Sprinkler Awareness Week

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) National Sprinkler Week campaign. The campaign will run from Monday 18th to 24th May and will raise awareness of the benefits of sprinkler systems in keeping people and buildings safer from fire as we encourage people to #ThinkSprinkler.

Fire sprinklers are widely recognised as the single most effective method for fighting the spread of fires in their early stages.

Research by the NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) found that sprinkler systems operate on 94% of occasions so are very reliable and when they do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions. The result is sprinklers reduce injuries by at least 80%, reduce property damage by 90% and substantially reduce damage to the environment from fire.

This also means that sprinkler systems help to protect the lives of firefighters and that is why they are fully supported by fire services.

In Wales there is legislation which means that all new residential premises including Care Premises (plus schools funded by the Welsh Government) must be fitted with sprinklers. NFCC have called for similar legislation in England and Northern Ireland due to the benefits sprinklers bring.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Business Fire Safety, Jason Evans said “There is clear evidence that sprinklers are very effective in reducing the effects of a fire and provide strong safety protection as part of a fire safety package. South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is committed to reducing risk to its communities and the installation of sprinklers will help achieve this.”

The Welsh Parliament fully support sprinkler provision in premises. Following the publication of the expert group on building safety’s ‘roadmap’ for improving fire safety in high-rise buildings Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government acknowledged the importance of sprinklers stating “Hard evidence supports sprinklers’ effectiveness in preventing fatalities so I am committed to looking at how we can further promote retro-fitting in high-rise buildings across sectors.”

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are pleased to say that some organisations have already acted on the MS’s statement.

Andrew Lloyd, Cyclical and Compliance Manager for Newport City Homes, said:

“Following the tragic events at Grenfell in 2017, we worked with partners, including South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, to reduce fire risk and make sure our residents felt safe in their homes.

“As part of this work, we installed sprinklers into individual flats and communal areas of each of our three tower blocks less than a month after the tragedy.

“These not only provided almost immediate comfort for our residents, but additional peace of mind for us too. Our priority has always been the safety of our residents, so knowing the sprinklers provide an additional fire safety measure gave us further assurance we were not only meeting but exceeding our fire safety regulations requirements.

“The project was so successful, we have planned a new programme of retro-fitting similar systems within our 55+ accommodation schemes for older residents and purpose built flats as part of our fire strategy.

“We strongly believe sprinklers are a reliable and cost-effective fire safety measure that can greatly reduce risk of death, injury, property damage and harm to our communities.”

To find out more about the campaign follow #ThinkSprinkler on social media.