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Primary School Commercial Kitchen Sprinkler Activation Wales

1 December 2023 @ 9:30 am - 2 December 2023 @ 9:30 am

Image Credit MAWWFRS

  • Date of incident; 1 Decmebr 2023
  • Time of call 08:57
  • Location; Wales
  • Use of building; Primary School
  • Number of floors; 2
  • Dimensions 50m x 50m
  • Location of fire; Kitchen
  • Automatic Fire Suppression System; Sprinklers
  • Fire Rescue Service; Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service (MAWWFRS)

MAWWFRS have reported a school commercial catering kitchen fire, which can be highly destructive with numerous causes of catering equipment fires reported across the country and once they arise, they are difficult to control. The potential loss to to both property and life can be disastrous. This incident cleary demonstrated the benefits of sprinklers within schools supporting the findings of the Sprinkler saves UK report completed onbehalf of the National Fire Chiefs Council to form part of the industry’s case to Government to kake sprinklers Mandatory in all new schools in England as they are in Wales and Scotland.

 The Incident

  • Kitchen fire involving a gas powered cooker hobb, plastic container.
  • Contained, controlled by the activation of concealed sprinkler head.
  • Extinguished by operational crews on arrival with firefighting media.
  • Due to the effective management of fire safety arrangements, the kitchen doors limited smoke percolation to the immediate kitchen area only
  • Fire damage was contained to the cooker hobb, flooring located directly below the fire
  • Upon the activation of the premises fire alarm, 225 students/staff immediately evacuated the premises with no injuries reported.



Images credit MAWWFRS


  • 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 allows the occupants to exit the building safely/damage to the property is minimized as demonstrated following this incident
  • The effectiveness of the sprinkler system was compromised as the seat of fire was shielded by the cooking range canopy located directly above the cooking hobb. preventing the sprinkler system from extinguishing the fire, the fire was contained/controlled.
  • A bespok wet chemical system was installed to compensate for this anomaly which was not mauualy operated at the time of the fire.

On this occasion, the impact of this school fire was minimal due to the installation of the sprinkler system which is mandatory for all new built schools in Wales, this is not the case for England, current guidance when first released in 2007, acknoweldeged the important role of sprinklers and stated that all new schools should have fire sprinklers installed except in low-risk schools

When you compare this to a school fire in  Yatton Bristol on the 29 May 2023 where sprinklers were not fitted, the outcome on this occasion was that the school lost 6 classrooms and over 100 pupils were displaced to surrounding schools. Temporary classrooms have now been provided allowing all year groups to be taught on site from September 2023. The rebuild of the infant school is currently being planned and is expected to take at least a year.


Image credit Avon Fire& Rescue Servic



1 December 2023 @ 9:30 am
2 December 2023 @ 9:30 am