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Iain Cox
Iain Cox QFSM, MA, BSc(Hons), MCIPD

Chair – National Fire Sprinkler Network

See ‘Newsflash’ page for latest Sprinkler ‘Save’ information.

B H Award
The NFSN - The National Fire Sprinkler Network

Since its foundation in 1998, the National Fire Sprinkler Network has become a formidable organisation in developing the application of fire sprinkler technology for the protection of people, property and the environment at home, at work and their places of leisure and social activity.

We are a non-profit organisation and remain free from commercial interest. We work in partnership with a wide range of local, national and European Governments and the fire and construction industries who share our ideals and objectives in making our communities safer from the threat of fire.

More recent sprinkler saves: see Newsflash

Essex FRS sprinkler initiative update

15 December 2014

Mornington House get sprinklers thanks to ECFRS scheme

Mornington House in Westcliff has become the second residential block in the county to be fully fitted with a sprinkler suppression system thanks to the Service’s match funding scheme.
Sprinklers have been fitted to all 50 flats and communal areas in the four storey block with ECFRS providing match funding of £50,000 to the £119,000 scheme.
ACFO Paul Hill and EFA Vice Chair Ann Holland joined residents and representatives from South Essex Homes and Triangle Fire Systems at a celebratory get together to mark completion of works.
It becomes the second block of flats in the county to benefit from the Service’s match funding scheme.
ECFRS has pledged £250,000 to help make sure that homes where the most vulnerable people live are protected by sprinkler systems. The funding is available to local authorities, housing associations and charities with those at highest risk given priority access to the fund.
Mornington House was the scene of a devastating fire in 2007 which led to the entire block being evacuated for the weekend and caused extensive damage to seven flats meaning tenants had to be re-homed elsewhere.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill said: “We are extremely pleased to be here today to hand over the cheque and to see for ourselves the new sprinkler system.


2014 Bernadette Hartley Memorial Award

Each year the National Fire Sprinkler Network seeks to recognise outstanding achievement in the field of promoting the use of fire sprinklers through the presentation of the Bernadette Hartley Memorial Award.

The award is given to an individual or group who have ‘made a significant contribution to the cause of sprinklers’. The presentation of the trophy to the winner will be made sometime in the first part of 2015 at a venue yet to be decided

I have attached a copy of the nomination pro-forma which, when completed, should be returned to myself and as notification has been delayed this year, the closing date will be the 15th January 2015.

All are eligible for nomination apart from current NFSN Executive members and previous winners namely, Chris Enness, Ann Jones, Roger Brason, Jo Fowler, Les Fielding and myself.

If you have any queries regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact the Secretary.

Forthcoming meetings and seminars

The NFSN has been notified of a number of forthcoming seminars as follows:

13th November 2014:BAFSA 40th Anniversary celebration in Bristol

21st November 2014: R&D sprinkler seminar in Glasgow

BAFSA Warehouse seminars:

27th November: Milton Keynes
12th February 2015 Glasgow (TBC)
18th March 2015: Burton upon Trent
19th March 2015: South Wales

To book you place please go to the BAFSA website:

Tyne and Wear sprinkler initiative

Keeping people safe in Newcastle

Vulnerable people in Newcastle are at less risk from fire thanks to a partnership between Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and social housing provider Leazes Homes. The accommodation, which opened in March 2014, houses 16 one-bedroom flats for people with mental health illnesses are provided with additional fire safety advice and support to the residents, who are extremely vulnerable to an increased risk of having a fire, due to their health and personal circumstances. A combined fire protection system has been fitted throughout Leazes Homes’ newly built accommodation in Scrogg Road, Walker, Newcastle. The system provides life-saving protection in the event of a fire by having the combination of sprinklers and smoke detection throughout the building. The sprinkler heads, which are part of the sprinkler system, will only actuate if they are in the vicinity of, and directly affected by heat from the fire. The system also notifies the staff on site to the risk of fire as it is integrated into the premises’ fire alarm system; who will then ring 999 for the fire and rescue service. District Manager for Newcastle Peter Iveson, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are pleased that Leazes Homes has invested in the sprinkler system – not only will it help protect property but it will protect lives. Whilst working smoke alarms can give people the early warning of fire, clear evidence suggests that the installation of sprinklers is one of the most effective measures in protecting occupants from fire. A fire death in a building with sprinklers fitted is extremely rare, where the sprinkler is appropriately designed, fully operational and maintained. Leazes Homes plans to install sprinkler systems in all its new buildings which accommodate the community’s most vulnerable people. Chair of Leazes Homes, Bill Midgley, said: “Leazes Homes provides high quality, affordable accommodation to people in need. By working with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service we are able to make our most vulnerable residents safer in their own homes, which further helps them to maintain their independence. Ultimately we want to fit all of our supported accommodation with a sprinkler system, to safeguard the lives of more vulnerable people and we’re already installing a system at Trevelyan Court, our new housing with care apartment and bungalow complex. We will continue to work with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and our housing manager, Your Homes Newcastle, to achieve this.” For more information on sprinklers visit<>

October NFSN meeting confirmed for Wiltshire

Wiltshire F&RS have generously offered to host out autumn meeting on October 22nd 2014.

The venue is yet to be confirmed but will hopefully be on the M4 corridor in the Swindon area.

If you would like to attend or need further details please contact the Secretary at

Sprinklers helped save ASOS stock, Fire Service says

Fire officers say sprinklers were key to limiting the spread of a major fire at the ASOS warehouse near Barnsley. Fire broke out at the 60,000 square metre site on Park Spring Ring, Grimethorpe at around 10pm on Friday (20 June). Ten fire engines and more than 60 firefighters helped put out the fire, which is estimated have caused millions of pounds worth of damage in lost stock. But the damage could have been even greater had the building not had a sprinkler system, with the fire service urging more businesses to invest sprinkler systems to protect their assets. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Head of Prevention and Protection Phil Shillito, said: “The fire suppression systems installed by ASOS were sophisticated, worked effectively and played a significant role in reducing the spread of the fire in its early stages.

“This was still a major fire and our firefighters did a tremendous job in tackling the blaze and bringing it under control so quickly. But there is no doubt that the sprinkler system in place greatly limited the damage, and probably saved the warehouse from being destroyed.”

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

Currently, only commercial premises greater than 20,000m2 must have sprinkler systems installed. The fire service, through the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), is currently campaigning for this threshold to be lowered. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has already helped pioneer a drive for sprinklers to be installed in residential properties. In 2011, sprinklers were retro-fitted into a block of flats in Gleadless after a grant from the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association. It was the first scheme of its kind in the country. The fire at the ASOS warehouse involved four floors and is believed to have been started deliberately.

NFSN June meeting update

The NFSN Members meeting held on Wednesday 25th June at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Training Establishment in Sheffield was attended by 37 delegates with some useful and thought provoking content. Thanks to all who came and especially to South Yorkshire F&RS for looking after us so well.

As well as the usual agenda items there was an interesting presentation on a recent fire trial carried out by London Fire Brigade in conjunction with Bafsa and CFOA into to the effects of sprinklers where hoarding is prevalent.

There was also be a presentation from ‘Firebreaker’ about their valve set for use in domestic sprinkler systems.

The third presentation was by Gary Howe who explained the elements required to protect recycling sites with water based fire suppression systems.

There was also a round up of reports from across the country-wide membership which were particularly of interest.

Minutes from the meeting will be available in due course.

New sprinkler initiatives announced

Sprinkler Week has seen the announcement of several new sprinkler initiatives from around the regions.

1, Sprinkler systems are to be fitted into some of Nottingham’s high rise blocks and new buildings to reduce the risk of injury and death from fires.

Nottingham City Homes has worked with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to identify which of the company’s 28,000 properties are occupied by people most at risk from fire.

The company is also taking the opportunity to fit sprinkler systems into its newly-built bungalows and flats.

Initially, the high-rise blocks of Winchester Court, Woodthorpe Court and Kingston Court, in Mapperley, will be fitted with the systems. In total, 270 flats will be fitted with the life-saving equipment. The investment in sprinklers is £1.25 million, covered by both organisations.

Chief executive Nick Murphy said: “We want to make sure that our most vulnerable tenants are even safer in their homes from fire. That’s why we are working with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service to identify which of our properties to prioritise.”

2, Care UK’s new care homes across Suffolk, which will begin opening later this year, have won praise from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service for going above and beyond fire safety regulations required within existing legislation.

John Johnson, head of health and safety for Care UK’s £60 million Suffolk care home development project, said: “Resident and colleague safety is of the utmost importance to Care UK, which is why we will be installing automatic sprinklers to BS9521 in each of the county’s 10 new homes.

“Suffolk Fire and Rescue representatives are very positive about this as the use of fire sprinklers exceeds the current legal minimum of fire safety regulations in England.”

Councillor Colin Spence, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “We are delighted that Suffolk County Council has been able to work closely with Care UK in the progression of our ambition to include fire safety sprinklers within the design of these new care homes. This represents the best possible option for both the safety of older members of the community of Suffolk and a clear commitment by Care UK to community welfare and business continuity planning.”

3, Whitefriars Housing Association, based in Coventry, have announced plans to fit sprinklers into 4 of their high rise properties in Coventry with work having already started on one installation.

Additionally, a proposed new hostel for vulnerable persons in the city will have sprinklers fitted from the outset.

Kevin Rogers, from Whitefriars, outlined the plans at a sprinkler seminar held by West Midlands Fire Service at their Headquarters in Birmingham last Tuesday.

4, London Fire Brigade’s sprinkler competition

The competition is open to any London housing provider in the capital and the Brigade has a total of £100,000 available to part fund sprinkler projects designed to benefit those people most at risk from fire such as those with mobility or mental health problems or people with dementia.


5, Essex sprinkler initiative

Essex Fire and Rescue Service is demonstrating its commitment to the benefits of sprinklers by providing funding to help install sprinklers in the homes of the highest risk of fire.

A total of £250,000 will be used to provide match funding to fit sprinkler systems and protect the most vulnerable people in the County. The funding is available to Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Charities. Those at highest risk will be given priority access to the fund.

Applications can be made to the Service. A desktop assessment indicates sprinklers are an appropriate solution and the current position warrants further investigation then an ECFRS Fire Engineer will visit to assess suitability for the fitting of sprinklers.

If the Fire Engineer’s report and the application is approved you will be informed in writing of how much you will be awarded. The maximum award will be 50% of the cost. Grants will be paid within 30 days of a final inspection by ECFRS to ensure that the system is installed to the correct standard.

To find out more about the match funding use the form found on their website.

The Business Sprinkler Alliance launches new reports on warehouses

The Business Sprinkler Alliance have published two new reports on the impact of fires in warehouses

1, The financial and economic impact of warehouse fires

This is an evidence‐based report by the Centre for Economics and Business assessment of the direct and indirect economic impacts in England and Wales of fires in warehouse buildings without automatic fire suppression systems.

2, An environmental impact and cost benefit analysis for fire sprinklers in warehouse buildingsBRE Global

This study identifies the costs and benefits associated with the installation of automatic fire suppression systems (‘sprinklers’), in three ranges of warehouse building size in England.

The reports can be found and downloaded via the link below:

Call for sprinklers following tragic fire in Quebec

You may have seen coverage on the UK News of the tragic Care Home fire in Quebec last night. The NFSN extend their condolences to all affected by the blaze.
The following links provide more information:

Fire Sprinkler Week: 3rd to 9th February

Download the toolkit from our downloads page….

The focus of this first sprinkler week, intended as a precursor to future annual events, will have a mainly local emphasis with F&RS organising events in their local area. The week events are being coordinated by CFOA and the Business Sprinkler Alliance with support from NFSN and BAFSA.

To find out more visit Week2014

There will also be a Twitter feed at #sprinklerweek2014

Additionally, there will be launches of important new studies, offering evidence of the strong business case for installing sprinklers in buildings including:

•CFOA Business Case for Sprinklers
•BRE Cost Benefit Analysis on Warehouses
•CEBR Economic Impact of Commercial Fire

The BRE and CEBT reports will be launched at Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons on 29 January.

Merseyside sprinkler initiative announced ahead of Sprinkler Week

A new initiative has been announced to fit sprinklers into buildings where people are more at risk of experiencing a fire in Merseyside.

The announcement was made ahead of Sprinkler Week which starts on February 3, 2014. The aim of the week is to focus on the benefits of sprinklers across the built environment and how they can help protect people from fire.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority has agreed to put funds towards the project which will see at least one high rise block in each of the five districts in Merseyside fitted with a sprinkler system.

Other high rise blocks, identified by risk, are also expected to have sprinklers fitted.

Chair of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Dave Hanratty said:

“The Fire Authority has agreed to a new project which sees Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service working with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) who will retro-fit sprinkler systems to buildings where more vulnerable residents are living, including blocks of flats. A particular focus is the elderly and those at greater risk of experiencing fire.

“Sprinkler systems will also contribute towards fire-fighter safety as they can stop fires spreading and we will be supporting RSLs during the installation of the sprinklers. RSLs will pay for the running cost and maintenance of the sprinkler systems.

“The benefit of sprinklers and the impact they have suppressing fires and limiting a fire spreading in a building is a topic I am passionate about and I am delighted this project is beginning with the support of our partners.”

NFSN members meetings arranged for 2014 are as follows…….

26th March 2014: NFSN AGM and Members, Norwich

25th June 2014: NFSN Members, Sheffield

22nd October 2014: NFSN Members, Wiltshire

Please contact the secretary for more details

Derby Homes sprinklered

Derby Homes have been supportive of the ‘Think Sprinkler’ campaign since its inception and have been working closely with the Service to drive its success. To this end, Derby Homes have committed to fitting domestic sprinklers into all of its new build properties and retro fitting them into all properties where necessary. Rose Homes is one of four projects currently underway by Derby Homes, three further developments will deliver a total of approximately 140 properties all fitted with domestic sprinklers, ready to protect both tenants and property for life.
Derby Homes have enlisted a private contractor to install the sprinkler systems at a cost of £800 per unit; the lowest cost to date for fitting domestic sprinklers. Further details of the installations are awaited.

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