Monday, August 7, 2017

News: Rotherham supermarket saved by sprinklers

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Fire officers are repeating calls for businesses to fit sprinklers, after the devices saved a Rotherham supermarket from suffering a serious blaze.

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) firefighters attended the incident at Asda Rotherham, Aldwarke Lane in July after a fryer caught fire in the cafe.

But the fire was already out when crews from Rotherham and Dearne stations arrived, there was virtually no fire or water damage and the store was quickly reopened - all thanks to sprinklers which had been fitted to suppress the fire.

Amy Jenkinson, business fire safety manager at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: "The fire suppression systems installed by Asda were sophisticated, worked effectively and completely extinguished the fire. There is no doubt that having sprinkler systems like this in place can save businesses massive amounts of time and money by limiting losses of stock and custom in the event that a fire does occur."

The fire service added that sprinklers are the most effective way of ensuring that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive. They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.

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Currently, only commercial premises greater than 20,000 sq m (215,000 sq ft) must have sprinkler systems installed. SYFR adopted a position statement last year which specifically advocated the use of sprinklers and other fire suppression systems in non-domestic premises and high-risk residential settings.

SYFR offers a number of services aimed at businesses. Part of that includes promoting better understanding of the benefits of sprinklers, encouraging building owners, developers, architects and designers to incorporate sprinkler systems where there is a risk-based case for doing so, particularly where the risks to people are unacceptable high, or where there is a clear business case in terms of cost and benefit.

The position statement added: "Irrespective of size, there is a compelling case to be made for sprinklers in any commercial premises, on the basis of loss of production or interruption to business as a result of fire. Approximately 85% of small and medium businesses suffering a serious fire either never recover or cease trading within 18 months.

"The installation of sprinklers in these types of premises will aid growth in the economy as fewer businesses will cease to trade, losses from fire will reduce and fewer businesses will be forced to relocate. The impact of the loss of trade and jobs to the economy of South Yorkshire can be minimised by the installation of sprinklers."

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue website

Images: SYFR


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