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April London Tall Building Sprinkler Activations

16 April 2023

  • Fire Rescue Service; London Fire Brigade (LFB)
  • Incident; 2x Tall building Fires
  • When; 16, 26 April 2023
  • Where, Sutton, Newham
  • Type of Premises; Purpose Built Block of Flats -10 or more Stories.
  • Automatic fire suppression System; BS9251

LFB have reported the above-mentioned incidents resulting in the activation of the premises residential sprinkler system following two kitchen fires.

On both occasions the

  • The fire was extinguished by the activation of the sprinkler system.
  1. Sutton fire: 1 sprinkler head activated.
  2. Newham fire: 4 sprinkler heads activated.
  • Raising the alarm
  • limiting fire spread to the item fire ignited.
  • No firefighting action was required.

This incident clearly indicates once again the benefits of installing a residential tall building with sprinklers. Rapidly reducing the rate of production of heat and smoke allowing the fire officer crucial time to implement the operational tactical plan.

  • Allowing firefighters in carrying out search and rescue operations by limiting fire development, which significantly reduces the risks to firefighters.
  • Integrity of the means of escape, maintained.
  • Fire contained within the compartment of origin.

When you compare these two incidents to the high-rise fire at New Providence Wharf involving an electrical consumer unit reported by LFB on the 7th May 2021 where sprinklers were not fitted the outcome was far different

  • Location; Tower Hamlets
  • Purpose group: Purpose built flat, 10 or more storeys, circa 2005
  • Use of property; Residential flat
  • Time of call; 08:54
  • Incident; Fire
  • Location of Incident.
  1. Flat on the Eighth floor.
  2. storage cupboard which contained the electrical consumer unit
  • Cause of fire; electrical fault potentially relating to a timer switch within the consumer unit 


  • Fire spread to the exterior of the building affecting balconies directly above on the 9th, 10th and 11th floor.
  • ACM cladding on 8th and 9th floors involved.
  • Flat of origin 80% damaged by fire
  • 67 residents’ self-evacuated prior to arrival of the FRS
  • Incident escalated toa 20 pump fire
  • Major incident declared mass evacuation of the block implemented.
  • Fire fighters committed wearing Breathing Apparatus
  • Firefighting resources; 6 jets, one aerial monitor, Drone team
  • 22 smoke hoods used to rescue residents.
  • LFB rescues 34 residents.

Sprinkler System

  • The most obvious solution would have been the installation of a sprinkler system.
  • As the fire started within the flat and spread to the exterior of the building spreading vertically effecting balconies above.
  • The fire would have been contained/controlled or even extinguished before the arrival of firefighters.
  • Delaying or preventing the fire to spread from compartment of origin.






16 April 2023


Location (Town/City)