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Brighton Assisted Living Sprinkler Activation

23 May 2023 @ 10:58 pm


  • Fire Rescue Service; East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS)
  • Date of Incident; 23 May 2023
  • Time of call: 20:58
  • Stop Message: 22:39
  • Incident closed 22:40
  • Premises; Assisted Living
  • Location; Brighton
  • Type of fire; Kitchen fire
  • Automatic Fire Sprinkler System; Wet Pipe (Sprinkler)

This is the second reported fire within the premises sprinkler within the space of 14 months.

On each occasion the fire was either extinguished, contained/controlled following the activation of the sprinkler system clearly demonstrating the benefits of sprinklers protecting the most vulnerable residents of our communities.

 The Incident

  • Four pumping appliances from Brighton, Roedean & Hove were mobilised to a kitchen fire.
  • On arrival crews established that the fire was on the on the 5th floor of a 6-storey building involving an open plan residential flat.
  • The OIC implemented a full high-rise procedure committing a crew of two wearing breathing apparatus with firefighting media consisting of a jet.
  • It was established upon entry that the fire had been extinguished by the actuation of one sprinkler head.
  • The seat of the fire was established to involve the kitchen hob which spread to the overhead extractor fan.
  • The cause of the fire has been contributed to cooking.
  • Fire damage 5m².
  • The fire was contained to the compartment of origin.
  • No injuries were reported.
  • The incident was closed within 2 hours
  • FRS resources, Thermal Image Camera, jet Breathing Apparatus, Dry rising Main

This incident demonstrates once again the benefits of installing sprinklers within residential tall buildings for firefighter safety.

  • Rapidly reducing the rate of production of heat and smoke allowing the fire officer crucial time to implement the operational tactical plan.
  • Allowing firefighters to complete search and rescue operations by limiting fire development, which significantly reduces the risk of flashover.
  • Integrity of the means of escape, maintained.
  • Fire contained within the compartment of origin.
  • This incident demonstrates that a correctly designed and installed sprinkler system can detect, raise the alarm and control or in this case extinguish a fire at an early stage of development and activate an alarm.
  1. Protecting firefighters
  2. Protecting, reducing risk to life
  3. Protecting property

Business Continuity

  • In my experience, the importance of business continuity is often overlooked by the responsible person/management where active fire systems are installed for example fire sprinklers.
  • Where the sprinkler system has activated, the fire officer will require the system to be isolated to stop the flow of water, once it is identified that the fire has been extinguished.
  • The importance of onsite information allowing the Fire Rescue Service to complete this action should not be underestimated due to the negative outcome.
  • It is paramount that clear concise information including signage, plans are available allowing the system isolation valves to be immediately identified, further guidance is contained in BS9251:2021

Sources/further reading.


23 May 2023
10:58 pm


Location (Town/City)
Type of Sprinkler Installation