Water sprinklers have prevented a fire spreading through a high-rise student block in the West Midlands.
We were called to Liberty Heights in Culwell Street, Wolverhampton at 11pm on Friday 8 September.
Our firefighters arrived in under 4 minutes, but the fire was out when they arrived thanks to the building’s sprinkler system.
Around 20 occupants evacuated the building. Fortunately, no-one was hurt.
Group Commander Simon Hardiman, our Head of Fire Safety, said: “The fire started in a chip pan that had been left unattended on the 14th floor, so I must emphasise the importance of always keeping an eye on what you’re cooking.
“Fortunately, the building’s sprinkler system was actuated and prevented a fire which could have caused considerably more damage than the small amount which did occur.
“The fire was contained by just one sprinkler ‘head’. Our crew remained on site for a short while to assist with the initial clean-up work. However, thanks to the sprinklers, they were able to leave within half an hour and be ready to respond to other emergencies.”
Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before firefighters arrive. They save lives and reduce injuries, protect fire crews and reduce damage by fire to both property and the environment.
In the last 12 months, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) have worked together to investigate the effectiveness and reliability of sprinkler systems. In 99 per cent of incidents at which they actuate they extinguish or contain the fire.
Added G/Cdr Hardiman: “Sprinklers are an effective part of an overall fire safety strategy, and can be used to improve fire safety in a range of new and existing buildings.
“Along with the National Fire Chiefs Council, we support the risk-based, retrospective fitting of sprinklers in existing buildings.”
The NFCC is also calling for a review of building regulations, to ensure fire safety requirements keep pace with new building developments.