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Birmingham Tall Building Residential Activation

3 November 2022 @ 10:39 pm - 11:39 pm

  • Fire Rescue Service; West Midlands Fire Rescue Service (WMFRS)
  • Incident; Kitchen Fire
  • When; 3 November 2022
  • Where, South Birmingham
  • Time of incident: 22:39
  • Use of premises; Purpose built residential block of flats containing 42 flats
  • Height of building: 10 or more stories
  • Fixed installation; Automatic fire suppression system (AFSS)

Triangle Fire Systems have reported the above-mentioned incident resulting in the activation of the premises sprinkler system.


  • As part of a 3-year programme, Birmingham Council approved the installation of retrofitting residential sprinkler systems in all their high-rise residential block of flats in 2017 which included the removal of combustible material from the façade where it was identified by laboratories, and the replacement of window infill panels with A2 fire rated products.
  • Prior to this programme, Birmingham council completed a sprinklers programme to install sprinklers in all the communal bin areas of their residential tower block property portfolio
  • This approach implemented by Birmingham city council should be applauded, the outcome of which will provide a further layer of safety from fire for both their residents, firefighters.
  • High rise fires are one of the most challenging incidents firefighters tackle on a day-to-day basis throughout the country Cleary demonstrated in recent high profile New York tall building fire resulting in two external line rescues due to the residents unable to self-evacuate from their dwelling. (link below)

 Residential Sprinkler System

  • BS9251:2014
  • Sprinkler head VK480,
  • Residential Flat Plate Concealed Horizontal Sidewall Sprinkler
  • Water supply dedicated tank
  • Dedicated pumps

 The incident

  • On the evening of the 3 November a dwelling kitchen fire was contained/controlled by the activation of 1x sidewall sprinkler head.
  • The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, no injuries were reported

Credit images Triangle Fire Systems

The images clearly demonstrate the benefits of sprinklers

  • Fire damage contained to the extractor hob above the cooker
  • Heat/smoke damage minimal
  • Minimal water egress visible

Benefits of Sprinklers within tall buildings

  • Rapidly reduced the rate of production of heat and smoke allowing
  1. The fire service crucial time to implement their operational tactical plan evacuate the premises
  2. Flashover prevented
  • Fire contained to compartment of origin

Did you know that the BAFSA Incident Data report No 2 on fire incidents in Great Britain where sprinklers were reported for the period of 2018/19 to 2020/21

  • Identified Kitchen fires account for the highest number of incidents within the flats where sprinklers are recorded as being present in fire incidents in purpose-built blocks of flats with 89 incidents.
  •  Accounting for the highest number of sprinklers recorded as activated with 40
  •  London Fire Brigade report that around 60% of fires in the home begin in the Kitchen, fires are more likely to start in your kitchen





3 November 2022
10:39 pm - 11:39 pm


Location (Town/City)
Type of Sprinkler Installation
Wet Pipe
Submitted by (Optional)
Triangle Fire Systems