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Manchester Retrofitting Tall Building Fire Sprinkler Activation

24 December 2022 @ 6:20 pm - 8:20 pm

  • Fire Rescue Service; Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service (GMFRS)
  • Incident; Tall building Fire
  • When; 24/12/2022
  • Time of call; 18:20
  • Where, Manchester
  • Type of Premises; Purpose-Built Block of Flats
  • Automatic fire suppression System; BS9251:2014

GMFRS have reported the above-mentioned incident resulting in the activation of the premises residential  sprinkler system

The premises is a general needs and purpose-Built Block of Flats consisting of 12 stories built in 1962.

  • Consisting of a concrete frame with brick infill panels with the solid concrete floors
  • The external wall system consists of a mineral wall insulation and render system with curtain wall glazing
  • Typical floor layout consists of a lift lobby off which 4 flats are directly served


  • December 2017, Greater Manchester City Council announced that sprinklers were to be fitted in all their 36 Council owned blocks in Manchester at a cost of £10.5m funded from the housing revenue account.
  • Should be applauded for leading from the front protecting the most vulnerable residents from fire by the installation of a residential sprinkler system

Fire Safety Arrangements

  • Common Fire detection system configured for FRS to use as an emergency alert system
  • Remote monitoring system
  • Dry rising main
  • BS5839-6 Grade D LD1 provided within the flats
  • Residential sprinkler system


  • At 18:20 GMFRS received a fire call, to a tall building fire
  • Mobilising 5 x pumping appliances, 1 x aerial appliance
  • On arrival crews identified a fire involving a two-bedroom flat which had been contained, controlled by the activation of 2 concealed sprinkler heads.
  • 1 member of the public was removed by operational crews requiring medical attention
  • The remaining hotspots were extinguished using a jet
  • Smoke/fire damage was contained to an area of 12m2
  • Ongoing enquiries are continuing to establish the cause of the fire

Residential Sprinkler System

  • BS9251:2014 system
  • Coverage, within each flat, plant and communal areas
  • Isolation control valves are provided for each floor contained within the riser cupboards
  • Water supply designated tank/pump
  • Sprinkler panel/zone plan located within the staircase enclosure on the ground floor

This incident clearly indicates once again the benefits of retrofitting a residential tall building protecting life

  • Rapidly reducing the rate of production of heat and smoke allowing the fire officer crucial time to implement the operational tactical plan
  • Allowing firefighters in carrying out search and rescue operations by limiting fire development, which significantly reduces the risks to firefighters.
  • Integrity of the means of escape, maintained
  • Fire contained within the compartment of origin

This incident could have had a totally different outcome, it clearly demonstrates that a correctly designed and installed sprinkler system can detect and control a fire at an early stage of development and activate an alarm.

  • Protecting firefighters
  • Protecting, reducing risk to life

 Business Continuity

  • Minor water egress, fire damage was reported involving the flat of origin, flat directly below the incident.
  • The cost to make good has been estimated to be within the region £10,000.
  • Each floor is provided with an isolation control valve allowing the FRS to immediately isolate the supply once the fire has been confirmed as extinguished.
  • Comprehensive sprinkler zone plan located adjacent to the fire alarm panel on the ground floor.

This incident clearly identifies that a code compliant system designed to BS9251 with the appropriate information for operational crews to interact with the system has clear benefits for business continuity

When you compare this to similar Salford Tall building fire 3 days later, the press release form GMFRS demonstrates the clear difference when sprinklers are not installed.

Salford Mulberry Court High-rise fire





24 December 2022
6:20 pm - 8:20 pm


Location (Town/City)