Tag Archives: sprinkler system

Amendment To EN 12845 Sprinkler System Inspections

There has been a change to Clause 21 of EN 12845 in respect of sprinkler system inspections.

An amendment has been passed which clarifies who should be carrying out checks. The amendment removes the requirement for annual inspections to be carried out by third parties. However, the need for the inspection remains and, in an annexe to the change, it is recommended checks are still carried out by a third party. All inspections must be undertaken by a ‘qualified person’.

Clause 21 has been replaced by the following wording: “The sprinkler system shall be periodically inspected by a qualified person at least once a year (see Annex Q). The inspection report shall assess whether the system is in accordance with this standard, with regard but not limited to maintenance, operation and adequacy for the risk involved. A list of deviations shall be issued for action.”

However, the new Annex Q states: “When performing periodic inspection, it is recommended that the system inspections are undertaken by an independent body, e.g. not the system owner, building occupier, system installer (or competing installer) or service and maintenance provider (or competing service and maintenance provider).

“The qualified person is a designated individual, suitably trained, competent through knowledge and practical experience and with the necessary instruction to enable the test and examinations to be carried out.”

In this article, we focus on sprinkler tank inspections only.

Experts say very few property owners and managers with a sprinkler tank, an essential part of many systems, have people with the necessary experience or equipment to carry out a thorough check. In particular, they cite the need for ROV equipment to ensure full checks can be carried out without the need for a tank to be drained.

 

Why ROV inspections?

The Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) is a smart piece of kit. Designed to move around under water, it requires expert control – along with diagnostic equipment to check the condition of a tank’s internal surfaces. Specialists point to their comprehensive benefits, which include the conservation of water. In the grand scheme of sprinkler system inspections, they can help to identify defects before they cause a leak or contamination.

Anyone undertaking such an inspection should know how to attach and operate HD camera and ultrasound equipment. They also need to be able to understand the data they return. In addition, they need to be fully aware of sprinkler tank components and their functions. This includes valves, pumps and the inlet, along with the internal structure of the tank.

A competent third party will offer conclusions and recommendations that can be relied upon. They are based on qualified data – all fully illustrated in written reports. Would you trust the safety of your people and property to someone without extensive knowledge of how a sprinkler tank works?

Anyone inspecting a sprinkler tank will need to be able to recognise:

  • The presence of rust
  • Weak spots in any section of the tank’s surface
  • Signs of corrosion or oxidisation
  • Perforations
  • Bacteria growth
  • Worn seals

In addition, they need to be able to check and recognise potential issues with ancillary equipment. This can include tank lids and access areas.

Sprinkler system tank inspections

A sprinkler system tank inspection should always be carried out with the water in situ. Not just to conserve water and save money but to ensure sprinklers remain fully operational throughout. Draining a tank for an inspection is unnecessary and potentially very dangerous. Using ROV equipment makes this possible. It is site and insurer-friendly and delivers accurate data that can be reliably used for planned maintenance.

It is worth noting that this type of sprinkler system inspection can be carried out on any type of tank, regardless of its location and size. Annual inspections should always be carried out by a specialist, say experts. Many problems are not obvious and require the use of high-tech equipment to properly identify and diagnose – hence the importance of retaining the services of an independent inspection expert.

The change to requirements in respect of one clause in EN 12845 does not mean an unqualified, untrained person can carry out an inspection. It makes clear they need to have the necessary qualifications. Neglecting to ensure a suitable person carries out the checks can have far-reaching and even tragic repercussions. It is worth noting that if negligence is suspected to have contributed to an emergency, criminal proceedings can follow.

 

Booking a sprinkler tank inspection

You can book a third-party or independent inspection with a nationwide specialist, who will travel anywhere in the country to perform this task. As well as having the necessary knowledge, they will have the essential equipment (outlined above). If your sprinkler tank is leaking, you can find out what to do here.

If you are not sure what your obligations are as a building owner or site manager, you should seek expert advice. Life preserving equipment must always be ready to kick in during an emergency situation. That means, it should be maintained to regulatory standards, so it is fit for purpose.

While not all buildings benefit from the sprinkler system, it is always worth reminding ourselves how common fires are.

Recent fires in public, commercial and industrial buildings:

  • A commercial garage in County Donegal has been badly damaged in an overnight fire (reported November 21).
  • A hooded gang set a fire at Bransholme playground close to Biggin Hill Primary School – Hull (reported November 20).
  • A supermarket, closed for over a year after a fire in the flat above, has been reopened and revamped – Reading (reported November 20).
  • Multiple fire crews attended to a blaze at an industrial property in a Somerset village (reported November 16).
  • Investigation launched after blaze at an industrial unit which took eight fire crews to put out – London (reported November 13).
  • People living or working near Manor Way, Swanscombe were advised to close windows and doors due to smoke coming from a fire in an industrial building – Kent (reported November 16).

The advice from experts is to continue to use fully qualified independent inspectors. Especially for sprinkler system water tanks.

What Water Supply System Works Best With Sprinklers?

Sprinklers have become commonplace in buildings across the UK. To fire safety experts, they represent the contrast between Before Grenfell and After Grenfell. The devastating fire in a London tower block with poor fire safety equipment underlined what many had been advocating for years. Sprinkler systems save lives.

But property owners considering investing in the fire safety equipment may well ask: What water supply system works best with sprinklers? In this feature we will outline the challenges posed by water supply and explain why having your own source, specifically for containing a blaze, could mean the difference between life and death.

Sprinklers are relatively inexpensive to install when you consider the potential losses that could be incurred in a fire. For example, in a residential setting, the cost can be as low as under £2,000 for two-bedroom flat. If you are a landlord managing a portfolio of properties in large houses of multiple occupation or blocks of flats, the cost will obviously increase. Commonly, the bill is based on square feet. Likewise, sprinkler systems in retail, commercial and industrial settings are likely to cost a lot more than a system in a small private house.

In very small installations on one level, it is quite feasible to let sprinklers feed from a mains water supply. However, if a building extends over a larger floor space and, in particular, levels, challenges are presented. For example, water pressure from a mains supply will not be great enough to serve sprinklers on floors above a set height. There is technology available to get around this issue, but none beat the sprinkler tank.

Water solutions for sprinkler systems

Sprinkler tanks are the most common option for industry and tower blocks. They are also found in large public buildings such as hospitals and, increasingly, schools. They are rated for their performance, longevity and, most importantly, their ability to store even very large quantities of water. At a time when warehouse fires alone are said to be costing the UK’s economy a staggering £1billion a year, getting to grips with containment at the earliest stage has never been more pressing.

There is a misconception that, once the fire brigade is called, everything will be all right. Businesses and property owners need to understand that modern-day firefighters don’t just fight fires. Many are trained in emergency first aid and are often called to attend medical emergencies and situations where cutting gear may be required. Another serious issue is tenders running out of water. If this happens, there will be a wait for back-up to arrive. In the case of Grenfell, water was in such short supply that firefighters were sent into the burning building without it – a fact later admitted by a watch manager.

The best way to tackle a fire is as soon as it starts – with sprinklers. Having a system connected to its own water supply will ensure there is a good chance that the blaze will be contained. If you can stop a fire from spreading, you will limit damage, give people more time to evacuate a building and, ultimately, save lives.

During the summer, an 82-year-old woman told the national press that sprinklers saved her from almost certain death. Bedridden, she would have struggled to escape a fire that started in her bedroom – had the system not kicked in and quickly contained the blaze. The pensioner, who lived in a block comprising more than 50 flats, said she had been smoking in bed when the fire started. Water quickly doused the flames and she suffered only minor injuries.

In an earlier case, an 81-year-old pensioner described how sprinklers saved her life after she left food in the oven. Firefighters later said it would have taken just minutes for the kitchen to be destroyed had water not been delivered to the source of the blaze immediately. In both of these cases, having a reliable source of water was crucial.

Sprinklers and the problem of water supply

The most common type of fire sprinkler system is the wet-pipe model. It works on the basis of individual sprinklers. This means that sprinkler heads are only activated when a threshold is reached. As well as being effective, this system saves water and also prevents unnecessary water damage. A point worth noting is that many modern sprinklers take their design from one invented by Frederick Grinnell in 1890.

Nowadays, sprinklers are a requirement of Building Regulations in defined types of properties. This extends beyond commercial buildings, where they have enjoyed popularity for years because of the cost-savings offered through reduced insurance premiums. It is widely recognised that a sprinkler will activate in as little as one minute while it can take much longer for fire crews to reach the scene.

Therefore, the importance of having a dedicated water supply to feed a sprinkler system cannot be overstated. Surrey Live has reported that residents in a 17 storey tower block were told by the local council, their landlord, that sprinklers would not work during issues with the water supply system. Bottles of drinking water were handed out and the issue was blamed on defective pumps. However, fire safety experts say water should be stored separately for firefighting purposes and pumps should be maintained to ensure they deliver high pressure.

If you are a property owner considering the merits of investing in a sprinkler tank, the points raised above should give you an inkling of why they are a savvy choice. Too often, buildings have been destroyed because mains water is not a suitable option or there is a delay in the response to a fire because not enough water is immediately to hand.

 

Water storage for sprinkler systems

You can find out more about the benefits of having a sprinkler tank from Nationwide Water Solutions. It carries out site surveys to give building owners a good understanding of the requirements and where a tank would could be best sited. These surveys are free and help those managing properties fully understand the options available. In addition to installing sprinkler tanks the company can decommission and remove existing tanks.

It offers a comprehensive repair and refurbishment service for tanks that have been certified by a specialist as being suitable for remedial works. One of its most in-demand services in underwater tank surveys. Carried out with sophisticated equipment, this type of investigation allows every part of a tank to be checked for weaknesses including corrosion.

 

 

Never Drain A Sprinkler Tank For An Inspection

About to drain a sprinkler tank? Draining a sprinkler tank for a routine inspection is something that happened almost back in the Dark Ages. Today, nobody should allow their tank to be drained – unless it is being refurbished or replaced. Here, we ask a director of Nationwide Water Solutions to explain why. The company is the UK’s leading water storage expert for automatic sprinkler systems.

“There are serious risks associated with draining a sprinkler tank,” he explains. “Those risks start with cutting off the water supply to sprinklers. What would happen if a fire broke out? Another risk is the potential impact on insurance. Having a sprinkler system out of operation for any length of time should be reported to your insurer. It could be that you have benefited from reduced premiums because of the high standard of your fire-fighting equipment.”

 

Don’t drain a sprinkler tank

Another consequence of draining a sprinkler tank is loss of water. Not only is this bad for the environment, you will literally be pouring money down the drain, says Nationwide Water Solutions. The spokesman explained: “Water conservation is important. Draining a sprinkler tank for no valid reason is a waste of a precious resource and replacing it will add to your costs.

“We advise businesses with a fire tank not to have it drained for inspections. Advanced technology now means it is possible to get highly accurate information about the internal condition of a tank while the water is still in-situ. We are among the companies offering underwater inspections. We are able to do this because we have invested in sophisticated ultrasound and camera technology that scans every inch of a tank from under the water. We used ROV equipment to take the imaging technology everywhere it has to go.”

 

Expert fire tank inspection service

Nationwide Water Solutions inspects any size of sprinkler tank, anywhere in the country. It provides detailed written reports, backed up with photographic evidence.

If your sprinkler tank hasn’t been inspected for a while, ensure you call in and expert and get the job done thoroughly. Don’t be tempted to drain the tank and inspect it yourself. It could cost you a lot more than water.

To book an inspection, contact Nationwide Water Solution.

 

 

3 Ways A Sprinkler Tank Protects A Vulnerable Building

If you run a business that sells flammable materials such as furniture or beds, a sprinkler system with a sprinkler tank is a no-brainer. But what if you own or manage a a building you don’t realise is vulnerable to fire? The best way to gauge the risk is through regular and thorough assessments.

Even the most obvious fire risks are sometimes overlooked. Firefighters regularly deal with major fires in commercial kitchens and retail units containing large amounts of fabric and / or cardboard. A recent fire in Kettering devastated a long-established bed shop. If you want to ensure your building, business and people are protected from the devastation of fire, here are three ways to make a difference…

1. Book a sprinkler tank site survey

A water storage tank site survey is a good idea if you are planning to install a sprinkler system or already have one. It will look at the size, location and nature of the site and give you a clear understanding of what may be required. You can book a completely free site survey here.

 

2. Maintain an existing sprinkler tank

It is easy to let things slip when you are busy or struggling to grow your business. But ignoring the condition of an existing sprinkler tank can end up costing you everything. Make sure your tank is independently inspected to ensure any problems are detected early. By monitoring your tank and taking swift remedial action, your automatic sprinklers will always have water on standby.

 

3. Replace a redundant fire tank

If your fire tank is redundant or earmarked for decommissioning, don’t wait. Talk to Nationwide Water Solutions. This is the company trusted by household name to remove and replace outdated water storage tanks.

For further information about the sprinkler tank and how it can protect your vulnerable building, call Nationwide Water Solutions on 0345 505 2540.

Sprinkler Tank Business Supports Independent Inspections

Are you are looking for a sprinkler tank business that carries out independent tank inspections? You are in the right place. Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s leading supplier of insurance compliant checks. It thoroughly examines sprinkler tanks without the need for draining. Its ROV method gives you the clearest picture of the health of your tank -without compromising the operation of your sprinkler system.

Inspection services are in the spotlight. More businesses and public sector bodies are suspected of neglecting the need to maintain water storage facilities for sprinkler systems. Considered dangerous, as well as a false economy, such an oversight can cost lives.

 

The sprinkler tank business for your next inspection

The guidelines for how often a sprinkler tank should be inspected vary. One sprinkler tank business may say every ten years. Another, including Nationwide Water Solutions, will suggest annually. Corrosion of carbon steel, for example, can occur quickly when the humidity of the air reaches 70 per cent and and the air above exceeds 32F. Air impurities can also accelerate corrosion, making more regular checks a savvy investment.

If corrosion is left undetected, a sprinkler tank could fail. As well as rendering a sprinkler system useless, it could lead to significant water leakage and necessitate the removal and replacement of the existing tank. Monitoring any potential problems and authorising remedial works is safer and more cost-effective.

 

Book an independent sprinkler tank inspection

If your sprinkler tank has not been inspected for a year or more, contact Nationwide Water Solutions. It inspects sprinkler tanks across the UK. Importantly, it uses underwater thermal imaging equipment and ultrasound to cover every inch of the structure. Check also include other components, such as access routes, lids and valves, to name a few.

Don’t leave the integrity of your sprinkler system to chance. Talk to the sprinkler tank business that can help you ensure your system is always ready to work in an emergency.

Industrial Fires: Water Storage Tanks A Necessity

Industrial fires can have a devastating impact on businesses, their employees and the local economy. That is why water storage tanks are important in large-scale industrial premises. Connected to modern fire-fighting equipment, stored water can quickly contain a fire and stop it from spreading. This is important to maintain operations and minimise damage.

Nationwide Water Solutions works with businesses in the industrial sector. It supplies and installs a huge range of water tanks designed to work with automatic sprinkler systems. If your business has yet to invest in state-of-the-art fire safety equipment, now is the time. You can benefit from a completely free site survey by calling Nationwide Water Solutions on 0345 505 2540.

 

How water storage tanks support businesses

By containing a fire with the help of water storage tanks, industrial businesses can limit the impact on productivity. Reducing the impact of a fire to a small area means a business can maintain productivity levels. A spokesman for Nationwide Water Solutions said: “Industrial fires are more common than a lot of people think. Even a false alarm can hit production, meaning good fire fighting equipment is essential. Knowing that your premises benefits from an instant water supply to fight a fire around the clock offers complete peace of mind.”

Yesterday afternoon firefighters were called to reports of an industrial fire in Newport. Crews from Newport and Ryde attended Newport Quay just after 4.30pm. On this occasion, it was a false alarm and crews were stood down. Nationwide Water Solutions understands an alarm was triggered by external fumes.

 

Water storage tanks: installation and refurbishment

As well as installing water storage tanks, Nationwide Water Solutions also repairs and refurbishes existing ones that are showing signs of wear. It provides a nationwide underwater inspection service and has a team of fully trained engineers to carry out repair work.

For further information, visit Nationwide Water Solutions’ website or give them a call to arrange a site visit or water tank inspection.

Why Does My Building Need A Sprinkler Tank?

Fire safety is in the news. And so too is the sprinkler tank. The stark reality of what fire can do has hit home following a number of major tragedies. Building owners are realising the importance of investing in good fire protection. Automatic sprinkler systems are becoming more and more commonplace. Not just in high-rise buildings, but in any type of building.

At Nationwide Water Solutions, we work with people who want to ensure enough water is available to feed sprinkler systems. Many people ask us: Why does my building need a sprinkler tank? There are lots of very good reasons why it makes sense to invest in a sprinkler tank. In today’s blog post, we are going to focus on two.

 

Peace of mind with a sprinkler tank

It’s true. A sprinkler tank offers building owners and residents peace of mind. That is because they know water is always available to fight a fire. And it is available in the quantities required. If you own a large building, ensuring you can get enough water to the point of a fire quickly can mean the difference between a lucky escape and disaster.

The sprinkler tank doesn’t just help to save lives. It saves money too. It helps to reduce the amount of damage caused by a fire. Many businesses invest in a sprinkler tank as part of their loss prevention strategy.

 

More time to evacuate

Getting the right amount of water to the heart of a fire quickly will stop it from spreading. When a fire is contained, people have more chance to safely evacuate a building. This is important if you own a building with multiple tenants or a warehouse with high value stock.

A fire tank should be used in very large premises, such as hospitals, care homes, factories and prisons.

Want to know more? For further information about the benefits of the sprinkler tank, get in touch. Visit our website.

Sprinklers in New Council Homes?

A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy is under way. At the same time, councillors in Cornwall are facing calls to fit sprinklers in all new council homes. Councillors are set to discuss the motion at a meeting today (May 22). If the proposal wins support, it will cost the council £2 million.

Neil Burden, an independent councillor, has tabled the motion. It was seconded by John Keeling, a Conservative member of the authority. In some American states automatic sprinkler systems are required in all homes. The proposal in Cornwall could make the county a national leader in domestic fire safety.

 

The council homes recommendation

At today’s meeting, councillors will be asked to consider the following recommendation: “Cornwall Council resolves to install sprinklers in all domestic new builds it commissions for sale or let inclusive of those homes now being built, thereby supporting the wellbeing of those people who will take occupation in future months and years.”

Those supporting the motion say it will save lives and money. As well as reducing fire damage, sprinklers could save council resources and reduce the time emergency services spend dealing with serious fires.

The motion states: “In order to promote best practice in housing development, the Council should install sprinklers in all new builds. This will not only promote wellbeing and save lives but also save revenue for the Council, and the NHS when such fire instances occur. Officers of the Cornwall Fire Service are first hand witnesses of local fatalities in recent times and continue to advocate best practise of sprinklers in all new builds. When adopted such positive example will encourage other housing developers to also install sprinklers systems in Cornwall.”

 

The cost of fire safety

If sprinklers are installed in all new council homes featured in the authority’s development plan, it will have to find £2 million for the installation works. Initial reports suggest it will cost around £2,500 to install sprinklers in each home with an annual maintenance cost of £150 per property.

Nationwide Water Solutions Limited is the UK’s leading independent provider of sprinkler tanks. It supplies and installs fire tanks and also delivers a wide range of maintenance and repair services. For further information visit the website or call 0345 5052540.

Sprinklers: Birmingham Set To Invest

Birmingham City Council is today (Tuesday) expected to confirm it will borrow £31 million to install sprinklers in every one of its high-rise flats – if the Government fails to provide the cash. More than 200 tower blocks in the city will benefit from enhanced fire safety equipment over the next two years. The council, which has reviewed fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire in London, is expected to announce it will spend £19 million on the first phase of its retrofitting programme.

In an ambitious, uncompromising plan, Birmingham plans to invest in sprinklers to safeguard the occupants of 2,725 flats over the coming year. A further 4,408 apartments will benefit from the fire supressing equipment in the next financial year.

 

‘Residents safer with sprinklers’

In total, Birmingham City Council has 62,000 social homes. It is spending a combined sum of £129 million on a wide-ranging improvement plan. Sprinklers systems are just one of the areas being invested in. Homes will also benefit from spending on lift repairs, insulation, better heating systems and new doors and windows.

The decision to install sprinklers in every high-rise flat has been prompted by advice from fire safety experts. They say tenants are safer with sprinkler systems.

 

Government slow to provide sprinkler cash

After making all the right noises following the Grenfell fire, the Government is now seemingly reluctant to pay towards sprinkler installation costs. With councils up and down the country making bids for cash, they are being told only ‘essential’ work will win funding. That is despite fire safety experts saying all high-rise flats should have sprinklers.

Birmingham is just one of the many housing providers to ask for cash.

 

‘Prudential borrowing’ an option

A report to the city council’s cabinet says: “The investment programme includes £19 million of planned expenditure relating to the retrofit of fire suppression systems (sprinklers) as a part of an overall three-year programme anticipated to cost £31m, in relation to which Central Government have been approached for a contribution of £19.4m towards these costs.

“In the event that this funding is not forthcoming, the costs will be funded through prudential borrowing.”

 

For all your fire tank needs, talk to Nationwide Water Solutions Limited. One of the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank specialists, it supplies, installs and maintains fire tanks across the country.

The Ultimate In UK Fire Safety 2018

Make sure you invest in the best fire safety. As well as protecting lives, you will achieve lower insurance premiums. You will also benefit from peace of mind, knowing your building and its contents have proper protection. Benefit from the ultimate in fire safety with a sprinkler system. Fire safety 2018 is all about loss prevention.

Sprinkler systems are highly effective. They prevent fires from spreading, giving people the chance to evacuate a building. As soon as a sprinkler system is activated it contains a fire. That means less damage and reduced losses. Commercial sprinkler systems are a no brainer for warehousing, schools, universities, healthcare facilities and high-rise buildings.

 

Effective fire safety

 

Studies have shown that sprinkler systems usually only fail due to lack of maintenance or human error. You can ensure your sprinkler system benefits from world-class maintenance by taking advantage of the range of specialist services offered by Nationwide Water Solutions Limited. Covering the whole of the UK, this expert sprinkler tank company can keep your sprinkler system fit for purpose and ready to fight a fire.

If you are investing in a sprinkler system in 2018, make sure you insist your sprinkler tank is supplied and installed by Nationwide Water Solutions Limited. As well as providing a professional, expert service, this is a UK-based company that goes above and beyond to provide a range of services you can have confidence in.

 

Sprinkler tanks and fire safety 2018

 

Because lack of maintenance is a known risk, use Nationwide Water Solutions’ inspection, repair and replacement sprinkler tank services. Its ROV underwater inspections ensure sprinkler systems remain primed to work during tests. Following an inspection, it provides detailed reports and photographic evidence to illustrate its findings.

Find out more about Nationwide Water Solutions’ comprehensive sprinkler tank services, including new and replacement sprinkler tanks and installation, here.