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Edinburgh Bin Store Sprinkler Activation

May 6

  • Date of incident; 6 May 2024
  • Tine of call; 19:45.
  • Location; Edinburgh
  • Use of building; Low Rise Purpose built block of flats of 4 floors.
  • Incident; fire.
  • Location of fire; Bin Store
  • Automatic Fire Suppression System; Sprinklers.
  • Fire Rescue Service; Scottish Fire And Rescue Service. (SFRS)

The Incident

  • 2 pumping appliances mobilised to reports of a fire involving a large recycling bin at the rear of a low-rise residential block of flats.
  • On arrival it was identified that the fire was within a refuse/bin store involving  a large recycling wheelie bin within the front half of the bin store had been extinguished by the activation of the premises sprinkler system (1x sprinkler head)
  • No further firefighting action was required.
  • Total property area damaged by fire 1m².
  • No injuries were reported.

It should be remembered. 

  • The fire was extinguished, controlled within the compartment of origin by the activation of the sprinkler system.
  • Minimal fire damage was reported within the compartment of origin.
  • No further firefighting media was required.
  • This incident demonstrates once again the effectiveness of sprinkler systems for refuse, bin store fires.

Danger of refuse chute/bin store fires.

These types of fires can have a dramatic effect on the safety of the residents, specifically where refuse chutes and access hatches can sometimes be found directly opening onto protected corridors, lobbies, and stairs, so providing the potential for the spread of fire and smoke to the common escape routes.

It is therefore best practice in these situations.

  1. Automatic fire-resisting shutter should be fitted at the base of the refuse chute to restrict the spread of fire and smoke from a fire in the bin room. The shutter should, as a minimum, be operated on a fixed temperature fusible link.
  2. Bespoke sprinkler system, further protection can be provided by the installation of a sprinkler system located over the bins, with either frangible bulb or fusible link sprinkler heads, or open sprinkler heads with water discharge controlled by smoke detectors.

BAFSA Incident Data Report Focus on Sprinklers

BAFSA realises that fire incident data provides powerful evidence of the benefits of fire sprinklers and has published a series of reports analysing Incident Recording System data on fires in sprinklered buildings from 2018-2021. The aim of the analyses is to identify trends and gain insight on the use of sprinklers within Great Britain to help effect a change so that sprinklers are the norm, not the exception. One such report focused on where sprinklers were reported and having an impact for refuse store/bin store fires which accounted for the highest number of incidents with 141outside the flat.

From the 141 sprinkler activations outside the flats, refuse fires accounted for the highest number of incidents with 123. In refuse store fires sprinklers extinguished 53 (43%) incidents with a further 63 (51%) incidents being contained or controlled. Further interrogation of the data would have to be completed to identify why 7 incidents were not contained/controlled.


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.






May 6


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