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Automatic Fire Suppression Systems (AFSS) Sprinklers

We are committed to reducing the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment in raising an awareness, playing a key leadership role in promoting a better understanding of the benefits of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems as part of our plan managing, reducing risks to communities within East Sussex from fire.

ESFRS Responds to The Government Consultation on Approved Document B

We fully support the government consultation which closed on March 17, 2023 to make it mandatory for

  • New care homes to have sprinklers fitted.
  • New residential buildings above 30 meters to have a minimum of two staircases.

We have reaffirmed our support in the National Fire Chiefs Council response which was drafted in consultation with our colleagues across the FRSs which included comprehensive input from ESFRS

Did you know there are a range of different types of Automatic Fire Suppression Systems, including sprinklers, watermist systems

Domestic/residential premises sprinkler systems

These are installed for the purpose of reducing risk to life from fire as the largest number of deaths occur in the home as well as limiting damage within a property.

The evidence suggests sprinklers can control, contain, or even extinguish a property fire in the early stages of development before the arrival of the fire rescue service.

The optimal economics, efficiency and effectiveness of sprinkler systems report identified that:

  • Sprinklers are 94% efficient in their ability to operate
  • Sprinklers are 99% effective in extinguishing or controlling a fire

As part of a package of fire safety measures, the installation of sprinklers would benefit

  • Homes occupied by the most vulnerable in our communities
  • Care homes and specialised housing
  • Hospitals
  • Premises providing sleeping accommodation for paying guests
  • Schools
  • Warehouses
  • Timber framed buildings
  • Waste management facilities
  • Complex and deep sub surface basements
  • Firefighters, completing firefighting operations by limiting fire development

How do sprinklers operate?

Myth Buster

Only the sprinkler head(s) directly affected by the fire will activate, they don’t all activate throughout a property simultaneously like in the movies.

It's a misconception that the water from sprinklers cause more damage that an actual fire.

They use a lot less water than a firefighter's hose whilst suppressing fire and smoke.

Sprinklers are heat sensitive react to heat at a temperature of 65-70 degrees Celsius the best way to understand the benefits of sprinklers is to watch the short video.

Most fires are controlled by the activation of one sprinkler head

Sprinkler Demonstration

To understand the benefits of sprinklers, watch this short video demonstrating the difference between a room with sprinklers and a room without.

Did you know Sprinkler systems are the only fixed fire installation which can detect and control a fire and activate an alarm

Personal Protection Watermist Systems

Is a self-contained suppression system designed to protect a specific area such as an individual identified to be vulnerable from fire who because of mental and/physical health issue spends the majority of their time in either a bed or chair and would be unable to escape in the event of a fire.

Personal Protection Systems Guidance

Sprinkler Saves

Provide clear evidence to both the residential/commercial sector of the benefits of sprinklers.

A sprinkler save is where one or more sprinkler heads activate containing, controlling or in some case extinguishing a building fire.

The story around the incident provides powerful evidence of the role sprinklers play, as part of an appropriate package of fire safety measures, in reducing impact of fire on people property and the environment

Visit Sprinkler Saves for the examples of where sprinklers have played a part in reducing harm and protecting vulnerable people

BAFSA reviews promoting sprinkler saves

Sprinkler saves UK Annual review 2022/23
Sprinkler Saves London Review

"Sprinklers Saved our lives"

A family who were trapped by fire in their tenth-floor Birmingham flat owe their lives to sprinklers.

“We couldn’t get out. We were on the tenth floor. It was too high. I can tell you for sure that the sprinklers saved our lives. It is brilliant they were installed in the first place.”

Regulatory Guidance

Fire is the same wherever it occurs sprinkler regulations across the UK are not

In England guidance is provided in Building regulations 2010 Approved Document B-

  • Volume 1 Dwelling Houses
  • Volume 2 Buildings other than Dwelling Houses

Where are sprinklers required in the UK

Regulatory Guidance

National Fire Chiefs Council Sprinkler Week 15-21 May 2023

ESFRS demonstrated their continued support for the National Fire Chiefs Council Sprinkler campaign by holding a sprinkler seminar for their fire protection staff with guest speakers from the sprinkler sector.

It is recognised that the effectiveness and efficiency of any organisation depends on the skills and competence of its staff resource which should include providing staff with an understanding of sprinkler fire protection systems.

The campaign highlighted the importance of sprinklers promoting that lives and properties could be saved by the installation of a sprinkler system focusing on 4 key areas to promote the benefits of sprinklers

  • Spread an awareness of the facts about sprinklers.
  • Promote a greater understanding of fire sprinkler systems in providing business and social continuity, mitigating the effects of fire with environmental and economic cost benefits.
  • Support fire and rescue services to promote sprinklers in their communities, businesses, and local authority forums, providing a national picture to assist in promoting fire sprinkler systems.
  • The target audience is people who have a responsibility for developments which care for the most vulnerable people in our communities and those whose developments or loss of them impact the social and economic wellbeing of our communities.

Other sources of expertise

  • Sprinkler Saves UK- Promoting the benefits of sprinklers by working with FRS representatives and the sprinkler industry to collate sprinkler saves, promoting their ability to contain/control a fire
  • British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association- The UK’s professional trade association promoting and increasing the acceptance and understanding of the benefits of AFSS
  • National Fire Sprinkler Network-the core membership comprises of representatives from every FRS with representatives within local government agencies lobbying for the wider use of sprinklers
  • Business Sprinkler Alliance- Advocates greater business resilience by enhancing protection against fire through the increased acceptance and use of fire sprinklers in commercial and industrial premises
  • Residential Sprinkler Association- Is a non-profit organisation providing support to the residential sector of the uk fire sprinkler industry
  • European Fire Sprinkler Network- Connects those in Europe who share its aim to improve fire safety through greater use of sprinklers
  • National Fire Chiefs Council- The professional voice of the UK FRS calling for a greater inclusion of AFSS in the built environment in the UK