|WELSH ASSEMBLY ENVIRONMENT MINISTER CONFIRMS THAT SPRINKLERS ARE TO BE INSTALLED IN ALL NEW AND CONVERTED HOMES IN WALES|
Welsh Assembly Environment Minister John Griffiths announces that lifesaving sprinklers are to be installed in all new and converted properties in Wales. Work will start immediately on the Regulations with the intention that the measure will be implemented from September 2013.
Caroline Tucker, who suffered 75% burns whilst desperately trying to rescue her 4 year old sister in a fire at their home 24 years ago, said
“I am truly delighted - even if just a little emotional - at the announcement yesterday from Environment Minister, John Griffiths of the Welsh Government, that lifesaving sprinklers are to be installed in all new and converted properties in Wales from September 2013
“As many will know, I have been long campaigning for this day, having suffered the terrible consequences of fire 24 years ago, when I was eleven years old, and received 75% burns following a fire in my Swansea home, whilst making a desperate attempt to rescue my four year old sister, Amanda, who tragically died in the fire.
“My heart goes out to the ten thousand other victims of fire which have occurred in the United Kingdom since my family’s ordeal.
“The Welsh Government is the first Country in the world to take this positive step, and are to be congratulated for doing so.
“As the Chief Fire Officers’ Association said in a Press Statement last week, Sprinklers are incredibly affordable, but more importantly they will almost eliminate fire deaths in the home. When people are needlessly dying doing nothing is not an option”
“I would like to pay particular tribute to Ann Jones AM, who’s Fire Safety Measure brought all this about. She has been an inspiration to me and everyone else in her determination to see this law come about, and she deserves great credit.
“Thank you Welsh Government and First Minister for doing this for me, for my mum and my sister Amanda, so that our pain and suffering over the past twenty four years, hasn’t been in vain.”
31st May 2012
SPRINKLERS FITTED JUST IN TIME IN CHELTENHAM STUDENT ACCOMMODATION
Colin Chantler from Triangle Fire systems Ltd reports that at just after 10 p.m. on Wednesday 14th September 2011 a chip pan fire occurred in a student accommodation block at the University campus in Devon Avenue, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
The recently extended 3 storey block had a residential sprinkler system fitted under Building Regulations due to a reduction in the boundary separation between it and a neighbouring building. Fortunately the fire occurred in the part of the premises which had been fitted with sprinklers just days before the fire.
Colin reports, "each floor consists of bed sits serviced by 4 kitchens and out of a total of 12 kitchens only three have sprinkler protection. Had the fire occurred in one of the unprotected rooms the outcome could of been a lot different ".
It is reported that one head activated and extinguished the fire and that the system had only been commissioned the previous week!
The accompanying photograph testifies to the effectiveness of the sprinkler system.
|16th Feb 2011 - WELSH ASSEMBLY VOTES FOR SPRINKLERS IN ALL NEW HOUSES|
This evening the Welsh Assembly voted unanimously to require sprinklers in all new housing. The law will apply to new houses, flats, care homes and university halls of residence. Wales is the first country in the world to introduce this requirement.
Ann Jones, Assembly Member for the Vale of Clwyd, who proposed the legislation, said afterwards, "Not many of the votes we pass here save lives - that one did." The measure was backed by all three Fire and Rescue Services in Wales, by the Chief Fire Officers' Association, the Fire Brigades Union, the EFSN and many others, including in particular Chris Enness of the Chief Fire Officers' Association and Ronnie King of the National Fire Sprinkler Network.
The legislation follows on from the campaign first started by the Residential Sprinkler Association some 15 years ago for sprinklers in all homes in the UK and will now go for Royal Assent in April. The Bill is expected to take effect from the end of the year.
|ANOTHER SPRINKLER STOP AT STUDLEY GREEN PROVES VALUE OF SPRINKLERS|
On the night of January 6th 2011 fire sprinklers operated in an upper floor bedroom of a house on the Studley Green estate in Wiltshire and completely extinguished a blaze. Damien Bence the Incident commander advised that there was just minor fire damage and some smoke staining in the bedroom involved and no one was hurt in the incident.
Chief Fire Officer Andy Goves said: This is the third time that the sprinklers at Studley Green have done their job, and it is heartening to know that so little fire damage was caused. It is quite clear that this would have developed into a significant fire had the sprinklers not activated, affecting the bedroom and potentially the whole top floor of the house
In 1998 the RSA was instrumental in forming the partnership that led to the installation of fire sprinkler systems in 212 houses on the Studley Green estate in Wiltshire.
This was (and still is) the first estate in Europe to be so protected.
|ANN JONES' PROPOSAL FOR SPRINKLERS IN ALL NEW HOMES PASSES 1ST VOTE IN WELSH ASSEMBLY|
In an historic move the Welsh Assembly voted without opposition to support Ann Jones' proposal that all new homes in Wales be fitted with residential fire sprinklers.
The Measure will have to pass 2 more votes before it becomes law but today's vote approved the measure in principle and later votes will only serve to fine tune the proposal.
We congratulate Ann on her determination to stay with this process which has taken some 4 years to get this far. Hopefully the legislation will become law by next Autumn.
You can see the the debate using this linkhttp://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-legislation/bus-leg-measures/business-legislation-measures-domfiresafety.htm
|LONDON FIRE BRIGADE ADOPTS FIRER SPRINKLER POLICY|
The London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, an elected body, has approved a sprinkler policy document for London Fire Brigade. It commits London Fire Brigade to promote sprinklers in "those properties where the most significant impact can be achieved, these are schools, residential care homes, domestic premises housing the most vulnerable and commercial premises that present a significant risk due to their size, construction or use." While most of the focus is on new buildings the policy also applies to buildings undergoing major refurbishments.
The head of LFEPA, Councillor Brian Coleman, and the London Fire Brigade Commissioner, Ron Dobson both recently stated their support for sprinklers at a public hearing. While London Fire Brigade has supported sprinklers for many years, this document officially commits it to active promotion of sprinklers.
The full text can be downloaded from www.eurosprinkler.org
2 FIREFIGHTERS KILLED BY TOWER BLOCK BLAZE IN SOUTHAMPTON
Two firefighters have been killed while tackling a fire at a high-rise block of flats in Southampton.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said the fire broke out at the 15-storey Shirley Towers in Church Street shortly after 2000 BST on Tuesday. A further two firefighters suffered minor burns to their hands in the incident and were taken to hospital.
Chief fire officer John Bonney said the death of the two firefighters had left "a devastating hole" in the service.
A spokesman for the fire service said the identities of the killed firefighters would not be released until their families had been informed.
An investigation into the fire, which was thought to have started on the seventh floor of the building, is being carried out by police and fire officers.
Residents were evacuated from the building, one of Southampton's tallest, and were provided with emergency accommodation by the city council.
Nearby roads were cordoned off by police as up to 20 fire engines were called to the scene and firefighters from neighbouring counties were called in to help.
A tower block like this built today would have been fitted with fire sprinklers. No one has ever died in a building protected by sprinklers in the UK.
|6 KILLED IN TOWER BLOCK FIRE July 3rd 2009|
Three children and three adults have died after a fire swept through a tower block in south-east London.
About 30 people were rescued from the blaze at the 12-storey Lakanal House on the Sceaux Gardens Estate in Camberwell. A three-week-old baby, a six-year-old, a seven-year-old and a woman in her 30s were among those who died. At least 20 people have been taken to hospital, with 18 having now been released. One woman later died at Guy's and St Thomas's Hospital, and two other victims died at King's College Hospital.
Fire crews have been searching the flats and everyone is believed to have been removed.
Tom Chidley, deputy assistant commissioner of the London Fire Brigade (LFB), told BBC News: "The initial crews were met by a serious fire which quickly developed. They called on extra resources. "We ended up having 100 firefighters at the scene with some of our specialist fire rescue units attending as well."
Eighteen fire engines were used to tackle the blaze, which began at about 1620 BST.
An LFB spokesman said that the "serious" fire was believed to have started in a stairwell and spread to the communal areas between floors four and 11. "A number of rescues have been carried out in extremely difficult circumstances," he said.
Carol Hunter, who lives in a building that backs onto Lakanal House, said: "At first it was just smoke and no-one seemed to be doing anything.
"Then five minutes later I heard a huge bang and flames were everywhere. I went around to try and see if I could help and I found a distraught lady who had her daughter and five kids with the neighbour and a three-year-old stuck in the bathroom on the 11th floor. She was on the phone to them. She couldn't get to the flat so we told the firefighters. It took them an hour but they were rescued. It was horrible. We saw lots of children banging on the windows to get out and families screaming. "There was even bed sheets tied together hanging out of windows with people threatening to jump out if they weren't going to come and try and help. We saw body bags coming out. I felt sick."
Fire Casualty statistics, published annually by the Government, have consistently shown that people living in block of flats are at significant risk from fire. Roughly 35% of all fire deaths and 40% of all fire injuries occur in multiple-occupancy property.
The RSA has been campaigning for over 10 years to make fire sprinklers compulsory in all such buildings. Experience shows that s fire sprinkler system would have controlled this fire in its early stages and probably prevented it from becoming a threat to those who died.
The RSA and its members express their deepest sympathy for the friends and relatives of those who died and repeats its call to the Government to make sprinklers mandatory in all blocks of flats so that this kind of tragedy is not repeated yet again.
Is it not time we learned the lesson?
|FIRE DESTROYS 11 FIRE ENGINES AT FIRE SERVICE COLLEGE|
Derek Cross, incident commander of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'The crews worked hard and effectively to ensure the fire was contained in the building where it started. This allowed us to remove other vehicles to ensure they did not suffer any damage.'
College spokesman Phil Abraham said: 'We lost 11 appliances but two-thirds of the fleet is not damaged thanks to the crews who worked so hard to make sure the fire did not spread.
'They did an amazing job. An appliance from the college's own fleet was used and the knowledge of the equipment of those who actually work here was important. But it must have been a shock to them to attend a fire at their place of work.'
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue said later: 'There was not enough risk to life to justify putting a sprinkler system in the building. 'It is essentially a large warehouse with lots of open doors, so in terms of risk assessment it would not qualify.'
The Fire Service College provides specialist courses for emergency workers from the UK and abroad. More than 7,000 firefighters pass through each year. The college will be open as usual today after borrowing six appliances from county fire services.
|FIRE DEATHS RISE FOR FIRST TIME IN 29 YEARS|
Fire and rescue services attended 8% fewer calls
Deaths from fires in the UK have risen for the first time since 1979, bucking the trend over the last 29 years, according to the latest government figures. Fatalities increased by 8% to 500 in the 12-month period to 31 March 2008, compared to 464 in the previous 12 months, at the same time as the number of fires actually declined.
Primary fires fell by 10% to 141,000. Dwelling
fires are at their lowest since 1977 (52,000, down 5%). Fires in ‘other
‘buildings – including workplaces and areas where people gather – are down
by 11% to 30,000.
Fire and rescue services in the UK attended 799,000 fire and false alarm incidents in the period, an 8% reduction on the previous 12 months.
The figures for deaths are still subject to revision as causes of deaths are confirmed but are thought unlikely to change significantly.
RELIABLE ARE MOVING
As of Monday 2nd March Reliable contact details will be:
Reliable Fire Sprinkler Limited
Unit 25, Birches Industrial Estate
East Grinstead, RH19 1XZ
Telephone: +44 (0)1342 316800 Fax: +44 (0)1342 314679 email stays the same.
FIRE PROMPTS CALLS FOR SPRINKLER SYSTEMS October 2008
and Rescue Service (KFRS) is urging all housing landlords and associations
to consider fitting sprinkler systems after a serious incident near
at the weekend.
|22 September INTERNATIONAL CODE COUNCIL MEMBERS MANDATE RESIDENTIAL SPRINKLERS IN NEW HOUSING IN THE U.S.|
Members of the International Code Council (ICC) in the USA approved a life- and property-saving Residential Sprinkler code proposal at the just-concluded 2008 Code Hearings in Minneapolis.
Requiring a two-thirds majority to pass and become part of building codes across the United States, the code change proposal received 73 percent of the votes on the September 21 ballot. This strong support for requiring fire sprinklers in new homes showed a large majority of code officials in the U.S. believe fire sprinklers should form an integral part of safety in new one- and two family housing.
ICC’s voting members – who were government or municipality representatives engaged in the administration, formulation or enforcement of laws, regulations or ordinances relating to public health, safety and welfare – passed the proposal, which stated that effective January 1, 2011, an approved automatic fire sprinkler system shall be installed in all new one- and two family dwellings and townhouses in accordance with NFPA 13D.
In addition, fire sprinklers will be required in all townhomes effective immediately with the publication of the next International Residential Code (IRC), receiving almost 75 percent of the votes at the hearing.
“Countless lives will be saved as a result of these historic code changes,” said John Viniello, president of NFSA. “I am proud of America’s fire service communities and representatives, the voting members of the ICC, and building officials for joining together for such an important cause. It has been a long fight but we’ve never wavered. Our collective dedication and perseverance has prevailed as we emerge victorious on this critical public safety issue.”
NFSA played a critical role in educating code officials on the importance of this change. NFSA mobilized its members to carry the positive messages about fire sprinklers’ benefits to local officials throughout the country, while debunking myths promoted by the main opposition to this code change: large national and regional homebuilders.
The International Residential Code Fire Sprinkler Coalition garnered the support of over 100 allied organizations from over 45 states under the leadership of past Chief Ronny Coleman and code consultant Jeff Shapiro.
“This is not a one person or one organization victory,” added Viniello. “We are grateful to the ICC for implementing a process that allows for the call for change to be heard and provides a forum for change to take place. In addition, we thank the International Residential Code Fire Sprinkler Coalition for joining so many organizations together to bring us to victory.”
THE RSA APPLAUDS THIS VICTORY FOR COMMON SENSE AND ASKS "HOW MANY HAVE TO DIE BEFORE WE IN THE UK DO THE SAME?"
|20 June 2008 ONTARIO CANADA MANDATES SPRINKLERS IN ALL 4 FLOOR & HIGHER RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS|
TORONTO - A move to mandate sprinkler systems in all new Ontario condos and apartments four storeys tall or higher was welcomed by firefighters Wednesday, although they said the new rules fell short of what they were hoping for.
While the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs applauded the announcement made by Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Jim Watson, the group suggested sprinklers should be mandatory for all new residential construction projects.
"This is an important first step and we commend the ... government for moving forward," president Richard Boyes said in a release.
"Ultimately, we would like to see sprinklers being made mandatory in all new residential units including single-family dwellings, townhouses and low-rise buildings."
Boyes said Vancouver and Scottsdale, Ariz., both require sprinklers in all residential buildings and there hasn't been a single fire fatality in either municipality since they mandated them 18 and 22 years ago respectively.
"We would like to see Ontario be a leader as well and achieve a similar safety record," he said.
The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs has suggested some 90 fire fatalities in the last year could have been prevented by sprinklers.
Watson said the changes bring Ontario in line with other jurisdictions across Canada and in the United States.
"We felt there was great consensus to move forward on the highrises because this is the one area that we are a laggert when it comes to the national building codes," Watson said.
"I found it passing strange that we did not require sprinklers in highrise residential buildings but we do require them in highrise office buildings. We were protecting people when they were at work, but we weren't protecting them when they were at home."
He added that extending the mandate to all residential dwellings isn't a priority.
The building code changes follow public consultations and will take effect April 1, 2010.
|CARE HOME FIRE LEAVES 15 HOMELESS FOR CHRISTMAS|
A fire which broke out when a light fitting fell has left 15 elderly residents of a care home in Ellon, 25km north of Aberdeen in Scotland, without a home.
The fire started at about 20:00 on Saturday, 8th December. Fast action by the staff of the Ythanvale Care Home and by fire-fighters prevented a tragedy.
Fire-fighters had to rescue six residents from ground floor rooms after they became trapped by smoke. One woman from the home, which houses 60 residents, was taken to hospital for treatment and released the next day.
David Rout, station manager at Aberdeen fire station, said, "The staff were exemplary in their actions and if it had not been for them the potential consequences could have been horrendous."
A fire in the Rosepark Nursing Home in Glasgow in January 2004 led to a requirement to fit sprinklers in all new care homes in Scotland.
As yet no requirements have been introduced to retrofit sprinklers in existing care homes.
Incidents like this illustrate the urgent need for sprinklers to be fitted to all care homes.
|FIRE KILLS 3 IN CORNISH HOTEL|
Fire crews were called at 00:15 on Saturday 18th August to a fire in the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall.
Despite their best efforts three residents died in the fire and 80 others were safely evacuated before the four storey building collapsed.
According to the hotel owner, just two weeks before the fire occurred the smoke alarms and fire doors had been checked.
There were no sprinklers in this hotel but had they been fitted it is unlikely that anyone would have died nor would the hotel have collapsed.
This tragic incident shows current fire safety measures are inadequate and has renewed calls for sprinklers to be fitted in hotels.
REVISIONS TO PART B (FIRE SAFETY) OF BUILDING REGS ANNOUNCED - 19th Dec 2006
A package of measures aiming to improve fire safety, including greater recognition of the role of sprinklers and more help for fire fighters to deal with fires in tall buildings, have been announced by the Government today (19 December).
The revisions to Part B (Fire safety) of the Building Regulations, and supporting guidance in Approved Document B, reflect recent experiences of actual fires; developments in construction; research findings; and comprehensive stakeholder engagement -including a four-month public consultation exercise.
The Building Regulations are made under the Building Act 1984, as amended. The fire safety aspects are set out in Part B of Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2000, as amended. Part B contains functional (i.e. performance-based) fire safety requirements set out in terms of what is reasonable, adequate or appropriate. Approved Document B (AD B) provides technical guidance on complying with the requirements of Part B.
As Workplace Law’s Fire Safety 2006: Special Report explains, “the review of AD B began in 2003 … The exercise revealed that people wanted significant changes to the regulations to be highlighted and more explanation of the changes, to show how and why new guidance differs, and why specific changes were required. Three strong common themes emerged:
Between July and August 2005 the Government carried out a consultation on the proposed changes. The consultation document and the summary of responses to it are available on the Communities and Local Government website at: www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1131416.
The changes to Part B, which have been announced today, come into force on 6 April 2007 and will affect future building work in England and Wales - including the erection, extension or material alteration of a building, and how fire safety is designed into a building.
For non-domestic buildings, the key changes include the introduction of a maximum unsprinklered compartment size for single storey warehouses, new guidance on residential care homes (including on the use of sprinklers) and a new requirement to ensure occupiers are made aware of their building's fire protection measures so as to assist with the preparation of fire risk assessments under the new Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order regime. It is important that provisions must be fully evidence-based and justified and are taken forward in a robust and efficient manner.
The changes to the Building Regulations also include the authorisation of several new competent persons self-certification schemes that will enhance compliance, particularly in respect of the energy efficiency requirements of the Regulations, and a number of other minor amendments, which will come into force on 15 January.
See Archive 1 for more