MORRIS 1955 - 2013
||28th January 2013
When I first met him Keith was a Director of Marshall
Tufflex, a company that made, amongst many other things, plastic pipes
and were based near Hastings.
At that time Marshall Tufflex wanted a license to
produce Blazemaster pipe and fittings here in the UK and were
negotiating with Jon Thomson, who was then European Marketing manager
for BF Goodrich (manufacturers of the Blazemaster plastic).
When the deal fell through Keith left Marshall Tufflex
and started Ultrasafe, which he built up over the years into one of
the larger Residential Fire Sprinkler installation companies in the
country and with a special interest in mist systems.
Keith was very passionate about fire safety and was a
strong supporter of the RSA and the fledgling Residential Sprinkler
Keith sat on our Council for several years until bad
health forced him to take more of a back seat.
Keith was a good friend and will be much missed
LETTER FROM OUR NEW CHAIRMAN
26th May 2011.
Members of the RSA
would like to thank Keith Rhodes for his sterling work as Chairman over
the past few years. As the new Chairman of the RSA I hope that I will be
able to carry forward his aims.
briefly introduce myself?
I have been
involved in the fire protection industry for the last seventeen years.
This has encompassed spells with Matthew Hall Merroll, Wormald Fire
Systems, Preussag, and running my own R&D Company. I am currently a
contract manager for Domestic Sprinklers plc.
As of the 19th
of May, I have been honoured to be elevated to the position of Chairman
of this fine association – the RSA. First and foremost my personal aim
as Chairman will be to promote the value of being a member of the RSA.
trade association, the RSA works mainly for the benefit of its
Membership. In this respect, I would ask that Members make full use of
the RSA’s logo and promotional materials, especially the RSA Certificate
of Conformity. This CoC is above all an assurance that the installation
has been dealt with, from start to finish, by a reputable, competent,
and professional Fire Sprinkler Installer – ie a Member of the RSA.
side of the coin is that the wider use of these CoCs will increase
awareness of the RSA by BCOs, Fire Service, Local Government,
Contractors, and Developers, which will expand our brand awareness of
where to go for reputable R&D sprinkler installers. This in turn
obviously increases individual Member’s turnover - so it’s a win-win for
the promotion of the RSA brand, we also need to promote the life saving
benefits of Residential Sprinkler systems to reduce, if not eradicate,
the unacceptable level of death and serious injury from fires in the UK.
This we believe is as important, if not more important, than the RSA
brand itself, since the most fundamental aim of any association should
be to promote the Industry it represents.
member of the RSA offers Members a wealth of experience and technical
knowledge, and a forum to voice their concerns regarding the current
state of the industry. Currently, there are technical issues concerning
the upgrade of DD252 to BS9252, the upcoming revision of BS9251 and the
Water Industry, which are being addressed by Sir George and I am fully
supportive of Sir George in this. I would urge you to take time out to
give him your views on these matters since they will have a huge impact
on our Industry.
I would like to thank all Members present at the AGM for their support
in my new position – I am very flattered to be chosen and will work hard
to justify your trust. I would also like to wish all the best to our
Members in the current financial climate and hope we all can continue
with the good work.
free to contact me if you have any issues to discuss and I will be happy
to assist you myself or draw on assistance from other Members if I
The RSA held its 4th AGM on Wednesday May
19th at the Green Man Brackley. The meeting attracted the largest
turn-out yet for the association, which led to a lively and proactive
Keith Rhodes announced his intention to
step down as Chairman after guiding the RSA for the last 4 years. The
Membership expressed their gratitude to Keith for all his hard work
through a difficult time for the Industry.
Andy Kelleher (of Domestic
Sprinkler plc) was elected unanimously as our new Chairman. Andy has
many years experience in the Sprinkler Industry and brings a fresh
perspective to the role of the RSA.
Other Council Members elected at the
meeting include -
Steve Yeomans of Autoquench
Colin Chantler of Triangle
Sprinkler - Technical Chairman
Charlene Johnson of BCK
Contracting - Membership Secretary
Sir George Pigot agreed to continue to
run the administration as Secretary General of the association.
A fuller report will appear here shortly.
RSA OBJECTS TO
PUBLICATION OF BS9252
The RSA has formally
objected to the publication of BS9252 on the grounds that it will
significantly increase the flow and pressure required from a sprinkler,
thus increasing the cost of installation, reducing reliability and
ruling out the use of the water mains in perhaps as much as 75% of
BSI FSH18/2 Chairman has rejected
our objections and you can read the correspondence by going to the RSA
Members Area and clicking on the
CHAIRMAN'S REPORT ON ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
will know the RSA held its AGM at the Greene Man near Brackley on
Wednesday April 29th. The meeting was well attended and
finished with a pleasant lunch.
Yeomans, the Honorary Treasurer, presented an Income & Expenditure
statement for 2008, which showed the RSA essentially broke even for the
year. With the small increase in subscription rates for 2009, it is
hoped the RSA will generate a small surplus to cover the cost of
representation on British Standards and Water Liaison Group committees.
the presentation of the accounts I gave a brief resume of the activities
of the RSA over the past year, and described some of our objectives for
the coming year. This led on to a wide ranging discussion which spilled
over into the Members Meeting later in the morning.
existing Council was re-elected and has been further strengthened by the
addition of 2 more members. Colin Taylor of Domestic Sprinklers plc
takes on the lead role on Technical/Political matters. Colin brings a
wealth of experience in the water and sprinkler industries to the RSA,
being both a qualified fire engineer and having many years experience of
the Water Regulations. Charlene and Kevan Johnson of BCK Contracting
have taken on the role of Membership and plan to contact all of you
shortly seeking your views on a range of issues - as well as chasing any
of you that have yet to pay your 2009 subscription!
flattered to be asked to continue as Chairman and Steve Yeomans agreed
to continue as Hon Treasurer. Sir George Pigot also agreed to continue
to administer our affairs.
was followed by a lively Members’ Meeting. Subjects discussed included
many of the usual suspects, like water supplies, plus a lot of new ideas
on what services Members would like to see the RSA provide.
George Pigot and Colin Taylor reported on the Water Liaison Group, which
is chaired by the NFSN. This group is reviewing the Water Protocol
document agreed by the FSA back in 2004. Whilst some progress is being
made there still seems a long way to go on matters of storage and theft
of water. Currently the Group is proposing amendments to the Water Act
to specifically include fire sprinklers in its provisions, which will go
a long way to resolving the intrinsic problems the Water Companies have
with the supply of water to fire sprinklers.
sprinkler committee FSH18/2 is trying to agree and publish the sprinkler
head standard BS9252. Current outstanding matters include details of the
fire test, minimum application rates and areas of coverage. The RSA’s
position is that BS9252 needs to mirror the America standard UL1626 such
that residential sprinkler heads approved for use in the USA do not need
modification or re-testing for the UK market.
will hold a Technical Committee meeting on 3 June 2009 at which you can
learn much more about these issues. We will also be holding a Members’
meeting in the autumn on the 23 September 2009. Venues to be confirmed.
the economic downturn, 2009 looks like being a good year for the RSA,
with a strong Membership base and several new members joining in the
last few months. Membership is currently over 40 and looks set to be
more than 50 if existing trends continue. Many Members reported steady
business levels and continued reasonable levels of enquiry on most
fronts, although as might be expected this seems patchy across the
home sector is buoyant, probably due to the revised Building
Regulations, which now require such properties to be sprinkler
protected. The new housing sector has of course been adversely affected
by the economic climate, although the home improvement market remains
firm with strong enquiries concerning sprinklers being used as
trade-offs in loft conversions.
also reported that a significant proportion of their enquiries originate
from their listing on the RSA web site. This shows that architects,
specifiers and building control officers continue to respect the good
standing of the RSA and competence of its Members.
on reflection it would appear that the overall market for Residential
Sprinkler systems has not been a severely affected by the economic
downturn as many other industries. Hopefully our Members will be able to
sustain their activities over the coming months and be well placed to
capitalise on the resurgence of construction activity when it comes.
closing note I am saddened to see that fire deaths in the UK rose to
over 500 last year after many years of decline. Fortunately our work
means that, as our industry expands so that more and more properties are
protected by residential sprinklers, this sorry statistic will diminish
and the UK will become a safer place to live.
remains for me to wish our members and their customers a safe and
hopefully prosperous 2009.
SPRINKLERS SAVE LIVES
Keith Rhodes of Nationwide
Fire Sprinklers reports that one of his installations successfully
operated on 27th December. A single sprinkler head in a bathroom
operated to extinguish a fire in a towel which was caused by the
ignition of paper by a recessed ceiling light.
The owner of the premises
believes that the sprinkler system saved both his home and his family.
The system was reinstated within one hour of the call and the bathroom
was back in use three hours after the fire.
There were at least five
deaths in the UK in dwellings over the Christmas/New Year period.
RSA MEMBERS COLLABORATE IN
TIMES OF FINANCIAL UNCERTAINLY
The current financial turmoil
is having a devastating effect on the housing market leading to the
failure of a number of builders and consequent losses for sprinkler
installers. Fortunately RSA members have been exchanging information
about projects where the builders have got into financial trouble, or
worse have ceased trading.
After taking a hit for over
£7,000.00 one member was quick to warn other Members thus saved them
from also being caught.
The Chairman suggested that
should Members come across a half-completed sprinkler project they
should be wary and try to find out who the original installer was and
why the project has been left uncompleted before getting involved.
Moreover if it is one of our Members they should try to get them back
into the project to help them recover their losses.
RSA PUBLISHES TESTING
The RSA working party has now agreed a
Testing Protocol that will ensure that a Residential Sprinkler system
will comply with the flow requirements of BS9251.
A copy of this document can be downloaded
RSA LAUNCHES WORKING PARTY ON COMMISSIONING TESTS
Following a recent
meeting of minds between members new and old, the RSA has re opened its
technical sub committee and it’s first task is to resolve continuing
misunderstanding in the real world commissioning of sprinkler systems.
The position of the
pressure gauge as shown in BS 9251 is not appropriate for carrying out
dynamic flow tests nor is the requirement of a 22mm test branch.
To make matters even
more confusing the flow test requirements of 60 and 84 liters are
irrelevant and seriously misleading.
The RSA will publish new
guidance notes to members on this matter later this year.
If in the meantime any
member has concerns about commission testing contact any council member
for help and advice.
RSA REFRESHER COURSE TAKES OFF WITH GREAT PRAISE
The first of the RSA
refresher courses took place at ITT Lowara’s premises on the 11th
The event was preceded
by a splendid evening dinner hosted by ITT with a complimentary bar
which saw sustained use by our members!
the event was a
spectacular success with 25 members taking part. apart from the formal
overviews of the standard and changes being made to it lectures were
given by guest presenters including Keith Pratley, chairman of Water UK
who was given a forthright and sometimes hostile reception by members
who didn’t hold back on asking difficult questions and probing
controversial statements Keith Made.
Keith acquitted himself
well under the barrage and received a warm and genuine round of
applause. he commented afterwards that he actually appreciated the frank
and candid views that members put forward to him.
Feedback from members
has been as follows
was good to see the event was well supported, even though the venue was
quite a distance for most.”
was delighted with the number of members who attended and would like to
thank lowara for their generous hospitality
again it highlighted the absolute need for an active group to represent
the residential/domestic sector”
dinner provided by ITT was really good. we had a great evening and met
lots of fellow members in a non combative atmoshphere. we lerned so much
from the whole event and will be attending again to see the outcome of
some of the issues raised. once again many thanks to ITT Lowara- great
food – great pumps!”
great to see such a positive response from companies who wish
improve the understanding of the industry and how techniques are
for the Tuesday and Wednesday as a whole, we all really enjoyed it on
all fronts. We are very pleased that we made the effort. It
was very refreshing for everyone to be so open about how they do things
and that certainly showed that we are not all singing from the same hymn
sheet. But saying that, it was so good to see different firms all
wanting to improve and straighten out our industry”.
We will be
holding a repeat of this refresher later in the year in the North of
England to give the opportunity to other members to attend.
We found that most members who came to the
evening meeting found useful contacts and made new associations with
fellow members. Certainly the networking continued into the early hours
after the ITT dinner party!
FROM NEW RSA CHAIRMAN - KEITH RHODES
Welcome back to those of you who log in to this web site regularly for
information and updates and welcome too to those who may be logging in
for the first time seeking information about domestic and residential
The RSA is here to provide information to its Members to keep them up to
date with legislation and the changing requirements within our industry
in relation to Domestic and Residential Sprinkler systems
The RSA is also here to provide a platform for its Members to promote
themselves to you the customer, you the AHJ (authority having
jurisdiction such as building control officer or fire officer), and you
who may be specifying sprinkler systems for projects in hand.
The RSA will give you the confidence to approach one of our Members
knowing that they have been properly trained and are suitably qualified
to give you advice and guidance on your own project. Our Members have a
duty of care to you the customer to be forthright and honest, to give
you appropriate advice and ultimately to install a Sprinkler system fit
for purpose .
The RSA will also give unbiased advice and information to you if you
need to seek an opinion on a particularly difficult issue, and finally
the RSA monitors its Members' activities and training to see that a
system of continuing training and development is undertaken to provide
you with the best possible product.
At the recent AGM the RSA were kind enough to offer me the position of
chairman which I am honoured to accept. Together with the other Officers
of the RSA we intend to refocus the activities of the RSA to give a
better service to our Members focused on what we do and how we do it,
and to give a secure platform for AHJ’s to seek advice from their peers
in conjunction with the Members and gauge the use of sprinklers as
alternative solutions to parts of approved document B.
In the coming months you will see our Members and installers listings
change as we implement plans recognizing the level of continuing
training within our organization, and we hope you the customer will have
the confidence to seek advise from one of our Members who you know you
can trust to be highly skilled and correctly qualified, rather than to
put your life in the hands of someone who may not have the ability to
design and install a system for you.
Ian Fleming was wrong when he wrote "you only life twice" - in a fire
you only get one chance. Fires in the UK still kill over 400 people each
year and injure 16,000.
Please have a safe 2008 and remember to discard lighted materials
A PIONEERING fire safety scheme in Trowbridge has
helped to prevent a potential fatality, fire chiefs say.
The Studley Green estate was the first housing
development in Europe to be fitted with domestic sprinklers, following
its rebuild in 1999.
The sprinkler systems were fitted by a consortium headed
by the Residential Sprinkler Association (RSA) that included the
Sprinkler Industry, local Council, Housing Association, Residents
Committee, Architects and Builders.
On Sunday February 24, a couple living in a ground floor
flat at Aldeburgh Place escaped a potentially fatal blaze after the
sprinkler system was activated. The fire, which happened at 2.30am, was concentrated in
the living room and is believed to have been started by discarded
smoking materials. Although the flat had smoke detectors fitted, they were
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service actively lobbies for the
inclusion of sprinkler systems in domestic and commercial properties. Chief Fire Officer Andy Goves said: "This is the second
time that the sprinklers at Studley Green have done their job, with two
people surviving a fire in their home that could have had fatal
consequences otherwise. This incident shows yet again how effective sprinkler
systems are - the equivalent of having a fire engine already at your
house ready to go. Sprinklers save lives and protect property, and we will
continue to lobby local authorities, housing associations and developers
to include these safety measures in their properties.
"Modern sprinkler designs are unobtrusive and, contrary
to what you might see on TV or films, cause negligible water damage in
controlling fires and preventing property from otherwise burning down."
Successful partnerships already include Wiltshire County
Council agreeing to install sprinklers in the new flagship secondary
school being built in Melksham, Swindon Borough Council including
sprinklers in seven new schools being built through its Private Finance
Initiative, plus numerous schemes in residential homes and housing
Mr Goves added: "Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is a key
campaigner for the National Fire Sprinkler Network, which is lobbying to
have sprinkler systems installed in schools, care homes, houses of
multiple occupation, multi-storey residential premises and commercial
premises. In Wiltshire we have had a number of local successes,
but this latest fire shows that no-one can afford to be complacent. I hope this classic example will encourage others to
redouble their efforts and help all of us increase the number of
sprinkler installations to make a safer community."
Barry Hughes, chief executive of West Wiltshire Housing
Society, which owns and manages the Studley Green estate, added:
"Although it is always distressing to be involved in a fire, thankfully
the sprinklers really reduced the damage. We installed the sprinklers at Studley Green as part of
a European Pilot. This is the second fire where the sprinklers saved
lives and homes.
"I would like to call on the Government to make
sprinklers in homes compulsory in building regulations."
Sir George Pigot, commenting on behalf of the RSA, said
"Incidents like this serve to demonstrate the effectiveness of
residential sprinkler systems and also the foresight of RSA in making
these installations possible all those years ago".
Inaugural Meeting report
27th March 2007.
As you may know,
further to our inaugural meeting on the 21st March, the Residential
Sprinkler Associates have now been officially launched. After much
discussion it was agreed to call the new group Residential Sprinkler
Associates, however, retaining the old FSA logo, replacing the F with
A committee was voted
Brason South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue
Steve Yeomans Autoquench Ltd
Barnett Barnett Consultancy Services Ltd
Nimbus Fire Systems
Sir George Pigot will
act as "administrator", overseeing the website etc,
I for my sins have
been appointed membership secretary. We shall be listing all paid up
members on the new website shortly, it is therefore imperative you let
us have your subscriptions for the coming year promptly and certainly no
later than March 31st for your details to be listed.
Could I remind you RSA
will operate on a purely voluntary basis with individuals giving their
time and efforts freely, please help us to provide the best possible
services to our membership by helping out wherever you can and promptly
paying your subscriptions
On reflection the
meeting was extremely encouraging. I was delighted by the level of
enthusiasm for the residential sector to retain it's own identity and to
continue the high level of professionalism we have built up over the
I look forward to
working with you all in the future and continuing our efforts towards
the residential/domestic sector of the sprinkler market which has been
the driving force in fire sprinkler promotion for many years
Please keep a close
eye on our website for future developments
May I take this
opportunity to thank Hugh Pigot for his continued support and guidance
in the greater use of fire sprinklers.
Regards to all,
INAUGURAL MEETING OF FIRE SPRINKLER ASSOCIATES
for details and invitation
To all prospective members of Fire Sprinkler Associates
6th March 2007.
successful meeting on February 8th I promised to arrange an
inaugural meeting for FIRE SPRINKLER ASSOCIATES. This has now been set
for Wednesday March 21st commencing at 11.00 am and will be
at the Stratford Victoria, Stratford-upon-Avon.
A map of the location
is attached, as is an Agenda. The purpose of the meeting is to agree to
form the new organisation, agree its rules, enrol members and elect a
I very much look
forward to seeing you there.
Best regards to all,
20th - OPEN LETTER FROM MALCOLM BLACK
Despite the snow quite a few people turned
up for the open meeting on Feb 8th 2007 and I received quite a few
emails and phone calls in support from others who could not make the
After some discussion it was agreed that
there was an immediate need for an organisation to support the
residential and domestic sector of the fire sprinkler industry in the
UK. The meeting agreed to form an organisation to provide training,
accreditation, technical information, representation and a web site.
Some asked if the old FSA could be
resuscitated and we promised to look into that possibility. Regrettably
the position regarding liabilities is by no means clear and there could
be further ramifications regarding the failed merger between FSA and
BAFSA. We have therefore decided to press ahead with the creation of
Fire Sprinkler Associates, and we will be putting out a calling notice
for the AGM shortly. Please check our website for updates.
The meeting also decided that there would
be only one category of member and to set the subscription at £250 for
the first year. Costs should be low since the new FSA will not have a
full time secretariat or conduct marketing. However Hugh has volunteered
to conduct formalities, set up a bank account, etc, and to issue
invoices to the majority of ex FSA members, who have expressed an
interest in joining us.
It was also agreed that the new FSA would
not be intended to compete with BAFSA but merely to provide services
they do not currently offer. Should BAFSA evolve into the sort of
organisation needed to support our sector of the industry those present
saw no problem merging with them in due course.
On a personal note I would remind you we
will be reliant entirely on members giving their time and efforts free
of charge and meetings, mail-outs ect do have costs! Therefore it would
be greatly appreciated if you would all show your support by paying
promptly, we don't wish to waste valuable time chasing what is after all
a small amount for the type of services we are striving to provide.
I look forward to meeting you all at our
first AGM in March (date to be advised (Probably March 15th 2007)
MALCOLM BLACK CALLS FOR OPEN MEETING TO DISCUSS A "NEW" FSA
A meeting room has been booked at the
Stratford Victoria hotel, Feb 8th 2007 commencing 11.00 am. Many of you
have expressed the wish to see a Domestic/Residential only body formed
to ensure we retain the kind of representation this sector of the market
has benefited from over the past number of years through FSA and RSA.
The attached proposal describes such
an organisation and a presentation will be made at the meeting to
explain the proposal in more detail.
As you will no doubt be aware work on this
initiative has been undertaken and funded by volunteers but it is now
imperative we have your support if this is to become a reality, Quite
simply I believe this to be our last opportunity to create an
alternative to simply signing up to others, who at this moment in time,
do not have the necessary services in place to meet
the needs of the smaller installation companies
Would you therefore please let me know by
return if you will be attending the meeting. I can also be contacted on
0777 965 9802
I look forward to meeting you all on the 8th Feb in Stratford upon Avon.
Best regards to all,
here to download "new" FSA Proposal paper
MEETING ENDORSES NEED FOR "NEW" FSA
The open meeting called by Malcolm Black
unanimously endorsed the need for an organisation to represent and
support the "Residential" sector of the UK Fire Sprinkler Industry.
As a result a task group will prepare a
discussion document, which will be distributed shortly and another open
meeting will be arranged for early February.
In the meantime the old FSA will continue
to provide basic services, such as training, accreditation and technical
advice, but on a voluntary basis.
Please check this web site
frequently for updates....................