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Oxford Tall Building Kitchen Sprinkler Activation

March 18

  • Date of incident; 18 March 2024
  • Tine of call; 13:00
  • Location; Oxford
  • Use of building; Purpose Built Flats/Maisonettes – 10 or more storeys.
  • Location of fire; Kitchen
  • Automatic Fire Suppression System; Sprinklers
  • Fire Rescue Service; Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS)

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service reported the above-mentioned incident, identifying the benefits of retrofitting fire sprinkler systems within high rise residential tall buildings. Providing further evidence that fire sprinklers have been proven to have an excellent track record in reducing the impact of fire and in reducing harm and protecting people from fire. Supporting the findings contained in the most recent ¹UK research commissioned by The National Fire Chiefs Council National Fire Sprinkler Network and supported by British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association in the publication, “Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data”.

Across all premises types:
• Sprinklers are 99% efficient in extinguishing or controlling a fire.
• Sprinklers are 94% efficient in their ability


The decision by Oxford City Council in 2017 to retrofit sprinkler systems as part of a major refurbishment of the council’s stock of high-rise flats to improve fire safety as part of a package of fire safety measures, reenforced following the successful activation of the residential sprinkler system following a kitchen fire within one of their blocks with no injuries reported.

 The Incident

  • 6 fire pumping appliances, 1 aerial appliance mobilised from local stations to reports of a fire within a residential tall building.
  • On arrival it was established that the fire had broken out within a 10th floor flat of a 15-storey building
  • Upon entry to the flat, it was established that the fire had originated in the kitchen which had been successfully extinguished by the activation of one sprinkler head before the arrival of OFRS.
  • No further firefighting media was required by operational crews.
  • The cause of the fire was established to involve cooking located on top of the hob 0.5msq.
  • Fire damage was sustained directly behind the cooker, plastic trunking at ceiling height.
  • At the conclusion of the incident, it was noted water from the activated sprinkler head was successfully contained to the compartment of origin.
  • Providing effective fire protection requires both passive and active elements working in unison and complementing the roles of one another. The use of a combined approach allowing the occupants of exiting the building safely/damage to the property is minimized.

Emergency Plan

A robust emergency plan will allow the provision of vital information for the FRS to be shared by onsite representatives. Clarifying the location and provision of key elements of the active fire safety systems where present such as sprinklers and other forms of AFSS. The outcome of which will allow a robust onsite emergency response to be immediately actioned to assist the control of the sprinkler system during the fire incident and following a fire so that they can be reinstated.

AFSS play a significant role, as part of an appropriate package of fire safety measures reducing the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment.

The Sprinkler System

  • Installed to BS9251
  • Water supply designated tank
  • Coverage dwellings, flats


you want to make a difference working in the fire sector, sprinkler industry we need your assistance……

To make sprinklers the norm and not the exception – we need the evidence. Encouraging the FRS to promote, collate, report sprinkler activations to Sprinkler Saves UK will help to create a central and comprehensive record of fire incidents where sprinklers played their role in containing/controlling or extinguishing the fire.

If you hear of a save report it using this link



March 18


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