Monthly Archives: November 2019

Amendment To EN 12845 Sprinkler System Inspections

There has been a change to Clause 21 of EN 12845 in respect of sprinkler system inspections.

An amendment has been passed which clarifies who should be carrying out checks. The amendment removes the requirement for annual inspections to be carried out by third parties. However, the need for the inspection remains and, in an annexe to the change, it is recommended checks are still carried out by a third party. All inspections must be undertaken by a ‘qualified person’.

Clause 21 has been replaced by the following wording: “The sprinkler system shall be periodically inspected by a qualified person at least once a year (see Annex Q). The inspection report shall assess whether the system is in accordance with this standard, with regard but not limited to maintenance, operation and adequacy for the risk involved. A list of deviations shall be issued for action.”

However, the new Annex Q states: “When performing periodic inspection, it is recommended that the system inspections are undertaken by an independent body, e.g. not the system owner, building occupier, system installer (or competing installer) or service and maintenance provider (or competing service and maintenance provider).

“The qualified person is a designated individual, suitably trained, competent through knowledge and practical experience and with the necessary instruction to enable the test and examinations to be carried out.”

In this article, we focus on sprinkler tank inspections only.

Experts say very few property owners and managers with a sprinkler tank, an essential part of many systems, have people with the necessary experience or equipment to carry out a thorough check. In particular, they cite the need for ROV equipment to ensure full checks can be carried out without the need for a tank to be drained.


Why ROV inspections?

The Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) is a smart piece of kit. Designed to move around under water, it requires expert control – along with diagnostic equipment to check the condition of a tank’s internal surfaces. Specialists point to their comprehensive benefits, which include the conservation of water. In the grand scheme of sprinkler system inspections, they can help to identify defects before they cause a leak or contamination.

Anyone undertaking such an inspection should know how to attach and operate HD camera and ultrasound equipment. They also need to be able to understand the data they return. In addition, they need to be fully aware of sprinkler tank components and their functions. This includes valves, pumps and the inlet, along with the internal structure of the tank.

A competent third party will offer conclusions and recommendations that can be relied upon. They are based on qualified data – all fully illustrated in written reports. Would you trust the safety of your people and property to someone without extensive knowledge of how a sprinkler tank works?

Anyone inspecting a sprinkler tank will need to be able to recognise:

  • The presence of rust
  • Weak spots in any section of the tank’s surface
  • Signs of corrosion or oxidisation
  • Perforations
  • Bacteria growth
  • Worn seals

In addition, they need to be able to check and recognise potential issues with ancillary equipment. This can include tank lids and access areas.

Sprinkler system tank inspections

A sprinkler system tank inspection should always be carried out with the water in situ. Not just to conserve water and save money but to ensure sprinklers remain fully operational throughout. Draining a tank for an inspection is unnecessary and potentially very dangerous. Using ROV equipment makes this possible. It is site and insurer-friendly and delivers accurate data that can be reliably used for planned maintenance.

It is worth noting that this type of sprinkler system inspection can be carried out on any type of tank, regardless of its location and size. Annual inspections should always be carried out by a specialist, say experts. Many problems are not obvious and require the use of high-tech equipment to properly identify and diagnose – hence the importance of retaining the services of an independent inspection expert.

The change to requirements in respect of one clause in EN 12845 does not mean an unqualified, untrained person can carry out an inspection. It makes clear they need to have the necessary qualifications. Neglecting to ensure a suitable person carries out the checks can have far-reaching and even tragic repercussions. It is worth noting that if negligence is suspected to have contributed to an emergency, criminal proceedings can follow.


Booking a sprinkler tank inspection

You can book a third-party or independent inspection with a nationwide specialist, who will travel anywhere in the country to perform this task. As well as having the necessary knowledge, they will have the essential equipment (outlined above). If your sprinkler tank is leaking, you can find out what to do here.

If you are not sure what your obligations are as a building owner or site manager, you should seek expert advice. Life preserving equipment must always be ready to kick in during an emergency situation. That means, it should be maintained to regulatory standards, so it is fit for purpose.

While not all buildings benefit from the sprinkler system, it is always worth reminding ourselves how common fires are.

Recent fires in public, commercial and industrial buildings:

  • A commercial garage in County Donegal has been badly damaged in an overnight fire (reported November 21).
  • A hooded gang set a fire at Bransholme playground close to Biggin Hill Primary School – Hull (reported November 20).
  • A supermarket, closed for over a year after a fire in the flat above, has been reopened and revamped – Reading (reported November 20).
  • Multiple fire crews attended to a blaze at an industrial property in a Somerset village (reported November 16).
  • Investigation launched after blaze at an industrial unit which took eight fire crews to put out – London (reported November 13).
  • People living or working near Manor Way, Swanscombe were advised to close windows and doors due to smoke coming from a fire in an industrial building – Kent (reported November 16).

The advice from experts is to continue to use fully qualified independent inspectors. Especially for sprinkler system water tanks.

How To Deal With A Leaking Sprinkler Tank

A leaking sprinkler tank can be a huge worry. Taking swift action, however, will prevent the leak from getting worse and protect the short and long-term integrity of the water supply to your sprinklers. The important thing is to try and stay calm. Worrying about downtime, loss of water or the potential for a disaster won’t help.

At the first sign of a leak, you should ensure any equipment stored near a tank is removed and call in an expert. Good sprinkler tank specialists operate on a nationwide basis and will attend an emergency at the drop of a hat. In addition to thoroughly assessing the tank, an expert will be able to tell you the cause of the leak – and the best way to deal with it.

The leaking sprinkler tank scenario is much more common in tanks over a decade old. That is why it pays to keep on top of maintenance as a tank ages. The process of inspecting a tank is virtually the same, regardless of a leak. It will involve assessing the thickness of a tank’s walls, the extent of any corrosion and a range of other factors that can impact its condition.


What to do when you detect a leak

Make sure you keep a telephone number handy for a sprinkler tank expert. Give them a call and explain what has happened. In most cases, a company will carry out an urgent site visit – usually the same day or within 24 hours.

Common concerns about leaks is that they will be expensive to repair, cause more damage before they are fixed or lead to the shutdown of a sprinkler system. The best course of action you can take is let a trained professional deal with the problem.

A sprinkler tank specialist will have dealt with similar situations many times over. And, trust us, they will have seen worse. If the leak is manageable, they will be able to inspect the tank without draining it. While remedial action is likely to require the tank to be emptied, at least you will have time to consider the options recommended to you at the end of the inspection.

Not all leaks occur as a result of a faulty tank, though it may look like it. Sometimes, a problem with a valve or the overflow is to blame. However, if your tank has split, the cause will be more obvious.


Why do leaks occur in water tanks?

A leaking sprinkler tank is often the result of corrosion. This is a natural process that occurs over several years. It is not always something you can prevent when water is in constant contact with components. It is the result of a material’s reaction to its environment, like oxidisation. Rust inside a tank can blister, leading to other problems. Weaknesses in tank walls and seams can be charted with the use of ultrasound equipment before serious damage occurs. If that sounds technical, don’t worry. Experts use this type of diagnostic tool all the time.

Detecting early signs of changes to tank walls is important for current and future maintenance. If you know the condition of your water tank is deteriorating, you can seek expert advice on how to remedy the problem.

Not all leaks are serious. Depending on the results of an independent inspection, you will likely be offered one or more of the following solutions:

  • Tank repair
  • Tank refurbishment*
  • Tank relining
  • Removal of the existing tank and replacement

*Refurbishment can include relining.

Epoxy coatings are often applied to prevent rust from returning. Leaving a salvageable tank to deteriorate beyond a state of repair won’t just cost you more in the long run. It will be more of an upheaval and lead to a longer downtime.

Whatever option best suits your tank, the likelihood is that the tank will need to be drained for the work to be carried out. This can take time to complete. However, the total time for your tank will depend on its capacity and the amount of water in it when the process is started. It will not be refilled until all the repairs are completed and checked. This is something you will need to plan for in advance, but a sprinkler tank specialist will be able to offer you sound advice.

Dealing with a leaking sprinkler tank

The longer you leave a leaking sprinkler tank, the worse the leak will become. This wastes water and poses the risk of causing further damage to the tank and its environs. Never allow an untrained person to attempt to fix a leak. It is a highly skilled job that requires knowledge of specific safety protocols.

Call an expert and let them handle it. The benefits will not just fix your tank for the immediate future but ensure it is fit for purpose for many more years to come. Good contractors will guarantee their work.

If you have taken on a site with a sprinkler tank already in situ, find an accredited contractor to independently inspect it on a regular basis. A yearly inspection will ensure it is maintained in good working order. Please note: tanks are not drained for the purpose of an inspection. ROV equipment is used to carry out forensic checks below the waterline.

Leaving a tank unchecked until a problem occurs is asking for trouble. Planned refurbishment or repair work will help you better manage downtime and minimise disruption to your sprinkler system.

There is nothing worse than finding water leaking from perforations in a sprinkler tank. Thankfully, there is something you can do to reduce the chances of this happening. If you are not sure about something or have any concerns, talk to somebody who knows sprinkler tanks inside and out.

Remember, a leaking sprinkler tank is often not the end of the world. Deal with it quickly and calmly. Get the best advice you possibly can and choose the right recommended solution for your site. A water tank used to supply sprinklers is an essential part of fire safety in many buildings. Don’t let yours fail because of an oversight or negligence.




Can Relining A Sprinkler Water Tank Extend Its Lifespan?

A newly installed sprinkler water tank will last for many years – often well over a decade. However, over time, it will show signs of wear and will eventually require refurbishment or replacing. Knowing when your tank needs remedial work is important, which is why experts recommend regular inspections – preferably by a fully trained independent expert.

Relining a sprinkler tank is in many cases the recommended alternative to going through the upheaval of replacing an existing one. So, yes, it can extend a tank’s lifespan. In fact, the best professional installers will give you an indication – or better, a guarantee – of just how much longer your tank will last after being relined.

While the motivations for relining a tank can be varied, the most common ones are outlined below.


Saves time

If you can’t afford the water supply to your sprinkler system being lost for longer than a couple of days, relining is best way forward. We have to point out, not all tanks will be suitable for this type of repair. You should only agree to a tank relining procedure if your existing sprinkler water tank has been properly assessed by an independent expert and found to be suitable. If it is not, you will have to go through the decommissioning process and have the old tank uninstalled and removed before a new once can be fitted and commissioned.

A lot will depend on the internal condition of the tank. If it can be relined, the time it takes to carry out this process will vary according to its size, design and siting. During the process, your sprinkler system will be impacted. Draining a tank can take more than 24 hours and refilling it the same amount of time, depending on its capacity. However, relining a sprinkler tank is still quicker than having to install a new one.

The process involved in constructing a new tank can require bespoke fabrication and other factors that all add to the time it takes to install. This can have safety as well as insurance implications.


Relining a sprinkler water tank saves money

Money is often a big factor when it comes to making a choice. The sprinkler water tank is no exception. Many businesses and municipalities now use tanks made from glass reinforced plastic, commonly referred to as GRP. In this case, relining is much more cost effective than investing in a brand-new tank. Even relatively old tanks can be relined, if their condition has not deteriorated to the point of no return.

There are obvious cost disadvantages of having to empty and remove an old tank. That is why more and more businesses are looking to extend the life of existing facilities.

Relining a sprinkler water tank saves hassle

Time costs money, as they say. In the case of the sprinkler water tank time can cost lives. So, in addition to avoiding the upheaval on a site, relining can reduce the hassle. It is worth noting that tanks designed when a site is first developed can be located in hard-to-access areas, adding to the time it takes to remove it. Often a tank will need to be dismantled and cut up to ensure it can easily and safely be removed. The guarantees given for relining make it a savvy choice, not just for saving time but for budgeting in the future. If you have a newly lined tank with a good guarantee, you can plan ahead and budget money for a new one when the guarantee runs out.


Other factors

It is better for the environment to reline a tank than remove it. Apart from saving non-recyclable components from landfill, it will help you to use what you have already got for much longer. People often assumed that corrosion or a small leak means a sprinkler water tank has reached the end of its life. This simply isn’t always the case.

Even splits below the water line can be remedied with relining – if they are deemed repairable. Sometimes, simply refurbishing a tank will extend its life. Strengthening weak points in the structure and applying fibreglass matting, as well as a multi-coat epoxy system can achieve the same desired results.

The shutdown period during works should be clearly specified in advance, so risk assessments can be carried out to cover a site while a sprinkler water tank is out of service. Some tanks can be relined or refurbished in just a few days while other can take up to a week.


Making the right choice for your sprinkler water tank

Sometimes, even badly leaking sprinkler tanks can be repaired. It all depends on the overall condition of the tank’s internal walls, along with a number of other factors. If you are not sure if your tank is suitable for relining, book an independent inspection. It will give you an accurate indication of the level of corrosion or deterioration.

Modern inspection techniques do not require a tank to be emptied, so there will be no disruption to the supply of water to your sprinkler system. Getting an expert’s opinion will help you make the right choice. An inspection report should clearly set out recommendations. If relining is an option, it will be noted in the report.

If you decide to book an inspection, make sure you use a specialist that will supply you with video or photographic evidence of his or her findings. You can refer to these images when going through the report to be totally certain of what you need to do to ensure your sprinkler system benefits from a fully compliant, reliable water source.

Sprinklers are important. Without them, lives and property are at a higher risk from fire. Ensuring a wet sprinkler system has the best possible chance of containing a blaze starts with a good supply of water. If you are not sure about the condition of your tank or need more advice after an inspection, always talk to an expert.

Relining a sprinkler water tank is cost-effective, safe and saves time. Importantly, it will extend the lifespan of your tank allowing it to deliver many more years of service.




The Fascinating History of the Water Tank

The water tank plays a vital role in modern society. It stores clean water for drinking, for use in industry, agriculture and, increasingly, to supply fire sprinkler systems in emergencies. But the history of storing water for later use stretches back to ancient civilisations. Fascinating stories have emerged over the centuries, often detailing the ingenious ways the ancients used natural resources to create huge structures.

While regulations now determine how and in what water should be stored, some of the solutions crafted as far back as 3000BC existed for many hundreds of years. Some manmade tanks constructed in the 1800s exist to this day. While clearly unsuitable for potable water, they have been preserved for posterity. Back in the Bronze Age, in Asia, the Indus Valley Civilisation was doing a lot of what the Romans would go onto perfect and become famous for. The water tank was just one of the many achievements of this society. It carefully constructed urban areas to include efficient drainage as well as water supply networks. People lived in crudely constructed brick houses, often in quite densely populated settlements. The water tank became pivotal because of lack of supply.

While early tanks were constructed from stone or wood, some made good use of watertight structures found in nature. Unfortunately for Indus Valley occupants, water storage could not save them from a lack of this precious resource. They were eventually forced to new lands in search of water and less arid soil.


A lifesaver in the medieval fortress

Medieval castles were fortresses built to be defended. They needed water in good supply, not just for defensive moats but to sustain inhabitants during long sieges. While water was often obtained from wells, it was circulated around the castle from a water tank through pipes. Often the tanks were constructed of wood. They would supply water not just for human consumption but for bathing too.

The Romans invented the castle – as forts. The earliest castle in England dates back to just past 1066, which should give you a clue as to who by. Yes, William The Conqueror had it constructed as a defence mechanism. The White Tower, part of the Tower of London, was completed in 1097 having taken almost two decades to build.
The cost of constructing and maintaining castles, along with the drawbacks of living in one once gun powder was discovered, led their decline.


The water tank and agriculture

Farmers rely on the water tank to supply livestock feeders and perform important functions. Water is needed for drinking troughs, spraying and irrigation. Relying on wells, troughs and time-consuming distribution methods are, thankfully, a thing of the past. Today, British farmers benefit from a wide range of storage options, many designed for specific applications – even to feed troughs.

Water storage is especially important in agriculture when low rainfall or droughts can serious impact crops. Globally, farmers are doing their bit to reduce water use. This has seen them become among the first to use modern rainwater harvesting systems and other innovative means to collect and store water. Water storage facilities used in farming are manufactured from a range of materials, including galvanised steel, MDPE and more. Without these solutions, agriculture would be even harder than it already is. Modern water storage solutions have given farmers the ability to deliver water anywhere – no matter what the location or terrain.


Healthcare and water supplies

In the NHS water supply systems need to meet strict criteria. That means the design and installation of all components, including a water tank, must meet guides. They need to pass commissioning and testing metrics before being used. Water is stored in hospitals, for example, to offer protection from back-flow in addition to guaranteeing reserves in the event of disruption to supplies of cold water. Tanks are also used to reduce pressure on the system as well as to lower maximum demands on mains supplies.

Increasingly, sprinkler tanks are also installed in hospitals. For both solutions, hospitals are encouraged to maintain tank valves as well as the tank themselves. Further information about water facilities used in healthcare can be found here.


The water tank for fire sprinkler systems

Now onto our forte – the water tank for fire sprinkler systems. These can be constructed from a variety of materials. The concrete tank is still used in many buildings. However, it can be more prone to leaks. That is why most tanks installed today are constructed from either glass coated steel, galvanised steel or, alternatively, epoxy coated steel.

The role of the tank, often referred to as a sprinkler tank, is to reserve water to fight a fire. The amount needed to be stored is dictated by the size, location and use of the site. This type of tank is essential if a sprinkler system is to effectively contain a fire from the earliest opportunity. Having enough water on standby to douse the seat of a blaze can stop it from impacting a larger area of a building – and save lives.

Locations most commonly found with a sprinkler tank include industrial warehouses, manufacturing plants, distribution centres and municipal buildings. In recently years, tanks have been installed to serve retrofitted sprinklers in tower blocks and in new school buildings, along with other types of buildings. Future Building Regulations could dictate which buildings must have sprinklers. However, the basis of any changes is unlikely to be known until the report into the second phase of the Grenfell Inquiry is published. You can read the recommendations to come out of the first phase of the inquiry here.

Whether you lived in ancient times, in a medieval castle or exist today, the humble water tank has played a pivotal role in sustaining life. As well as delivering drinking water, it has helped to preserve countless lives and protected material assets from the ravages of fire.

It may date back to almost the beginning of time, but the water tank continues to serve a pivotal role in all our lives. While few give water storage a second thought, it is the unseen essential that performs the most vital of functions.

What Does CHAS Accredited Mean?

Here at Nationwide Water Solutions, we are proud to have industry accreditations with organisations like CHAS. To us, it sets our work apart from unaccredited competitors. But, what does it me for you? If you are looking for a water storage solution for a fire sprinkler system, it can mean a lot. In this feature, we will explain what CHAS is and why we are proud to be a part of it.

Just so you know, we are not just accredited by this one organisation. We are also certified members of Constructionline, as well as Safety Schemes In Procurement (SSIP) and, in addition, are accredited by the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association.

CHAS stands for Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme. It is all about ensuring proper health and safety, including assessments. It takes safety management to a new level. This type of certification is considered extremely helpful to those buying products or services from contractors like ourselves. Before we explain why and how it helps our customers, we must point out that to retain our accreditation we have to be assessed on an annual basis. This is to ensure we comply with the terms of certification.


How our accreditations help you

When you instruct us to install, reline, refurbish or inspect a fire sprinkler tank, you can be certain that we will comply with all health and safety regulations. Our risk assessments are carried out in relation to specific sites and always by experts. All identified risks are very carefully managed. While being CHAS certified saves us a lot of time, it is highly beneficial to our customers too. You can forge a working relationship with us knowing from the outset that we will be compliant and certified.

The fact that we are regularly assessed will give you an understanding of our continued commitment health and safety practices as well as assessments. More and more of our customers come from the industrial and municipal sectors where having this type of robust, recognised accreditation is becoming a common requirement. We are continually helped by CHAS to ensure our safety management is fit for purpose and tailored to the needs of the projects we undertake.

One of the biggest advantages of being a CHAS member is that we are encouraged to deliver a consistent approach to improving the way we identify and manage risks. This is a good thing in business, particularly for a concern like ours which can involve working on very large tank structures that store and distribute huge volumes of water. And, at the end of the day, these structures are being relied upon to save lives and property in emergency situations.

Competitors without certification are most often required to demonstrate their safety management skills through written submissions. This can include quite detailed and lengthy questionnaires. We don’t think customers going through the tendering process always have the time to sift through answers, let alone than attempt to verify them. By working with us, they can be assured that we will meet the health and safety requirements of their industry.

What risks are involved working with a fire sprinkler tank?

There are lots of risks involved when it comes to working with a fire sprinkler tank. There are obvious dangers associated with working with water. However, one of the biggest day-to-day risks we manage is working at height. Falls are the biggest cause of workplace injuries and that is why all our team members are fully trained to work at height, with the right safety equipment. They are also trained in first aid.

Ensuring all our staff have received the correct training to undertake their jobs both safely and professionally is extremely important. So often, you read stories about contractors whose standards do not meet national guidelines. Working with non-accredited firms puts your business at risk. For example, how do you know that they will safely manage your project – and if they don’t, are they insured? There are insurance implications for you, too.

What if non-compliant work causes a problem that impacts your business or others? It could invalidate your own insurance and / or leads to claims. Our focus is on the integrity of your sprinkler tank and the safe delivery of the work we undertake on it.


CHAS member and proud of it

Nationwide Water Solutions is a leading name in the supply and maintenance of water storage tanks for automatic fire-fighting systems. We deliver carefully managed projects to businesses and public bodies across the UK. This includes warehouses, distribution centres, manufacturing plants, and buildings owned or maintained by the public realm. As well as delivering bespoke solutions, we are also innovative. That is why none of our customers ever have to drain a tank for us to inspect it.

We have invested in new technology that makes it possible to assess the condition of a fire sprinkler tank under water. This has many benefits. Apart from saving water and being more convenient, it ensures no down time for automatic sprinkler systems. Insurers prefer this approach because there is no interruption.

Over the past year, we have been incredibly honoured to carry out work for a wide range of organisations. You can gain an insight on our website. We have recently put together some case studies – so prospective customers can see what we do, how and who for. If you are considering the merits of installing automatic sprinklers or have been advised that your existing fire sprinkler tank needs remedial work to extend its life, talk to us. In addition to delivering industry-leading services, we also offer free technical advice. For those looking to install a sprinkler tank, we offer a free site survey.

We hope that you find our accreditations and this article useful. We are proud to be CHAS members and hope this gives you a good understanding of our ongoing commitment to safety management at every stage of a project’s progress. Learn more on our website or contact us online or by telephone.



How Much Water Does A Fire Sprinkler Use?

We are living in times when water conservation is a big deal, so asking the question ‘How much water does a fire sprinkler use’ is a pertinent question. For those who want to ensure they make the best use of this precious resource, we have got some great news. Fire sprinklers use water economically. Modern automatic sprinklers do not all go off at once. That is why experts are quick to rubbish fears about unnecessary water damage.

In fact, the fire sprinkler uses far less water than conventional means of fighting a fire. For example, a single sprinkler head will use a maximum of 20 gallons per minute. If that sounds a lot, compare it to the amount of water discharged by a traditional fire extinguisher. Those big metal things that clutter walls would collectively have to use almost 3,000 gallons – against a total of under 350 gallons for a typical sprinkler system.

Anyone concerned about water conservation or, indeed, the cost of water, would do well to calculate the savings afforded by automatic sprinklers. The great thing about modern fire-fighting equipment, other than it being automatic, is that it can rely on its own water supply. We are in the business of installing, maintaining and repairing sprinkler tanks – so we know a thing or two about water and its conservation.


Can a sprinkler tank really be good for conservation?

We can answer this question with just one word. Yes. While a fire sprinkler tank will require inspecting on a regular basis, this routine process need not cause the loss of a single drop of water. Why? Because companies like ourselves used advanced equipment that checks the integrity of the tank underwater.

As well as being great for water conservation, this high-tech approach saves money and also ensures sprinkler systems remain fully operational throughout. It negates the need for the tank owner to notify their insurer of an interruption to their fire safety measures. The only instances when a sprinkler tank will have to be drained is during a relining or refurbishment project. Thankfully, modern tanks are highly robust and designed to last for many years before this type of work may be deemed necessary.

The important point to get across is that when a sprinkler system is activated, only the sprinkler head / s nearest the heat source will go off – not all of them. For years, people have resisted sprinkler systems because they fear water damage and false alarms. The truth is, sprinklers do not cause water damage for the sake of it.

Other reasons why a fire sprinkler saves water

When you consider the design of a fire sprinkler system, it is important to remember that it is manufactured to work as soon as a fire is detected. This can happen within a very short space of time – sometimes in just a minute. Delivering water to the seat of a fire almost immediately has many benefits – including water conservation. A fast response is the most effective way to stop a blaze from spreading. Imagine a fire not being detected very quickly and then a wait for the fire and rescue service to arrive.

Response times to fires vary but can take more than eight minutes – even to very serious fires. Collectively, fire services have worked hard to maintain response times against a backdrop of cuts in the numbers of full-time firefighters. In some areas of the country, stations are earmarked for closure. While fire chiefs may claim cuts won’t impact response times, critics claim they will. However, eight minutes is eight minutes.

Commenting on fire response times for 2017/18,Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “Response times are important for public safety and have plateaued since 2014/15, but we can’t ignore the increase we have seen over the past two decades. We need to look in detail at the reasons behind this; including the the type of fires, the risk involved and any impact this may have.”

He added: “It is essential the public have confidence in their fire service and the response times, but just as important as averages is whether the local service is meeting its declared response time.”

A sprinkler system can diminish a fire – meaning less water being required by 999 crews. Some fire sprinkler experts claim automatic systems are so effective they help to cut greenhouses gases. That is not something we will go into now but is a subject we can return to at a later date.

The main message is that sprinkler systems with water storage tanks are environmentally friendly. Spread the word! Another way in which sprinkler tanks can play a role in helping the environment is working with rainwater harvesting systems. This is something we will write about in much greater detail in the near future because this savvy way of collecting and recycling water not only pays for itself over time, it is really efficient. What’s more rainwater harvesting systems are suitable for almost all roof types and can be customised to meet specific site requirements.


The fire sprinkler tank people

We are the people behind innovative, bespoke sprinkler tank solutions for commercial, industrial and municipal buildings across the UK. We carry out every aspect of installing and maintaining tanks and pride ourselves in being the market leading experts. We take water conservation seriously and that is why we are always happy to talk about the benefits of automatic sprinklers over conventional fire-fighting systems.

Our customers come from all corners of the UK. They trust us to look after their water needs because we only supply robust, long-lasting solutions that are designed to perform over many years. In addition to delivering durable water solutions, we provide free technical support – so nobody has to grapple with a water tank problem on their own.

Water may drop out of the sky, but it is a scarce, precious resource that none of us should take for granted. If you want to do your bit for the environment, sprinklers and a fire sprinkler tank is a great start. If your business wants to do more to conserve water and improve fire safety, talk to us about our impressive range of fire tanks and associated services.

We are Nationwide Water Solutions. For further information about what we do, visit our website.


Top 5 Causes of UK Commercial Fires

More than 11,000 fires were recorded in non-dwelling properties in England in 2018/19, posing the question: how do commercial fires most often start? It is worth noting that better fire safety awareness and improved equipment has significantly reduced non-dwelling fires – from more than 26,000 in 2001/02. However, the cost of a commercial fire can be very high – often running into tens of thousands of pounds or even more.

Protecting business premises from the effects of a fire is important – not just in terms of life preservation but to ensure a company can survive the aftermath of a blaze. Making sure your property has robust insurance and modern fire-fighting equipment is essential. The number of businesses, especially SMEs, that fail following a fire is alarming. To help you understand the most common risks, we have prepared some simple facts. They highlight the dangers most likely to start a fire.

By taking on board the known causes and carrying out regular risk assessments, you can plan for the worst – and reduce the impact. Fire injures and kills and is a leading cause of the loss of valuable data as well as equipment and goods. It is also worth bearing in mind that while there are many accidental causes, fires can also be started with intent. We hope you find this information useful.


Commercial fires – causes

In the UK incidents of commercial fires fall into a number of categories. The most common causes include:


1 – Kitchen fires

This type of fire is considered the most common of all commercial fires. While many people associate such fires with dwellings, commercial premises are no exception. Think of restaurants, take-aways, hotels, food processing businesses and works canteens. In the UK, chip fryers, dirty surfaces near cooking equipment and faulty appliances are mostly to blame. To minimise risks, ensure staff are aware of best practices, keep kitchen areas clean and be vigilant when it comes to using fryers. Food should never be left unattended and loose clothing, along with long-sleeved tops, should be avoided in this environment. You can further reduce risks by correctly storing chemicals away from heat and ensuring surfaces are fire resistant.


2 – Electrical fires

Outdated equipment, overloaded sockets and faulty appliances are among the leading causes of electrical fires. Never plug more than one appliance into a socket and ensure any new equipment is PAT tested before it is plugged in and used. Ensure staff know they cannot plug in appliances they have brought to work from home. If you are having work carried out in your premises, ensure contractors follow safety guidelines and that they do not breach any regulatory codes.


3 – Heating and / or boiler fires

Poor maintenance can cause fires in both heating appliances and boilers. Be especially vigilant with heating equipment in storage areas and make sure your boiler is regularly serviced.


4 – Deliberate fires

Buildings left unattended, particularly at night or weekends, are at a higher risk of arson. Commercial premises are no exception. It pays to protect a building that is not in 24-hour use with automatic sprinklers to ensure action is taken before a fire has had the chance to take hold. This way, a blaze can be contained while the emergency services are on their way. Arson attacks have the potential to cause serious damage. Consider how your business would continue to operate after such an incident.


5 – Discarded cigarettes

In the past, smoking was a leading cause of fire in commercial premises. However, with the smoking ban now well established, many businesses have taken the savvy approach of ensuring any outside smoking areas are located well away from a building. In certain types of buildings, however, smoking may still pose a risk. In hotels, guests may try to have a crafty smoke. Be aware of this potential danger and take steps to mitigates the effects.

How many businesses fail after a fire?

It is estimated that up to 80 per cent of businesses that suffer from serious commercial fires fail within 18 months. Others take literally years to fully recover. An overview of what is at stake is given is this feature by Elite Business Magazine.

Nationwide Water Solutions encourage commercial enterprises to take a pragmatic and robust approach to fire prevention, detection and containment. As well as serving the commercial sector, we work with those in industry. Our aim is to ensure automatic sprinkler systems have access to dedicated water supplies to start tackling a fire straight away. One of the biggest reasons (though not the only one) why fires devastate buildings is because they can take too long to detect. Fires cannot always be predicted, and they most certainly can’t always be prevented. However, there is a lot you can do to reduce the risks.

Automatic fire sprinklers are now commonplace in commercial and industrial buildings. That is because the are effective in tackling the commercial fire from the outset. We recommend you learn more about the benefits of sprinklers and take action to safeguard your building, people and future success.


Commercial fire sprinkler tank

We are nationwide installers of fire sprinkler tanks fore commercial buildings. We help businesses look after their assets with solutions tailored to the needs of their specific site. Based in Yorkshire, we service commercial clients across the UK. As well as installing fire sprinkler tanks, we also maintain them.

Our sprinkler tank repair and refurbishment services include relining. We also operate an independent inspection service and recommended businesses with sprinkler tanks have their system checked annually. If the impact of a fire is of concern, don’t wait to get expert advice. We provide free site surveys for those interested in having a dedicated water supply for sprinkler systems.

With fully qualified experts, we are nationally recognised specialists and provide solutions for a wide range of building types. If you are not sure of your requirements or are concerned that existing facilities have not been independently inspected for a while, get in touch. Our experts provide free technical advice.

For further information about sprinkler tank re-lining or our inspection service, visit our website.

How The Grenfell Inquiry Will Impact Fire Regulations

Now that the report into the first phase of the Grenfell Inquiry has been published, the Government has had time to ponder its recommendations. This will impact a raft of existing fire and building control regulations. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has already been quoted as saying that the recommendations will be implemented in full and quickly. As a fire sprinkler tank specialist committed to keeping our partners informed, we have taken a look at what those recommendations are so we can make you aware of them.

The report, compiled by Sir Martin Moore-Bick, looks at how the fire was able to spread so quickly and claim so many lives. Running to more than 860 pages, it pays particular attention to the cladding material used on the exterior of the tower block and the role it played in accelerating the blaze. It also looks at the fire safety system in place at Grenfell and draws conclusions that will lead to change. As a company dedicated to helping building owners contain fires with effective automatic systems equipped with their own water supply, we are disappointed not to have read that sprinklers should be mandatory in similar types of properties. However, this is something, Sir Martin has said he will consider in the phase two report.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Parliament that central government will take on responsibility for fire safety in the areas recommended in Sir Martin’s report. Some of the recommendations are likely to pass into law before the much-anticipated Building Safety Bill comes into being. This will involve more work for high-rise building owners and landlords.


The role of exterior cladding in the Grenfell fire

Sir Martin’s Grenfell Inquiry report concludes that changes to the walls of the tower during a refurbishment project left it in breach of Regulation B(4). This requires external walls of a building to adequately resist the spread of flame. The report further concludes that the aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding panels, which included polyethylene, was the “primary cause” of the spread of the fire, allowing it to travel from floor to floor up the tower. It also points out that the plastic insulation also contributed to the spread of the blaze.

ACM also formed an architectural element at the top of Grenfell and the report states it was the cause of rapid horizontal fire spread. Flaws were found in the design of the kitchen window in Flat 16, and the report concludes this flaw allowed a run of the mill kitchen fire to escape and catch the cladding alight. Sir Martin also found that Grenfell’s fire doors had missing self closers which caused a complete failure in the compartmentation of the fire.

Sir Martin has stated: “I am satisfied that, although many different factors played a part, the principal reason why the flames spread so rapidly up the building was the presence of the ACM panels with polyethylene cores…”

Recommendations expected to be implemented

At Nationwide Water Solutions, we expect the following Grenfell Inquiry recommendations, made by Sir Martin, to be implemented in the near future:


  • A requirement for high-rise building owners / landlords to have evacuation plans drawn up, including plans for vulnerable residents. These plans are to be reviewed regularly
  • National guidelines will be devised to ensure tower blocks can be evacuated quickly
  • Inspections to be urgently carried out on all existing fire doors in flats, which checks ongoing every three months or less
  • New requirements for building management, including better interior signage, regular inspections of both fire lifts and fire doors
  • Lifts must be fitted with mechanisms that will allow firefighters to take control of them during an emergency
  • Fire services will be required to have evacuation policies in place for high-rise buildings and also have smoke hoods available for firefighters. The hoods will help them carry out evacuations while navigating smoke-filled areas, such as corridors.
  • Building owners will be required to provide details of external walls and the materials used to the fire service, and make them aware of any changes
  • To ensure that fire services personnel at all levels understand the risk of cladding fires


We urge building owners to take note of the recommendations above, because they will impact how buildings are both managed and maintained. You can download a full copy of the report here.


Fire sprinkler tank expert’s view on Grenfell Inquiry recommendations

Many of the recommendations made in Sir Martin’s report are common sense approaches. We were interested to note his comments on the issue of mandatory automatic fire sprinkler systems in tower blocks. Sir Martin stated that sprinkler systems have “a very effective part to play” in general fire safety. However, he added he had yet to hear evidence about their use. Therefore, he was not currently in a position to make a recommendation – until sprinklers are looked at in greater detail in phase two of the inquiry.

We think automatic sprinklers should be used in all high-rise and industrial buildings. Our view is based on our knowledge of how modern fire-fighting equipment works and how containing fires early on is the best way to prevent another disaster on the scale of Grenfell. The comments made by Sir Martin on materials used and failings with fire doors will be acted on and changes made. If you are a building owner, it will fall on you to carry out the recommendations to the letter.

The Grenfell Inquiry is only happening because more than 70 innocent people lost their lives as a result or an ordinary kitchen fire. In most circumstances, a fire of this nature would not have spread to the extent it did. Understanding your building, the materials used in its construction and the plans needed to ensure it is safe has never been more important.

If you want to protect your building with an automatic fire safety system, consider installing a fire sprinkler tank to ensure water is always there when you need it. For further information about what we do to protect buildings, material assets and people from fires, visit our website.


Where to Find Fire Sprinkler Tank Information

Fire sprinkler tank information is available from Nationwide Water Solutions. Fire tank experts, this is the company responsible for installing and maintaining water storage facilities for automatic sprinkler systems across the UK. If you are searching for an answer to a question related to fire safety systems, you will find a lot of helpful, free advice on the business’s website. As well as outlining the services it provides, the company has a packed blog section – dedicated to answering common questions about sprinkler tanks.

Many people look for information when they are considering upgrading their current fire safety equipment. This can be after a risk assessment or because an insurer has indicated policy premiums could go down with better protection. Others look online to find a specialist capable of carrying out recommended repairs or a refurbishment project. At the moment, businesses are looking to pre-empt legislation that may follow the outcome of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Nationwide Water Solutions delivers a 360-degree service, including independent sprinkler tank inspections. In this blog, we will look at the type of fire sprinkler tank information people most often seek – and point you in the right direction. Recent customers include DHL, Revlon, National Grid and Volkswagen. If you have any questions not answered here, you can contact an expert on 0345 505 2540.


What does Nationwide Water Solutions do?

Nationwide Water Solutions ensures its customers benefit from robust water storage systems for fire-fighting sprinklers. It works with partners in industry and other sectors to deliver best-fit solutions. This includes bespoke fire tanks. It provides fire sprinkler tank information during an initial, free site survey – and helps customers ensure the tank they invest in is the right size, and shape, for their site’s needs. It will advise on the amount of water required for a site and suggest the best location and tank type to do the job.

Even if Nationwide Water Solutions has not installed your sprinkler tank, it can help you maintain it. The accredited business provides a range of services to ensure tanks meet regulatory guidelines. In addition to its inspection service, it carries out repairs including re-lining. Full refurbishment projects are also undertaken in cases where a sprinkler tank is starting to show signs of corrosion.

For total peace of mind, the company is committed to providing the very best levels of workmanship and customer support. It operates a national technical advice line – so anyone with a sprinkler tank problem can get the information they need quickly. Whether your site already has a sprinkler tank or if it is something you are considering for the near future, there is always someone available to answer any questions you may have.

Top 3 requests for fire sprinkler tank information

The three most common requests for fire sprinkler tank information come mostly from businesses. They include:


  • How much will it cost to have a sprinkler tank installed?
  • Can a fire sprinkler tank be repaired?
  • How often should my sprinkler tank be inspected by an independent expert?


All the answers to these questions are available on Nationwide Water Solutions’ website. That is where you will also find recent case studies, outlining projects undertaken by the company’s highly trained team. You will also be able to see the company’s numerous accreditations, such as the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association, and full contact details.

A spokesman said: “A lot of businesses are still confused when it comes to sprinkler tanks. There are still a lot of myths surrounding automatic sprinkler systems in general, and people are searching for the facts. Thankfully, we can help. One of the biggest reasons why firms put off installing sprinklers is because they fear a small fire will set off every sprinkler in a building and cause unnecessary water damage. In fact, modern sprinklers work independently – so only the sprinkler heads needed will be activated.

“We are now seeing more distribution centres, as well as manufacturing plants and packaging companies, benefitting from state-of-the-art fire-fighting equipment. This is because business owners and company boards are recognising the benefits of loss reduction strategies and thinking beyond simply life preservation. As well as cost-saving benefits in terms of insurance and not having to replace expensive material assets, automatic sprinklers with their own water supply stop fires from spreading and limit damage to the structure of buildings.”


Fire sprinkler tank information from experts

Fire tanks play a crucial role in keeping fires in check. They ensure water is available around the clock, 365 days a year to protect assets and keep sites operating. For fire sprinkler tank information, look to experts at Nationwide Water Solutions. They have more than a decade’s experience in advanced fire safety systems. With a solid background in installation and refurbishment, they are the go-to people if you are concerned your sprinkler tank is leaking, showing signs of wear and tear or, quite simply, haven’t got a clue what state it is in.

Likewise, if you have been advised to improve your existing fire protection measures, you can get information about how to book a free site survey. You may want to consider the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system if your site cannot afford to be out of operation because of a fire, your business is based in or near a vulnerable building or if you are required by law to have a sprinkler system fitted.

Nationwide Water Solutions works to all regulations to ensure your sprinkler tank is both compliant and fit for purpose. With friendly but professional help just a phone call or email away, there is no reason why you can’t access the sprinkler tank information you require – when you need it. The company covers the whole of the UK and provides fire tank solutions for sites of all sizes, including those on multiple levels. The fire sprinkler tank installers of choice for major industries, it leads the field when it comes to quality installations at a competitive price.

Still looking for fire sprinkler tank information? Contact Nationwide Water Solutions today.