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New sprinkler system contains fire

10 January 2019

A SPRINKLER system switched on last month in a tower block in Plymouth may have contributed to saving the lives of people inside, according to Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.

A fire which started just after midnight on 6 January in the kitchen of a flat on the 11th floor of Tamar House was contained and fully extinguished by the retrospectively-installed sprinkler system. 

Six fire appliances attended the scene and firefighters quickly confirmed the fire was extinguished, so did not need to use the firefighting hoses deployed in preparation to fight the fire.

The building was safely evacuated and a woman was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke following the accidental kitchen fire.  

Taking a proactive approach to fire safety, Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) completed the installation of a full sprinkler system throughout the Mount Wise Towers last month to help keep residents safe. The sprinkler installation was the next stage in a significant programme of works that have been taking place at the Towers.

Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service promotes the installation of sprinklers in high rise and many other types of residential premises as there is clear evidence that sprinklers can rapidly control the spread of fires. 

Business safety manager for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service Paul Bray said, “This incident really shows the importance of sprinklers and how effective they can be in stopping the spread of fires. The incident at Tamar House just goes to show this. And this is the case in all sorts of residential and non-residential premises, not just high-rise buildings.”

Sprinklers can:

• Reduce fire deaths and fire related injuries
• Reduce the risk to operational crews
• Protect property and heritage
• Reduce the effects of arson
• Reduce the environmental impact of fire
• Reduce the cost and disruption to the community and business.

The Service and Plymouth Community Homes continue to work together to ensure residents are as safe as possible from the effects of fire.