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Cleveland Factory Fire Sprinkler Activation

14 March 2023

Image credit Cleveland Fire Brigade

  • Fire Rescue Service; Cleveland Fire Brigade (CFB)
  • Incident; Fire
  • When; 14/03/2023
  • Time of call; 03:42
  • Where, Redcar & Cleveland
  • Type of Premises; Factory
  • Automatic fire suppression System; Sprinklers

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

The premises

  • Single storey portal frame building
  • Dimensions 73m² x 63m²
  • Manufacturing, portfolio of materials for the footwear industry


  • At 03:42 CFRS received a fire call, mobilising 2 x pumping appliances.
  • On arrival crews identified a fire within plant machinery used to preheat glue which had been contained/controlled by the activation of one pendant sprinkler head located just offset to the plant machinery.
  • Minimal firefighter interaction was required with only the activation of 2x dry powder extinguishers.
  • Smoke/fire damage was contained to an area of 10-15m²
  • 25% fire damage to hot melt extrusion system
  • The cause of the fire, suspected thermostat failure.

Business Continuity

This incident clearly identifies the benefits of installing sprinklers for businesses, it is reported that the estimated value of damage following the fire is within the region of £10,000. The business value is undetermined but could run to several millions. Alternative arrangements are available on site with other plant machinery available therefore no significant interruption to business.

It should be remembered sprinkler systems: –

  1. Protects the longevity of businesses in the long term.
  2. Safeguards against disastrous major financial and equipment losses
  3. Businesses back up and running in a short period of time.
  • Containing a potential major fire to only a minor inconvenience.
  • Prevents significant damage or destruction of a building by fire.
  • Protect jobs.

This incident clearly backs up the findings of the recent uk research¹ that sprinklers are.

  • 94% Efficient in their ability to operate.
  • 99% Efficient in Extinguishing or controlling a fire.

Environmental Benefits

On a regular occurrence, images from major fires across the country are published on social media and television, focusing predominately on both fire appliances, firefighters tackling to extinguish, control the fire, along with managing the large smoke plumes, generated from waste fires. The incident is then soon forgotten, old news lost in the cloud.

However, do we consider the adverse consequences on our natural environment?

  • Air contamination from the fire/smoke plume and the impact it will have on land and water courses.
  • The impact of fire service firefighting activities, specifically the water run-off from firefighting hoses/jets containing toxic products.
  • Other environmental discharges or released from burned material.

 This incident clearly identifies that active fire protection systems, specifically sprinklers should be seen as part of a holistic approach minimising fire damage as part of a greener approach from the fire sector which is often overlooked.




14 March 2023


Location (Town/City)
Saltburn by the sea
Type of Sprinkler Installation
wet pipe