Information days are being held during Fire Sprinkler Week for businesses across Merseyside to gain more details about how they can improve business continuity at their site by introducing sprinklers.

The days are being offered as part of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Fire Sprinkler Week 2015. The theme of Fire Sprinkler Week is business continuity.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service held a demonstration in 2014 to illustrate the effectiveness of sprinklers in containing fire. Two identical units were constructed to represent a lounge in an average home. Two fires were started and the room without a sprinkler was gutted by fire within minutes.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “The focus of Fire Sprinkler Week 2015 is business continuity and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) is raising awareness around sprinklers and promoting the benefits of sprinklers as part of a commitment to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, businesses and the environment in Merseyside.

“The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) endorses the correct installation and use of sprinklers in line with accepted standards as a means of securing life, property and firefighter safety. Sprinklers provide a range of benefits including environmental ones and, if more widely used, could potentially save millions of pounds for our economy.

“CFOA and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service believe more can be done to promote the wider use of sprinklers in schools, domestic, commercial and residential premises and continue to actively work towards supporting this aim.”

New figures were also released to launch Fire Sprinkler Week in Merseyside, which starts on March 16.

Across Merseyside, between January 1, 2011, and February 28, 2015, new figures reveal firefighters in Merseyside attended 16 fires where a sprinkler had contained the flames and six where the sprinkler had extinguished the fire. Out of the 22 fires, 18 fires occurred in business or industrial sites.

In Liverpool, during the time period, four fires at business or industrial sites were contained by sprinklers and one fire at a business or industrial site was extinguished by sprinklers.

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer added: “We have been working with businesses since 2012 ahead of the introduction of our approach to automatic fire alarms to reduce the number of false alarms firefighters attend and we have seen some very good examples where owners, managers and staff have taken these issues seriously.

“Water sprinklers are an incredibly valuable tool in detecting real fires therefore automatic fire alarms identified as activating from sprinkler systems will receive an immediate response.

“This campaign is another way we can safeguard the community against the impact of fires on people, property, business and the environment.”

Since November 2013, all calls from Automatic Fire Alarms are challenged by the Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) Fire Control room 24-hours a day. In the event of an Automatic Fire Alarm activating, a fire appliance is not being sent unless a fire or physical signs of a fire are confirmed. If anyone sees, hears or smells a fire they should call 999.

There is no legal requirement for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to respond to calls originating from automatic systems and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MF&RS) continues to maintain a full emergency response to all domestic dwellings.

The Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Dave Hanratty, said: “Sprinklers have advanced technology and are designed to a very high standard and they are affordable.

“In 2008, the total economic cost of fire in England was estimated at £8.3billion. Of the £8.3bn, £3.3bn can be attributed to the consequential costs of fire such as property damage, lost business, and the loss to the economy from injuries and the tragic loss of preventable deaths.

“Sprinklers are a topic I am passionate about as I truly believe they can make a great deal of difference protecting people, properties and businesses across Merseyside and further afield.

“More could be done to protect Britain’s businesses and homes against the devastating effects of fire. Fire sprinklers deliver benefits that far outweigh the cost of installation and maintenance.”

:: A BRE report in August 2012 confirmed sprinklers are cost effective for residential care homes housing the elderly, disabled and children. It also found sprinklers are cost effective in most purpose built flats; larger blocks of converted flats and HMOs (Homes of Multiple Occupancy) where there are at least six bedsits.

The “Cost Benefit Analysis of Residential Sprinklers” commissioned by the Chief Fire Officers’ Association (CFOA), with substantial funding support from British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA), was carried out by BRE Global. The report is an update to a previous Cost Benefit Analysis report published in 2004.


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