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Sprinklers Reduce Impact of Fire

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Although there was some smoke and water damage, stock loss was kept to a minimum
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The majority of the stock was saved

How this fire happened

A depot at a Cheshire-based medical firm suffered a fire in the early hours of the morning believed to be due to an electrical fault.

The effect it had

The boss of a medical firm, which manufactures products including dressings and first aid kits, praised a sprinkler system which saved his business from ruin after an electrical fire ignited in the early hours of the morning.

Thankfully the sprinkler system installed at the site operated to control the fire and assist firefighting crews from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, protecting an estimated £2 million in stock and the entire building. 

The Managing Director of the company said “If it was not for the sprinkler system, and the speedy and professional response of Cheshire Fire and Rescue, this would have been a disaster.

“I was called at 0300hrs by one of my key holders. Ten fire engines attended the incident. I had never seen them at work before, but I was so impressed by how professional they were.”

The Managing Director was relieved that the intervention of the sprinklers and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service prevented a total loss of his business and the factory was able to be back up and running the following week.

“It is an unwanted problem, but is nothing we cannot deal with and thankfully has not been a disaster,” he added. “We will be able to open again from Monday and that is the real story that we have been saved by the sprinklers.”

Simon Gibbins, Head of Protection at Cheshire Fire and Rescue said: “This building contained a huge amount of stock, with the company employing some 50 people. Thankfully, a sprinkler system contained the fire to one area which, although some stock was damaged, meant the majority of stock and the building were saved and will be back in operation within just a couple of days”.

“Companies very rarely recover from a fire such as this, but the sprinkler system did its job and minimised the impact on the rest of the building, containing the flames to one area. Sprinklers work to suppress the flames and, although there was damage, the rest of the building escaped this fire. We would urge all businesses across the country to fit sprinklers in order to protect their business, staff, customers and our fire-fighters.”

Safety message

Fire Services urge people to install sprinklers due to how well they can contain and control any fire as well as raise the alarm.

Sprinklers can be fitted in all different types of buildings including offices, factories and homes and if fitted during construction can typically cost just 2% of the overall build cost which is roughly the cost of carpeting.

Sprinklers can significantly help reduce the risk of death and injury from fire, protect property and stock. Unwanted activations are extremely rare and only those sprinkler heads immediately above a fire will activate, therefore water damage is minimised.

For more information, including how sprinklers work and costs see our sprinklers page.

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There was minimal disruption to business continuity and the business was reopen within days
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One of the sprinkler heads which helped to prevent the fire from taking hold

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.


Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service
Chesfire Fire & Rescue Service


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Latest Update :
12 April 2017
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