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Wellingborough Residential Care Home Sprinkler Save
27 January 2022
Image, credit, NFRS
Image Credit:;Triangle Fire Systems
- Fire& Rescue Service; Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS)
- Date of Incident; 27 January 2022
- Occupancy; Care home
- Number of floors 3
- Location of fire. Laundry room
- Ignition source: Industrial Tumble Dryer
- Automatic Fire suppression System; BS9251:2014 Residential Sprinkler System
NFRS have reported the above-mentioned incident involving an industrial tumble dryer which caught fire in the premises laundry room located on the ground floor. The fire was contained to the room of origin by the residential sprinkler system which actuated suppressing the fire before the arrival of NFRS.
The benefits of business continuity clearly highlighted with no smoke or fire damage to the surroundings or in close proximity to the appliance.
The benefits of the sprinkler systems clearly identified for this incident:
- Fire was suppressed, contained to the room of origin, preventing flash over
- The safety of firefighters reinforced, providing firefighters time to implement their tactical action plan, to extinguish the fire using two hose reels,
- Staff provided with extra time to implement the premises emergency action plan (Progressive Horizontal Evacuation) allowing residents nearest to the fire to be evacuated to a place of safety
Following the tragic events of The Rosepark Care Home Fire in Uddingstom, South Lanarkshire in 2004 that sadly killed 14 residents, Scotland responded by making the installation of sprinklers mandatory in all new care homes. Unfortunately, in England there is no requirement for the installation of sprinklers to protect the most vulnerable residents from fire.
Cost & Benefit
Why are sprinklers not installed in care homes?
It all comes down to one word, cost, expense which adds to the overall build cost, I wonder how many projects actually complete a cost benefit report for the provision of sprinklers for a new build care home.
However what clients, care home providers do not understand is the many benefits sprinklers can bring allowing cost savings to be made in other areas with an installed sprinkler system. Including the design, day to day operational costs of the premises.
- Reduction in night time staff subject to the findings of the fire risk assessment, emergency plan of the premises
- Fire doorsets to bedrooms do not need to be fitted with self-closing devices.
- Protected areas may contain more than 10 beds.
- Bedrooms may contain more than one bed.
If any of the variations are made, the management procedures should take account of the larger number of residents that may need assistance, and the need to manually close bedroom doors during sleeping hours.
John Pratt, Protection Team Lead at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “This incident is a reminder of the importance of maintaining high standards when it comes to fire safety, especially in a residential property housing vulnerable people, some with limited mobility. A thorough fire safety plan and a sprinkler system will save lives, protect property and minimise any interruption to the business.”
“The staff at Dukes Court had obviously received thorough fire safety training and knew exactly what was required to keep their residents safe and we urge any other business owners to ensure adequate fire safety measures are in place to safeguard people and property, and to comply with fire safety legislation.”
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service recommend the installation of sprinkler systems in domestic, industrial, commercial and residential premises.
- The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association Information file 14, Fire Sprinkler Systems in Care Homes
- Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Report, Rosepark Care Home, An Examination of the facts