The case of The Royal Clarence in Exeter is a poignant reminder of why sprinkler tanks are a must for historic hotels. The prominent building that stood adjacent to the Cathedral Green was gutted by fire – just hours after firefighters thought a blaze in a neighbouring building was under control.
The fire penetrated the walls and roof of the hotel, eventually leading to a major disaster. The hotel, a landmark building in Exeter’s city centre, is now undergoing an almost complete rebuild. Meanwhile, neighbouring businesses have suffered significant financial loss as a result of reduced footfall. One long-established shoe shop has been forced to close. Other nearby businesses say they have had to diversify to survive.
Hotels and sprinkler tank benefits
Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s premier sprinkler tank expert. It says a BBC investigation highlights potential failings in the management of the fire. However, a spokesman said: “All hotels should be fitted with sprinklers and a sprinkler tank. Large hotels need the right quantity of water immediately available to contain a blaze.
“It is always a tragedy when an historic building is lost or severely damaged by fire. We urge hotel owners to invest in automatic sprinklers with a sprinkler tank to provide robust protection.”
Free hotel site surveys
Nationwide Water Solutions offers a free site survey service. It provides detailed reports so that hotel owners know what solutions are suitable for their premises. As well as designing and installing sprinkler tanks in a wide range of shapes and sizes, Nationwide Water Solutions also maintains and refurbishes existing sprinkler tanks.
It offers a guaranteed relining service and also conducts annual, independent inspections of sprinkler tanks. The spokesman pointed out: “Insurance claims can be impacted if you fail to ensure your fire safety equipment is properly maintained. As with all water storage solutions, sprinkler tanks can be prone to rust over time. Detecting and dealing with the first signs of corrosion can ensure a sprinkler tank lasts for years and years.”
For further information visit Nationwide Water Solutions’ website.
With support up and down the country, Sprinkler Week 2018 has been a great success. Supported by fire and rescue services, businesses and individuals, the campaign has highlighted the many benefits of retro fitting sprinklers.
As the campaign winds down, London fire brigade is now urging care homes, retirement homes and hostels across the capital to review their fire safety systems, after figures revealed that just one per cent have life-saving sprinklers installed.
Fires happen, on average, every day at care homes across London, and the fire brigade is using Sprinkler Week to demand the installation of automatic fire suppression systems in high rise buildings, schools, and care homes.
Focus on vulnerable people
Borough Commander for Newham, Spencer Alden-Smith, said: “It’s a tragic fact that many of the fires we see involve vulnerable people who have mobility or health issues that mean they are unable to escape even small fires, and they may suffer fatal or life changing injuries before the fire brigade is even called.
“We need to ensure sufficient and appropriate protection measures are in place to safeguard these people where they live and suppression systems should be part of those considerations.
“Small fires can kill and soon develop into large fires unless they are stopped. Automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinklers can stop those small fires developing into tragedy.”
Sprinkler facts for care homes
AFSS are the only systems which can detect fires, suppress them, and raise an alarm, and Steve said the idea they’re expensive is a myth.
He said: “Costs vary depending on the type of system, but in schools, for example, if they are incorporated from the design stage, sprinklers are around one per cent of the total build cost.”
He also suggested self-contained watermist systems, which are designed to protect vulnerable people who, because of mobility issues, might find it harder to escape. These systems can be installed in one room of a property where the resident spends most of their time.
Lack of sprinklers
Of the 428 fires in London’s care homes and hostels last year, sprinklers were only installed in five. There were three fatalities and 53 injuries in these fires.
During Sprinkler Awareness Week, the fire brigade are repeating calls for blocks higher than 18m to be fitted with sprinklers, along with all residential care homes and sheltered accommodation.
Sprinkler tank services
Thinking of retro fitting sprinklers? Talk to Nationwide Water Services Limited about is sprinkler tank services. It supplies, installs and maintains tanks across the country.