Tag Archives: building regulations

Sprinkler Tanks: Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Fire Safety

Sprinkler tanks are a hot topic. When it comes to fire safety, we are living in an era when nobody should be taking chances. That is why organisations across the UK are reviewing the measures they have in place. The death toll following the Grenfell Tower fire has made everyone – from politicians and campaigners to the public – call for sprinklers to be made compulsory in some buildings. If you manage social housing, a school, care home or hospital, sprinklers could be on your agenda.

Thinking of installing sprinklers during a refurbishment or in a new build? A sprinkler tank should form part of your plan. If you are not sure why you need a sprinkler tank, here are the top five benefits…

 

1. Sprinkler tanks deliver instant water

A sprinkler tank stores water just to fight fires. With a ready supply of water, buildings with sprinkler tanks benefit from a round the clock fire fighting capacity. This means, water can be delivered to the point of a fire and start supressing flames even in the middle of the night.

 

2. Sprinkler tanks help supress fires quickly

Because a sprinkler tank is primed to work the moment an automatic sprinkler system detects heat, firefighting can begin immediately. This often means a fire is under control before fire and rescue crews arrive on the scene. It is not uncommon for a fire to be completely out by the time firefighters arrive.

 

3. Sprinkler tanks can be fitted anywhere

At Nationwide Water Solutions Limited, we supply and install sprinkler tanks of all shapes and sizes. Each tank is specifically designed for its unique environment. Our in-house technical team can tell you more about this bespoke service.

 

4. Sprinkler tanks last for years

We supply sprinkler tanks that will serve your needs for years. Our tank installation service covers glass coated steel tanks, galvanised steel, epoxy coated steel, stainless steel and concrete tanks.

 

5. Sprinkler tanks can be repaired

If an inspection report suggests your sprinkler tank is showing signs of wear, we can help. While very old or badly damaged tanks will have to be replaced, it is often the case that others can be relined. Our liners come with a guarantee – so you know they are going to last.

 

Find out more about our sprinkler tanks and services at our website or get in touch for free, no obligation advice.

Fresh Concerns Over Hackitt Review

The Royal Institute of British Architects has added its voice to concerns over a Government review into fire safety.  It fears eventual recommendations will fall short of making sprinklers compulsory in some buildings. It is also worried that flammable cladding, like that used on the exterior of Grenfell Tower, will not be banned. It has written an open letter to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The Institute (RIBA) is concerned the Hackitt Review will not deliver sufficient changes. It wants robust building regulations and fire safety to save lives. The independent review, led by Dame Judith Hackitt (pictured), was set up in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

 

Key changes needed

RIBA’s Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety says in the letter it is concerned that key changes seem to have been overlooked. They include:

  • A ban on flammable cladding
  • Installation of sprinklers
  • A second means of escape for high-rise residential buildings

Its own briefing document has made recommendations that it urges the government to consider. It is calling for those suggestions to be looked at before Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report is next month.

Jane Duncan, immediate past president of RIBA and chair of RIBA’s Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety, said: “The RIBA has engaged closely with Dame Judith and her review and we welcome many of the suggestions made in her interim report to strengthen the building control system. However, we fear that the current set of proposals under consideration overlook simple but critical changes that would provide clarity for professionals and most importantly, would help protect the public.”

 

Hackitt Review: rules need to be rewritten

Ms Duncan added: “Sprinklers, a second means of escape and a ban on flammable cladding for high-rise residential buildings are common-sense recommendations, and a basic requirement in many other countries.

“We have written to the secretary of state making it clear that there must be a thorough rewriting of the building regulations and guidance on all aspects of fire safety, to avoid continuation of the regulatory failings that led to the Grenfell Tower fire.”

The interim review document can be read here.

 

Nationwide Water Solutions Limited

Is your organisation considering the benefits of automatic sprinklers? We supply, install and maintain sprinkler tanks across the UK. Sprinkler tanks ensure a ready supply of water is always on standby to fight fire. Whether you are planning a new build or want to retro fit sprinklers, talk to us.

 

What? Sprinklers in ALL homes?

New regulations in the US often go on to be implemented by other countries, including the UK. That is why Nationwide Water Solutions Limited, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of sprinkler tank products and services, predicted sprinklers could one day be a feature of building and fire safety regulations here, across the pond. Are you worried sprinklers will have to be fitted in all homes? Read on…

Unfortunately, it took the loss of multiple lives and real outrage to make the British government look again at fire safety regulations. The impact of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy is now being felt. As a Government review considers what changes may need to be made to make buildings safer, reports are coming out from independent bodies that suggest every residential property in the UK should be fitted with sprinklers.

 

Will it ever happen?

The cost of retrofitting sprinklers in every property in England means it is unlikely, in our opinion, that all homes will be compelled to have sprinklers. However, it is looking ever-more likely that certain properties will be required to have sprinklers within the next five years.

In our estimation, we believe the following types of property will have to be retrofitted with sprinklers:

  • High-rise blocks of flats
  • Care homes
  • Some council and housing association properties accommodating vulnerable tenants, such as the elderly
  • Some public buildings

 

Nationwide Water Solutions Limited believes the following types of new builds are likely to require sprinkler systems in the medium-term future:

  • New builds over a set number of storeys
  • All new schools
  • New care homes

 

Why is this happening?

The tragic loss of life at Grenfell Tower has highlighted the need to bring fire safety and building regulations up to a higher standard. Failings at the London blaze illustrated how current precautions are not working. People are dying because modern fire protection equipment is not being installed.

 

What should I do now if I own homes?

If you represent a social housing provider, school, developer, are a private landlord or own a care home, plan ahead. You need to budget for a sprinkler system. If you want to know more about sprinkler tanks and the role they play in delivering water to sprinkler heads, talk to Nationwide Water Solutions. Worried that your sprinkler tank has not been inspected in the past 12 months? Book an inspection today.

Sprinklers in every home on the horizon

The Government has finally responded to a coroner’s request for it to consider the ‘immediate and positive consideration’ of legislating to ensure sprinklers are fitted in every home. Coroner Simon Nelson issued his plea in 2015 following the death of a 24-year-old housing association resident. Now, more than two years later, he has received an answer.

Inside Housing prompted the response after making a Freedom of Information Act request.

Encouraging landlords to fit sprinklers

Melanie Dawes, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, wrote: “I am very sorry also that the department did not reply to the report at the time. The department has searched through its records and although the report was received, it would seem that it was not actioned properly through our correspondence management system.”

She added that the department has now “encouraged” social landlords to “consider installing sprinkler systems” in high-rise properties. However, it has never made them compulsory.

Fire safety regulations under review

That could change, though. The Government has made it clear that current fire safety and building regulations need to be reviewed. The review process is currently underway.

John Healey, Shadow Housing Secretary for Labour, told Inside Housing: “Ministers ignored the recommendations on sprinklers from two earlier coroners reports after the fatal fires in Lakanal House and Shirley Towers. It is shocking that for over two years they failed even to reply to this important further coroner’s report, which they seem to have lost within their own department.

“Following the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it is shameful that the government still refuses to ensure sprinklers are fitted in tower blocks. Ministers should back fire chiefs’ advice and Labour’s plan to urgently set aside the funds to get this done.”

Sprinkler tanks

Planning a new build or want to retrofit a sprinkler system? Nationwide Water Solutions Limited can supply and install a sprinkler tank that guarantees water is ready to fight a fire the second one is detected. The company also provides sprinkler tank maintenance, repair and inspection services. To find out more, visit Nationwide Water Solutions Limited.