Bicester factory compressor room: 9th January 2017

Bicester Business Saved by Sprinkler System

At 20:37 on Monday 9th January 2017 Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue Service received a call to a fire in the compressor room at Wyndehams Bicester, on the Chaucer Industrial Estate off Launton Road in Bicester. Oxfordshire County Council Fire & Rescue Service appliances from Bicester and Kidlington fire stations were immediately mobilised along with colleagues from Buckingham fire station.

Crews arrived within minutes, and were directed to the area of the building involved, where they found the fire sprinkler system activating. Working closely with the onsite specialist engineer, the crews were able to ensure that the electrical supply to the affected compressor house had been isolated to enable them to enter and ensure that the fire was extinguished. They then assisted with the company’s business continuity plans to enable the unaffected areas of the site to return to normal operation.

Group Manager Dave Bray, the Fire Protection and Business Safety Manager for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, who attended the incident, said “this incident clearly demonstrates the benefit of businesses having an automatic water suppression system to protect their plant, product and buildings. The site workers were alerted to the presence of fire through their fire detection and warning system, and upon investigating the cause of the alert, found their sprinkler system already activating and holding the growth of the fire in check. Due to clear and well-practiced emergency procedures, the Fire and Rescue Service were called without delay, whilst the building was being evacuated and a roll call taken. The sprinklers contained the fire to the piece of equipment where it started, and extinguished the flames.” He went on to state that “the heat from the fire activated only the sprinkler heads directly over the piece of equipment which is how an automatic water suppression system is designed to operate. This meant that the other pieces of plant equipment in this area, and the structure of the building itself were completely undamaged, meaning that the company was able to return to ‘business as normal’ very quickly.”

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