Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Milton Keynes Industrial Unit Sprinkler Activation

16 July 2022

Screen Recording 2022-07-20 at 09.32.03

credit for videoSome Random Name)@SwayzeGains

  • Fire Rescue Service; Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service (BFRS)
  • Date of Incident: 16 July 2022
  • Where, Milton Keynes, Bransworth Avenue, Brinklow
  • Occupancy: Warehouse
  • Location of fire; External trailer unit spreading to the primary building
  • When; 16 July 2022
  • Time of Call; 07:31
  • Time of Stop;
  • AFSS; Sprinklers

BFRS, MK Citizen have both reported the following fire involving a warehouse distribution centre


  • Opened March 1993
  • Waitrose regional distribution centre
  • 300m x 100m
  • Warehouse large enough to accommodate fire football pitches
  • Industrial sprinkler system


  • 8 x pump fire with fire pumping appliances,1 x aerial ladder platform attending from multiple fire stations including Broughton, Bedfordshire, Newport Pagnell, Aylesbury, Northamptonshire and Deddington.
  • The seat of the fire was established to be an external trailer tractor unit
  • The intensity of the fire resulted in the fire spreading to four additional tractor units, façade elevation of one side of the warehouse
  • The cause of the fire is under investigation

Sprinkler System

  • The intensity of the fire caused extensive damage to the facade of the building, resulting in excessive heat of the fire activating a number of sprinklers within the building.

Benefits of a Commercial Sprinkler System within a industrial premises such as a Warehouse

  • External fires which spread to a external facade e contained/controlled preventing internal fire spread within the premises
  • Rapidly reducing the rate of production of heat and smoke within the premises allowing the fire officer crucial time to implement their 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 Damage

  • In total 5 tractor units 100% damaged by fire
  • Extensive fire damage to 4 loading bay areas
  • The façade of the warehouse above the 4 loading bays damaged by fire warehouse


  • These incidents are becoming more frequent involving tractor units catching light, due to their proximity adjacent to the building loading bays.
  • The potential high fire loading off these tractor units cannot be discounted in fire making  spread to the primary building  very likely.
  • The importance of risk assessing at the design stage for fire sprinkler coverage in these locations cannot be under estimated
  • Interrogating LFB incidents, The Sainsbury’s Warehouse depot in London, Charlton has sustained two similar fires in the space of 6 years

Similar Incidents

  • 2015, 6 lorries, 100% damaged by fire, fire damage sustained to the façade of the building.

The subsequent press release of the LFB clearly demonstrated the positive outcome of the sprinkler system actuating to contain/control the fire

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Andrews at the time said: “There is absolutely no doubt that in this case the sprinkler system, along with the quick actions of our crews, prevented a much more serious fire from spreading any further into the depot and causing potentially millions of pounds worth of damage to both the building and stock inside.

Image credit LFB, Twitter

“This incident highlights the clear benefits of sprinklers to businesses, and we would urge all companies to install them. As well as being potentially lifesaving devices, sprinklers and other fire suppression systems help with business continuity by minimising disruption and allowing businesses to get back to normal as soon as possible.”

  • The second incident took place in 2021 involving 2 lorries, 100% damaged by fire, with further fire damage sustained to the façade of the building

Image credit LFB, Twitter

This incident clearly identifies once again the benefits of installing sprinklers in warehouses, The inclusion of a sprinkler system for property protection can: –

  • Prevent major financial and equipment losses,
  • Prevent a potential major fire, turning it into a minor incident
  • Prevent a business from going out of business


This incident clearly identifies the importance of installing sprinklers in large warehouses which are now a common site throughout the country


16 July 2022