A fire sprinkler tank is currently not legally required in UK multi storey car parks. This is in spite of growing calls from local authorities and campaigners. A brand new multi storey car park at Manchester Airport is today the scene of major blaze. It is not yet known if the car park benefits from sprinklers. Plumes of smoke can be seen billowing from a site close to Terminal 2, which is currently undergoing a £1b expansion.
Asset protection, as well as life preservation measures, should be a priority consideration for any enclosed space near a major development or where people congregate. The nature of multi storey car parks means they are often located inside a building or adjoining a facility. Even in cases where an indoor car park is adjacent, the risks of a fire spreading can be high. This means that a detailed evaluation of safety equipment is imperative.
Enclosed parking spaces and a fire sprinkler tank
Nationwide Water Solutions, the fire sprinkler tank company trusted by major brands in the public and private sector, said multi storey car parks are an issue. “The problem is that they house vehicles that contain fuel,” said a spokesman. “If a fire breaks out, it can be hard to tackle, spread quickly, and pose a range of challenges.
“More and more fire safety experts are advising developers to look carefully at fire risk assessments for multi storey car parks and other types of under-cover storage areas. What we have to bear in mind is that vehicles can catch fire for any number of reasons. Having a vehicle fire inside a building is much more serious than at the side of a road.”
The British Sprinkler Alliance has raised the issue at Government level. The BAFSA raised similar concerns following a fire that caused £20m worth of damage in Liverpool. Engineers Ireland and even The Times newspaper have had something to say about lack of action over dangers posed by fires in multi storey car parks.
Don’t wait for legislation – act now
Many experts expect a sprinkler requirement for enclosed car parks to form part of a new nationwide approach to fire safety. You don’t have to wait to be compelled to install sprinklers. Do it now and ensure you include a fire sprinkler tank to ensure water is available to tackle a blaze immediately.
If you are concerned about fire risks in a multi storey car park you own or manage, ask for a free site survey from Nationwide Water Solutions.