local communities.

Earlier this year it launched a £1 million fund to promote the installation of sprinklers in high risk residential settings.

This content was last updated on June 12th, 2017