Questions are being asked about sprinkler system maintenance at a block of London flats, which was the scene of a major fire yesterday (Sunday). Twenty flats were completely destroyed in the blaze and a further ten damaged. At the height of the fire, six floors of the building in Barking were alight. Around 100 firefighters were on the scene for some hours.
Fire safety campaigners say it was a miracle there were no fatalities. Two people were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation at the scene and the building safely evacuated. The modern flats have been the subject of criticism from local residents, who have queried the safety of wooden balconies and cladding. Early reports, which are unconfirmed, suggested a fire warden scheme had been put in place after the sprinkler system was found to be faulty. Residents said the first fire crews on the scene had difficulty finding a water supply.
‘No excuse for slow sprinkler system maintenance’
Nationwide Water Solutions, Britain’s sprinkler tank specialist, helps building owners and management companies stay on top of sprinkler system maintenance. A spokesman said: “What we had here was a serious fire that had the potential for deadly consequences. We don’t know if reports that there had been problems with the sprinkler system are true. What we can say is that all sprinkler systems should be maintained and any problems quickly identified and put right. Every minute a sprinkler system is out of operation lives are being put at risk.”
If your sprinklers benefit from a sprinkler tank, Nationwide Water Solutions is available to provide a professional, independent inspection. It uses ultrasound and underwater cameras to check for problems without having to waste water or interrupt a sprinkler system. This can have insurance advantages and also save time. What’s more, you get to see hard evidence of any identified issues in images.
Speed of fire likened to Grenfell
Sunday’s fire at De Pass Gardens is said to have taken hold in mere minutes. One local, resident tweeted: “The speed in which this fire in Barking spread was crazy! Nothing learned from Grenfell.” It is worth noting that firefighters had to waste precious time looking for a water source. An on-site sprinkler tank can store water ready for use in an emergency via sprinklers.
For further information about sprinkler tank maintenance, visit Nationwide Water Solutions.