Tag Archives: high-rise buildings

Water Supply Fears Over Sprinklers in Surrey Tower Block

Residents in a 17-storey tower block in Surrey are concerned water supply problems have impacted their automatic sprinklers. Sprinkler systems were allegedly out of order last month following water supply issues. The borough council says it kept residents living in Surrey Towers informed about the water issues.

According to reports, up to 100 flats in the tower block were left without running water for two days. Residents have blamed “defective pumps” and say it interrupted the sprinkler service. It is claimed that bottles of water were left on doorsteps by the council while workmen installed a tap outside the block of flats to provide residents with drinking water.


Situation clarified over sprinklers

Although residents have expressed concerns that the sprinklers may have been out of order, the council did not rush to back up their claims. A technical manager for the firm that retrofitted sprinklers in the block said they would have been affected. The council has now said low water pressure was likely to have impacted the sprinklers.

Residents are urging the council to notify them if the sprinklers are not working in the future.


Sprinkler tank expert comments

Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s leading sprinkler tank expert. It says there are two ways to get water to sprinklers – direct from the mains supply with a booster pump or from a sprinkler tank with a pump. A sprinkler tank stores water solely to fight fires. A spokesman said: “We don’t know which method is being used in this tower block, but we always recommend a sprinkler tank for very large buildings like this.

“As well as ensuring water is always available to fight a fire, a sprinkler tank provides peace of mind – something high-rise tower block residents need. Sprinkler tanks and associated equipment should be independently checked at least annually to stop problems from occurring.”

For further information about Nationwide Water Solutions, visit the website.


Brighton Tower Blocks to be Fitted with Sprinklers

Brighton and Hove council has become the latest to agree to install sprinklers in tower blocks. Two properties have been identified for initial work – Essex Place and St James House. The council will spend up to £150,000 on each building.

The move follows the catastrophic loss of life following a fire at Grenfell Tower in London last year. The tower blocks singled out for sprinklers are considered among the tallest properties in the conurbation. Residents were consulted before the decision to install sprinklers was taken. Despite the huge loss of life at Grenfell, just 37 of the 74 households who responded supported the installation of the life-saving equipment.


Tenants given sprinkler choice

Because of fears about leaks, tenants will be given a choice over having sprinklers in their flat. However, those who reject the idea will be offered a single sprinkler head. Reports say it will be positioned close to the flat’s door – to keep the means of escape covered.

A hybrid sprinkler system is favoured for both projects. Full sprinklers are expected to be fitted in communal areas, including laundry rooms and bin stores.

Residents at three further tower blocks in Brighton – Theobald House, Nettleton Court and Dudeney Lodge – are due to be consulted as part of a programme of installing sprinklers more widely. The move aims to mitigate the known failings at Grenfell.


Invest in a sprinkler tank

Major sprinkler system projects often benefit from a sprinkler tank. It ensures enough water is immediately available to tackle a fire. In large buildings, a sprinkler tank is recommended – because it can contain a blaze and stop it from spreading.

Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank expert. It supplies, installs and maintains sprinkler tanks across the country. For further information or to book a free site visit, go to the website.



Four Building Types That Need A Fire Tank

If you are a regular visitor to our blog, you will know that we focus on fire safety issues. Over the past year, fire safety equipment has been in demand. Building owners are heeding the public’s concerns over safety. In today’s blog post, we will be looking at the four building types that need a fire tank.

If you are wondering what a fire tank is, we will explain. Also known as a sprinkler tank, it stores water solely to fight fires. Water is ready to fight a blaze in an emergency. The fire tank releases water to sprinkler heads. In the case of modern automatic sprinklers, only the area affected by fire will receive the water.

Here are the top four building types that need a fire tank…


1. High-rise tower blocks

While the installation of a sprinkler system is currently not compulsory, it soon could be. Recommendations following the catastrophic fire at Grenfell Tower include sprinklers for new buildings over 18 metres. It could be that existing buildings will have to be retro-fitted with sprinklers. If you own a high-rise building, don’t wait for the law to change. Think about installing a fire tank and automatic sprinkler system now.


2. Care homes

Elderly people are among the most vulnerable in society. Care homes could one day be forced to have sprinkler systems. That is because mobility problems make it difficult for older people to evacuate a building quickly. A fire tank supplies water to sprinklers, giving care homes more time to get residents out of a burning building.


3. New schools

There is growing consensus that all new schools should be fitted with sprinkler systems and fire tanks. This is to reduce the cost of arson and accidental fires on the public purse, and to improve the safety of children.


4. Warehousing

Loss prevention measures should include a fire tank and sprinklers.

For further information about fire tanks, visit Nationwide Water Solutions Limited.

Developer Sets New Sprinkler Standards

A developer planning to build the tallest apartment block in Derby has said every floor will be fitted with sprinklers. Goodwin Developments, spearheading The Landmark project, is currently preparing a planning application for the development. Its company ethos to install sprinklers in all new builds sets new sprinkler standards in the UK. The high-rise building will comprise 201 luxury homes as well as a gym and residents’ lounge.

Seventeen storeys high, architects’ drawings of the building were unveiled to the Press and local residents earlier this week. The company revealed it has a policy of fitting sprinklers in all its buildings – something campaigners have welcomed.


‘You don’t have to do it, but we do’

Goodwin Developments’ director, Stephen Pratt, told the Derby Telegraph that every apartment will benefit from sprinklers. He said this was to protect residents in the event of a fire.

He said: “The building we’re proposing is fully sprinklered. All of our buildings – even the two or three storey schemes we’re building in the UK – are fully sprinklered. It’s a policy we have. You don’t have to do it, but we do. We feel it’s something that is important.”


Industry is leading sprinkler change

While a government review of building regulations and fire safety is still under way following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, it seems developers are making up their own minds about the need for sprinklers. Goodwin could be a leader on new fire safety standards. Reaction to plans for The Landmark have been described as ‘really positive’ by the company.

The multi-million-pound scheme is being shown to the public for feedback before a planning application is formally submitted. With an iconic design and cutting-edge features, the project has been 17 months in the planning so far. If given the green light, the building will be the tallest in Derby.


Planning a new-build or want to retrofit sprinklers? Nationwide Water Solutions Limited is the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank specialist. As well as supplying and installing sprinkler tanks, it offers a comprehensive range of maintenance, repair and inspection services.



Sky’s The Limit For Fire Safety

Did you know that rooftops are an excellent place to locate sprinkler tanks serving high-rise buildings? In fact, across the Pond, in New York, many of the city’s apartment blocks have them. Out of sight but always on standby, they are the unseen fire safety essential that serves sprinkler systems.

Water tanks have been constructed on rooftops for almost 100 years. They were first installed in commercial buildings in the US following devastating fires. Scores of people perished in garment factories alone. This prompted authorities to introduce regulations. New fire safety rules covered high-rise buildings used for residential as well as business purposes.


Fascinating history of rooftop fire tanks


While initial regulations required the ready supply of water, it quickly became apparent that rooftop tanks were needed. This was because water pressure is often very poor after the fifth storey. While sprinkler systems are not always a feature of high-rise buildings in the UK, they have been an essential part of fire prevention in New York for more than half a century.

Harris Rosenwach first came up with the idea of building a water tank on a roof. Today, his great-great grandson, Henry, is vice-president of Rosenwach Tank Co, headquartered in Long Island.

In the UK most fire tanks are made of sheet metal and constructed on-site, although they will have been prefabricated elsewhere. Built to individual specifications, fire tanks are rarely the same.


How do rooftop sprinkler tanks work?


Think gravity. It is as simple as that. Add electricity and you’ve got the two basic forces that deliver life-saving water to sprinkler heads. Sensors in the tank ensure water levels remain constant. Extra water is delivered when sensors detect a drop. Sometimes a floating balloon is used instead – like the ones you find in toilet cisterns.

With proper maintenance, a steel fire tank can last decades. In the UK, there is no need to empty a tank and clean it before an inspection. Underwater camera equipment is used to survey the tank’s walls and potential weak spots. Companies that fail to have their tanks inspected annually in the US can be fined up to $2,000.


UK sprinkler tanks and fire safety


If you want to find out more about how a sprinkler tank can support your fire safety plan, talk to Nationwide Water Solutions. To book a fire tank inspection, click here.