Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Care Home Sprinkler Activation Brighton

March 28 @ 7:20 pm - 8:25 pm

Louisa Curtis, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Fire Safety Team Leader for Brighton and Hove, said:  

“This incident demonstrates once again why we are calling for a law making the installation of sprinklers in Care Homes mandatory

Older people, as well as people with mental health problems and those with mobility issues, are the groups within society most at risk from fire.

This is why we want to see all new build residential care homes fitted with sprinklers.

The benefits of which were clearly identified following this fire, which was contained, controlled and extinguished by the activation of one sprinkler head before the arrival of the fire service.

Furthermore, no injuries were reported and it resulted in a valuable community asset being saved from fire.”

“Sprinklers are a life safety system which can reduce the number of deaths and injuries from fire, particularly in buildings housing our most vulnerable residents within our communities whilst also reducing the risks to firefighters from fire.”


This is the second reported successful tangible sprinkler save reported to Sprinkler Saves Uk in the last 6 months where the fire has been contained, extinguished by the activation of the sprinkler system within a residential care home with no injuries, casualties reported. Demonstrating once again the benefits of installing Automatic Fire Suppression Systems as part of a package of fire safety measures protecting our most vulnerable residents of our communities from fire.

The potential for multiple fatalities or injuries among staff in care homes is very high as demonstrated following the tragic fire that devastated a residential care home in Hertfordshire in 2017. Firefighters evacuated more than 30 residents but sadly two people lost their lives, sprinklers were not fitted.

The above attached image clearly captures this tragic fire.

  • The inquest into the deaths concluded “inadequate compartmentation in the roof space had contributed to their deaths”.
  • Evidence from the fire service and an independent fire safety expert highlighted. If a sprinkler system had been installed, the two deaths were likely to have been prevented.

Reinforcing why England should follow the lead of both Scotland and Wales making the installation of AFSS mandatory.The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association fully supports the government’s consultation for proposals to require sprinklers in new care homes, this is a change that we and the fire sector have long been calling for, we would also like this to be extended to the retrofitting of sprinkler systems in existing care homes.

This is a change that the fire sector, fire rescue service has been calling for as these types of premises present a series of unique challenges with respect to fire safety.

  • The needs of the occupants and the resources required to undertake an evacuation in these types of premises require careful consideration both in the design and ongoing operation of such buildings, to ensure that an appropriate level of fire safety is provided.
  • The diminished senses that result from the ageing process may ultimately result in the occupants of residential care premises having a slower reaction time to raise an alarm, and due to the residents’ reduced physical capabilities, a slower response time to an alarm, which may result in an increased evacuation time.
  • Significantly reduced staff numbers, particularly at night, and may be unable to undertake a safe and effective evacuation of residents.

All the above- mentioned factors combine to increase the risk of injury or fatality in a fire, especially where assistance from carers may be restricted at night. Where residents require assistance, it is likely that the evacuation process will take longer.

Our thanks to East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service for reporting this sprinkler save from Brighton which provides further evidence on why sprinklers should be installed in residential care homes, making them the norm not the exception.

 Brighton Residential Care Home Sprinkler Activation

  • Date of incident;28 March 2024.
  • Tine of call; 19:20.
  • Time of stop; 20:25.
  • Location; Brighton
  • Use of building; Residential Care Home.
  • Location of fire; Laundry Room.
  • Automatic Fire Suppression System; Sprinklers.
  • Fire Rescue Service; East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS)

Residential, nursing home of three floors and lower ground floor providing care for up to 80 residents some of whom are living with dementia.

The Incident

  • Fire crews from local stations were mobilised to reports of a fire within a laundry room.
  • The incident was designated, 4-pump fire, persons reported.
  • The location of the fire was identified to be within a laundry room on the lower ground floor.
  • Following the completion of a dynamic risk assessment by the Officer in Charge a breathing apparatus team were committed to locate, extinguish the fire.
  • Upon entry to the room of origin the seat of the fire was established to involve a clothing, textiles which had been successfully contained, extinguished by the activation of one sprinkler head located within the room of origin.
  • No further firefighting media was required, no rapid-fire growth reported.
  • Limited fire damage was reported within the compartment of origin up to 5m²
  • No injuries, casualties were reported

Self-heating, spontaneous combustion

 It is reported that the cause of the fire was due to clothing textiles removed from an industrial tumble dryer that had been laundered and folded into a pile within a laundry basket whilst still hot. This is particularly relevant for oil-soaked items of laundry, which process the inherent ability to self-heat, particularly at elevated temperatures

 It should be remembered. 

  • This incident clearly identifies the benefits of sprinklers involving lower ground/basement fires for firefighters which can be a high-risk activity, physically demanding caused by extreme temperatures.
  • Sprinkler activation reduces heat transfer, toxic gases, smoke, and flashover allowing tenable conditions within the room of origin, increasing escape time and keeps the fire contained, controlled or in some cases extinguished before the arrival of the Fire Rescue Service
  • Minimal fire damage was reported within the compartment of origin.
  • No Injuries, casualties reported.


The provision of a sprinkler system forms part of a business resilience strategy on this occasion it maintained the care homes continuity of providing care to their residents with minimal disruption, valuable community asset saved with no injuries, casualties reported.


If you want to make a difference working in the fire sector, we need your assistance……

To make sprinklers the norm and not the exception – we need the evidence. Encouraging FRS and those in the sprinkler community to promote, collate, report sprinkler activations to Sprinkler Saves UK which will help to create a central and comprehensive record of fire incidents where sprinklers played their role in containing/controlling or extinguishing the fire.

If you hear of a save report it using this link




March 28
7:20 pm - 8:25 pm


Location (Town/City)
Type of Sprinkler Installation
Wet Pipe