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Ilford Academy School Sprinkler Save

24 November 2021

  • Date of Incident; 24 November 2021
  • Time of Incident; 12:51
  • Location; Ilford
  • Fire Rescue Service; London Fire Brigade
  • Occupancy; Academy school of 3 floors
  • Location of fire; Changing room
  • Sprinkler System; BS12845, water supply town mains booster pumps
  1. LFB have reported the above-mentioned incident involving the actuation of the Academy sprinkler system following a fire in a waste bin located in a changing room.
  2. One concealed sprinkler head operated suppressing, extinguishing the fire preventing the fire from spreading from the room of origin.
  3. The sprinkler system was interfaced with the fire detection and fire alarm system allowing the alarm to be raised.
  4. Total property area damaged by fire estimated to be under 5 square meters, the cause of the fire is under investigation.

This incident clearly identifies the benefits of sprinklers in schools, It is ¹reported  in the last 5 years school fires have: –

  • Destroyed the equivalent of 1,100 classrooms
  • Destroyed 47 Primary /secondary school buildings following 2,300 incidents
  • More than 74,000 square metres, an area equivalent to 10 football pitches of teaching facilities have been damaged by fire in this time
  • In the period from April 2015- April 2020, 1,467 primary schools and 834 secondary schools’ fires were reported

These figures clearly highlight that the installation of sprinklers should be made compulsory in England following the lead of Wales, Scotland.

Gavin Tomlinson, Sprinkler Lead, National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “The case for sprinklers in schools is extremely compelling. The disruptive effect these fires have on whole communities is stark and the cost of the fire is felt well beyond rebuild costs. The impact can be devastating and, in the year where education has been so severely disrupted, school fires put huge additional pressure on the education service and parents.

“Schools are important community assets which need to be protected and we know that sprinklers are both highly reliable and effective. When sprinklers operate, they will control or extinguish a fire in 99% of cases.

“The NFCC will continue to call for the mandatory fitting of sprinkler systems in all new and refurbished schools in England.”


BAFSA Year book 2021/2022; Further reading highlighting the impact of “Fires In schools” can be found in the article drafted by Ritchie O’Connell

BAFSA Year book 2021/2022; Further information “Pushing the government on the use of sprinklers” can be found in the article drafted by Gavin Tomlinson, National Fire Chiefs Council

Zurich; Press release fires in schools

¹Source; Zurich press release 8 March 2021, Chris Johnson, Zurich UK Media relations



24 November 2021


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