Tag Archives: fire sprinkler tank

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Outdated equipment, overloaded sockets and faulty appliances are among the leading causes of electrical fires.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.

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.



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.

Fire Sprinkler Tank and Safety In Multi Storey Car Parks

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.