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Newport Refuse/Bin Store Sprinkler Activation

20 April 2022 @ 9:24 pm - 10:33 pm

  • Fire Rescue Service; South Wales Fire & Rescue Service (SWFRS)
  • Date of Incident; April 20, 2022
  • Purpose group; Residential (dwellings) flat
  • Property Category; 10 or more storeys
  • Housing provider; Newport City Homes
  • Type of incident; Fire
  • Location of Incident; Refuse/bin storage store
  • Time of incident; 21:24
  • SWFRS, Stop message; 22:33

SWFRS  have reported the above-mentioned fire which started in the premises refuse/bin store with smoke generated from the fire allowed to percolate upwards to  various floors via the bin chute.

Due to the refuse bin not located in its normal position directly above the sprinkler head, the system did not immediately activate allowing the fire to be extinguished, however following the rupture of an aersole can in the refuse bin it trigged the actuation of the sprinkler head extinguishing the fire.

The sprinkler head that had actuated had been added to the sprinkler system to provide more effective coverage, which proved to be the case on this occasion

This incident  clearly identifies  the benefits of installing fire sprinklers in refuse/bin stores.

  • No injuries reported to residents or firefighter personnel
  • Fire extinguished
  • Fire confined to compartment of origin
  • Business continuity, minimal disruption to the residents

This is the sixth reported sprinkler save reported involving a fire within a refuse store/bin room since 19 June 2021 with the fire being contained or extinguished

Fire Rescue Service Date of Incident Premises Type Impact of sprinkler system Number of heads actuated
Greater Manchester 19/06/2021 Residential block of flats Contained/controlled 2
Greater Manchester 07/07/2021 Residential block of flats Contained/controlled 1
South Wales 07/08/2021 Residential block of flats Extinguished unknown
West Midlands 08/08/2021 Residential block of flats Contained/controlled unknown
South Wales 27/01/2022 Residential block of flats Extinguished 1
South Wales 20/04/2022 Residential block of flats Extinguished Unknown


Did you know that fire data on fire incidents in Great Britain where sprinklers were reported for the period of 2018/19 to 2020/21, identified;

  • Refuse stores account for the highest number of incidents where sprinklers are recorded as being present in fire incidents in purpose-built blocks of flats with 145 incidents

Dangers of bin store fires: – It should be noted that the outcome of a communal bin store fire 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. The provision of sprinklers should always be considered where access hatches open into protected stairways or lobbies containing more than two flat entrance doors


*From March 2022, a series of reports are to be published by BAFSA providing a detailed analysis of ²compound data on fire incidents in Great Britain where fire sprinkler systems were reported as present, operated over the period of 2018/19 to 2020/21.

The aim of the analysis is to focus on identifying trends, discussion points and insights relating to the use of sprinklers within Great Britain. The outcome of which will evidence that can be used to influence change making the installation of fire sprinklers the norm not the exception

(To be published:- April 2022, report No 2  focusing on the location of the fire where sprinklers were reported as being present, activating inside/outside flats in purpose built block of flats)

² Source: FOI Requests for Incident Recording System Data relating to primary fires attended by FRSs in which sprinklers were present for England, Scotland, and Wales for the financial years 2018/19 to 2020/21












20 April 2022
9:24 pm - 10:33 pm


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tom Roche