Birtley manufacturing facility sprinkler save: 22nd March 2017

Birtley manufacturing facility sprinkler save: 22nd March 2017

A manufacturing plant in Birtley, near Washington, was saved from serious damage thanks to a sprinkler system which activated after a fire broke out on the morning of Wednesday, 22 March.

Two Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service crews from Birtley and Washington were called to the manufacturing and fabrication factory after the alarm was raised shortly after 10am. The fire was caused by a motor overheating in a shot blasting booth.

The sprinkler system suppressed the fire and confined it to the 20m x 20m shot blasting area. Machinery and all cabling and plastics in the booth were 100% severely damaged by fire.

The fire was extinguished by four fire-fighters wearing breathing apparatus, using two hose reels.

Assistant Chief Officer John Baines, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There is no doubt that having an automatic sprinkler system in this building stopped the fire from spreading and prevented potentially severe damage to the rest of the property and the business itself. I would encourage all businesses to install sprinklers to protect their premises and staff, the general public and fire-fighters.”

​A spokesperson for the business said: “The sprinklers have saved us a fortune. I would like to thank the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue teams for the outstanding work they did. The response and efficiency of the teams was exemplary, and in fact helped to keep damage to a minimum. Without their help the consequences could have been far worse.”

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