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LFB Match Funding Competition Sprinkler Save

16 October 2022 @ 4:10 pm - 5:33 pm

  • Fire Rescue Service; London Fire Brigade (LFB)
  • Incident; Fire involving smoking materials
  • When; 16 October 2022
  • Time of call; 16:10
  • Time of stop 17:33
  • Where, Barking
  • Use of premises; Specialised Housing consisting of three floors
  • Fixed installation; Automatic fire suppression system (AFSS)

London Fire Brigade/Triangle fire systems  have reported the above-mentioned incident resulting in the activation of the premises residential sprinkler system


  • The benefits of match funding provided by Fire & Rescue Services, in this case the LFB, to entice social and private housing providers to assist them with meeting the costs of installing sprinklers within premises housing vulnerable persons clearly justified following the above reported sprinkler activation.
  • In 2014, London Fire Brigade launched a competition to incentivise housing providers to install sprinklers and to promote the Authorities Sprinkler Strategy, working to promote the use and adoption of residential sprinkler systems.
  • The London Borough Barking and Dagenham were successful receiving £84,250 to install a sprinkler system in the above-mentioned extra care housing unit containing 33 flats for elderly residents with support needs completed June 2015.
  • Funding was allocated from the Fire Prevention Grant received from the government for fire prevention work
  • Seven years following the installation of the residential sprinkler installation, the benefits of this competition were clear for all to see, following a fire involving smoking materials which activated the sprinkler system containing/controlled the fire within the dwelling.
  • Supporting most recent ¹UK research commissioned by The National Fire Chiefs Council, National Fire Sprinkler Network,  supported by The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association.
  • The research report that across all premises types:
  • Sprinklers are 99% efficient in extinguishing or controlling a fire
  • Sprinklers are 94% efficient in their ability to operate

Premises residential Sprinkler System Specification

  • Residential AFSS; installed to BS9251:2014
  • Category; 3 system
  • Sprinkler heads; Viking VK457
  • Alarm; interfaced with building fire alarm system
  • Water supply; Town Main
  • Coverage; dwellings/communal areas


  • Fire appliances from Barking, Milford and East Ham fire stations were mobilised to the fire
  • On arrival crews identified a fire on the second floor within a two roomed flat
  • The premises sprinkler system actuated resulting in three sprinkler heads containing/controlling the fire
  • Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were committed, extinguishing the fire with one firefighting jet
  • 50% of the dwelling was damaged by fire
  • Firefighters rescued a woman via an internal stairway who was removed to hospital with a further 15 residents evacuated to a place of safety
  • The fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by the unsafe disposal of smoking materials

 Benefits of the sprinkler system

  • Fire contained to compartment of origin
  • Rapidly reduced the rate of production of heat and smoke allowing
  1. The fire service crucial time to implement their operational tactical plan evacuate the premises
  2. Flashover prevented


  • In Scotland and Wales all new build and converted care homes/specialised housing require to have sprinklers fitted
  • In England and Northern Ireland there is no requirement


  • The decision taken by the LFB in 2014 to launch the match funding sprinkler competition should be applauded, without this initiative the outcome of this incident could have been so much different.
  • For example, the Newgrange care home Hertfordshire 2017 was the scene of a major fire which broke out in the early hours of the morning. The home was occupied by 35 residents, sprinklers were not fitted resulting in firefighters rescuing 33 elderly and immobile residents sadly two residents died because of the fire.
  • If sprinklers had been fitted the outcome could have been so much different, because of this fire the coroner raised concerns that sprinkler systems are not mandatory in care homes. Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service recommended sprinklers be installed. The home was rebuilt – without fire sprinklers installed.
  • This is the second FRS match funding success following the positive Hostel Sprinkler Save reported by Essex Fire Rescue Service on the 28 May 2022 involving a kitchen fire


  • Newgrange care home fire
  • Credit: Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service




16 October 2022
4:10 pm - 5:33 pm