East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding businesses of the benefits of sprinklers after a fire destroyed a large business property in St Leonards.
At 21:04 on 9th February, firefighters from Hastings, The Ridge, Bexhill, Battle, Broad Oak, Pevensey and an Aerial Ladder Platform from Brighton were called to a fire in an industrial building on Drury Lane, St Leonards.
Despite early reports of the fire via the fire alarm company and the Fire Service arriving on the scene within a matter of minutes, due to rapid fire spread and the building storing gas cylinders which exploded, firefighters had to withdraw to a safe distance and evacuate a number of adjacent residential properties.
Local residents evacuated were supported by Hastings Borough Council who set up a temporary rest centre for those affected.
Crews remained at the scene overnight with residents allowed to return to their properties in the early hours of this morning, although residents were instructed to keep all doors and windows closed due to the residual smoke from the building.
Sprinklers save lives and property
Andrew Gausden, Business Safety Manager said: This fire demonstrates that despite early warning, fire can quickly spread and destroy your business. Fire costs UK businesses millions of pounds, from property damage, loss of business and insurance premiums. Business Continuity planning is a key element to keeping your business safe from fire and sprinklers are a cost effective way to control a fire in the early stages.
Sprinklers do more than people realise
- the economy
- the environment
Greater uptake of fire sprinklers would make the country more resilient and competitive, and help ensure that needless fires do not hinder continuing economic recovery.
Do you know the true cost of fire?
- The average cost of a fire in a domestic property is estimated at £44,523
- Commercial fires cost more than £2bn to the UK's economy every year
- The Department for Communities and Local Government estimates the cost of a fire fatality at £1.65m.
- Not every fire sprinkler goes off when there is a fire. It is common for just one or two sprinklers to control a fire until the fire service arrives
- Fire sprinklers respond to heat. Once activated, a sprinkler delivers water directly to the fire and can set off an alarm to evacuate occupants and alert the local fire service
- Fire sprinklers are cost beneficial to install. The cost of sprinklers is a small fraction of the potential risks and costs associated with a fire
For further information regarding the benefits of sprinklers visit: www.esfrs.org/business/sprinklers/