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A photo of a sprinkler on a ceiling

Smoke alarms and sprinklers combine to save Doncaster resident

The combination of working smoke alarms and retro-fitted sprinklers have prevented a potentially fatal fire in a Doncaster flat.

Firefighters were mobilised to Shaftesbury House, Doncaster, at 1.05am on Thursday 25 August, following a call from a resident.

This resident reports leaving their chip pan on the hob before falling asleep. Whilst asleep, the chip pan overheated and set light.

Working smoke alarms alerted the resident to the fire, prompting them to call 999 for help. At the same time, the sprinkler system activated – fully extinguishing the blaze.

Upon the arrival of fire crews, only some minor smoke logging in the flat remained. Nobody was harmed in the incident and the resident was quickly moved into a nearby flat.

“This is yet another clear example of how sprinklers can save lives and save property,” said Roger Brason, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s lead sprinkler advocate.

“When the sprinklers were installed at Shaftesbury House and other high-rise buildings in Doncaster we said we were delighted, and this is why.

“Had it not been for the sprinkler system, this fire would have spread very quickly and could have caused significant damage to the property and, potentially, seriously hurt the occupant.

“Credit should also go to the working smoke alarms which alerted the resident who was asleep at the time of the fire. Together, these are two amazing devices.”

The sprinkler system in this flat was installed in 2019 as part of a joint initiative between South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, St Leger Homes and Doncaster Council.

This initiative saw all three partner agencies come together to get sprinkler systems retrospectively fitted in all nine high-rise residential buildings across the Doncaster district.

Dave Richmond, Chief Executive of St Leger Homes, said: “This incident shows the effectiveness of the high-rise fire safety measures that we have put in place, and how important sprinkler systems are in safeguarding people and their homes.

“We will be providing help and support to the household affected and we strongly encourage all tenants to be careful about preventing fire in their home.”

Following several national examples showing the value of sprinklers in tower blocks, they are now mandatory in new residential buildings that are 11 or more metres in height.

This content was last updated on August 30th, 2022