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West Midlands Chip Pan Fire Sprinkler Activation

24 May 2022

  • Image taken from Bafsa video chip pan demonstration, click here to open  chip pan fire
  • Credit BAFSA/Stewart Kidd
  • Fire Rescue Service; West Midlands Fire Rescue Service (WMFRS)
  • Incident; Chip Pan Fire
  • When; 24 May 2022
  • Where, Edgbaston Birmingham, Pool Farm Estate
  • Use of premises; Purpose built residential block of flats containing 39 dwellings
  • Height of building: 10 or more stories
  • Fixed installation; Automatic fire suppression system (AFSS)

Triangle Fire Systems have reported the above-mentioned incident resulting in the activation of the premises residential sprinkler system in this 11-storey residential block of flats.


  • As part of a 3-year programme, Birmingham Council approved the installation of retrofitting residential sprinkler systems in all their 215 high-rise residential block of flats in 2017 which included the removal of combustible material from the façade where it was identified by laboratories, and the replacement of window infill panels with A2 fire rated products.
  • Prior to this programme, Birmingham council had completed a sprinklers programme to install sprinklers in all the communal bin areas of their residential tower block property portfolio
  • The approach taken by Birmingham city council should be applauded, the outcome of which will provide a further layer of safety from fire for their residents by the installation of sprinklers clearly demonstrated in this reported save.

 Sprinkler System

  • Dedicated tank and pump
  • Sprinkler heads VK480

The Incident

  • WMFRS were called to a kitchen fire involving a chip pan fire in a high-rise residential block of 11 storeys. On arrival crews identified the premises sprinkler system had activated containing/controlling the fire before their arrival.
  • The alarm was raised alerting the resident who proceeded to evacuate his family closing all internal flat doors as they evacuated the dwelling, no injuries were reported
  • Tall building fires are one of the most challenging incidents firefighters tackle on a day-to-day basis throughout the country. This was clearly demonstrated following the tragic deaths of two Southampton firefighters in 2010 who sadly lost their lives while tackling a tower block fire in Southampton.
  • This incident clearly justifies Birmingham councils’ decision to install sprinklers in all their tall buildings providing a further layer of safety from fire protecting both their residents/firefighters.

Chip Pan Fires

  •  The danger of chip pan fires should not be taken likely this is the sixth incident reported to Sprinkler Saves Uk clearly putting the myth to bed that residential sprinklers as an extinguishing media should not be used on fires involving chip pans.
  • On each occasion the fire was extinguished, contained/contained.

Previous incidents

  1. Lincoln, 7 August 2021
  2. Tonypandy, Rhondda, 29 December 2021
  3. Flint 3 June 2021
  4. South Yorkshire 26 August 2022
  5. London, West Drayton 21 August 2022




24 May 2022


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