East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
Black Museum Logo

Computer fire & Building construction

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A fire door contained the the fire and smoke damage

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Fire & Smoke damage to the office

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Cause of the fire, an overheated PC

How this fire happened

A passing police officer called us to a fire at a block of offices. The alarm was sounding.

The fire crew extinguished the fire with 2 hose reel jets.  

The fire had been contained to one office by a good fire door. There was substantial smoke damage to the whole room.

The cause of the fire was found to be a PC tower unit, which was left on 24 hours a day, it had overheated.

The effect it had

Fire alarm panel with Zone map
Fire alarm panel with zone map

“Our office fire started in a computer overnight. We were very fortunate that a passing off-duty police man saw the flames and called the fire Brigade at the same time the fire alarm activated.

The fire Brigade arrived very promptly and quickly put the fire out, and even though only about 10% of the office was fire damaged in the 40 minutes the fire was burning, everything in the room was thoroughly destroyed by the smoke. It is hard to believe the utter destruction that can be caused in a very short space of time.

The building performed as designed, so the fire did not spread to any other areas, but the effect of the smoke damage in the room of the fire was total."

Safety message

General Electrical Safety Message

  • Always unplug and isolate any unused electrical equipment.
  • Check all plugs and leads regularly and ensure they are PAT tested if required 
  • Do not overload sockets 
  • Get a qualified electrician to do any electrical work   

Business Safety Message 

It’s a sad fact that 4 out of 5 businesses do not recover from unplanned disruption. You may be insured against fire but do you have a business continuity plan to cope after the incident?

Happily in this case, the building was of new construction and built with safety in mind. The modern addressable fire alarms, fire doors, and general building construction saved what was a relatively small fire from potentially being a total loss. 

One of the cornerstones of the work of the Fire and Rescue Service is in the area of Business Safety.    

This work is focused on assisting business to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 so that the non-domestic buildings in which people work, visit and enjoy leisure time are provided with facilities that will ensure a safe means of escape in the event of a fire starting.

Business continuity plans can help a business to look at the potential impact a fire or other unplanned event can have on your workplace.

We can offer, advice training, guidance and templates to assist you.    

Sussex Resilience Forum
The Sussex Resilience Forum works to make Sussex a safer place for the whole community.

Do you have a similar story?

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 :
16 September 2020
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