East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
Child playing with a disposable lighter
Black Museum Logo

Fire caused by a child playing with a disposable lighter

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Fire damage

Fire damage


Fire damage

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Surface Mounted sprinkler system

Surface Mounted sprinkler system

How this fire happened

Following a "Fire Setter" intervention by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, at a property where our advisors were concerned that a child was regularly playing with fire and others in the property were vulnerable due to limited mobility, it was decided to fit a sprinkler system.

Details of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Services' Firesetters Intervention Schemes.

The system was surface mounted and would be easily de mountable if the family moved and / or the fire setting behaviour stopped.

Two days after the system was commissioned the living room curtains were set alight.

The sprinkler system actuated almost immediately, extinguished the fire and raised the alarm.

The sprinkler system was immediately re instated and ready in case of any further fires.

Damage to the property was very light and the occupants were able to move back in immediately.

Comments from local sprinkler installer

"By working together with East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, we were able to design and install a fire sprinkler system which was specifically suited to the fire risk.

Using new Low Flow sprinkler head technology, we were able to install a system which was practical and cost effective. The system is designed not only to suppress, but to extinguish fires and in this case one sprinkler head was able to do exactly that.

Water damage to the room was minimal and our engineers were able to re-commission the sprinkler system within a few hours of the fire taking place."

The effect it had

"We are so glad that we had a sprinkler system fitted before the fire, as I am disabled and confined to a wheel chair, which could have been a real problem if the fire had been able to develop.

"People need to be aware that if they have particular mobility problems, hearing a smoke detector may not be enough to save their lives.

"The Fire Service were so helpful and efficient and I don't know where I would be now had it not been for their proactive help in making me safe from fire by assisting with fitting a sprinkler system in my home."

Safety message

The reduction of death or injury from fire is a primary aim of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service in helping to achieve its vision of "Safer and More sustainable Communities". Policies and the activities of staff through the application of preventative measures, such as education or fitting of single point smoke detectors has contributed to a vast reduction of life threatening incidents.

However, there are members of the community who require additional protective measures due to their inability to react rapidly to smoke alarms, so as to make a timely escape from their dwelling.

In such high-risk cases, prevention measures alone may prove inadequate; and the addition of active protection from the installation of a sprinkler system becomes an option, particularly where the likelihood of a fire occurring is high.

Where suitably high-risk cases are identified, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will provide help and support to occupiers, owners and housing authorities to facilitate the provision of active protective measures.

Applications using sprinklers in East Sussex and in other Fire and Rescue Service areas have already been proven to be effective in risk reduction and containing fires to the room and often materials of origin.

Note: Automatic water suppression systems includes, British Standard BS9251 domestic and residential sprinklers, water misting systems and 'Lo Cost' water suppression schemes. This cannot be considered a full list, as many new evolutions are being developed or improved, however it is important that the functionality of the product is matched to the level of risk to ensure adequate protection is afforded.

It has often been said that installing a suitable sprinkler system is like having a Fire fighter in every room 24 hrs a day 7 days a week!

Further information

Do you have a similar story?

Finally, we would be interested to hear from you if you have had a similar experience to the fire detailed above, or would like to raise any related matters or even just generally comment on how useful you found our Black Museum.

Please send us your details and a comments via our on-line feedback form.



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Latest Update :
13 October 2016
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