Sprinklers save Christmas

Sprinklers save Christmas

Merchandise destined for the High Street in the run up to Christmas was saved from going up in flames - thanks to the sprinkler system fitted in a West Midlands warehouse.

Firefighters received a 999 call to the site in Highlands Road, Shirley,Solihull at 3.50pm on Wednesday 7 November.

Two fire engines, from Solihulland Billesley, got to the scene in eight minutes. Fortunately the fire was out when they arrived, as a result of the automatic activation of the premises’ fire suppression system.

The fire involved storage boxes on a mezzanine level in the 100m x 200m, four-storey brick and metal building. Damage was confined to an area approximately six metres square.

Area Commander Mark Harper, Strategic Head of Fire Safety for West Midlands Fire Service, said: “There’s no doubt that we could have ended up dealing with a large-scale incident had the sprinklers not been fitted. This is a perfect example of how automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinklers can help to save life, property and stock.

“The evidence in support of installing a sprinkler system is overwhelming. A correctly designed, installed and maintained system will provide years of service. Sprinklers are designed to contain or even extinguish a fire in its early stages, dramatically reducing fire and smoke damage.

“A sprinkler system can be fitted to a brand new building for just two per cent of what it costs to build - a fraction of the expense that a fire can cause. They can also be retro-fitted.”

Sprinkler systems help businesses return to normal more quickly after a fire. They protect employees, members of the public and firefighters called to emergencies, as well as stock, machinery and contracts. They can also mean cheaper insurance premiums.

More information on sprinkler systems and fire safety for businesses is available at www.wmfs.net/content/business-fire-safety.


Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Media Relations Officer, West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101. On Twitter we’re @WestMidsFire

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 12:45