Tag Archives: sprinklers

fire tanks in schools

Do Schools Need Fire Tanks?

Major insurers have joined the lobby for sprinklers and fire tanks in schools. We applaud their commitment to public safety and their efforts to convince more local education authorities and autonomous schools that modern fire fighting equipment is a must. While life preservation is the crucial factor, it should not be overlooked that the average cost of a school fire is in the millions. In some cases, tens of millions.

As one of the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank specialists, we know only too well what can happen when not enough attention is paid to reducing risks in public buildings. Every year, up to 1,000 schools fall victim to fires. Yet, of all the properties developed for educational purposes over the past eight years, just 11 per cent have been fitted with sprinklers. Aside from the cost to the public purse of a fire, the disruption to children’s lives is considerable. They can lose irreplaceable coursework and even a sense of belonging – if they end up being crammed into portable classrooms for months while the fire damage is repaired.

Insurers point out that teachers suffer too, often being parted from notes they have amassed over an entire academic year or career. As a lobby calling for the government to make sprinklers and fire tanks mandatory in schools gathers momentum, we look at why now is the time for England to follow Scotland and get to grips with the gap in school fire safety.

Arson attacks and schools

There is a lot of evidence that points to schools posing a higher risk than some other property types for arson. While no recent major studies have been conducted into prevalence, we believe they are vulnerable simply because they are closed for long periods of time. Most schools are shut over weekends and for protracted breaks, including the six-week summer holiday. In Scotland this week, two youths were arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at an East Renfrewshire primary school.

The blaze was reported on Sunday evening and was thankfully confined to just one room. Meanwhile, a nursery next to a school in Kent was damaged by fire earlier this month. The blaze is thought to have started in a store cupboard. In this case, arson is not suspected. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

However, a report into the cause of a huge fire that devastated the Glasgow School of Art was still not completed two years after the incident. Debris was still being removed from the gutted site. It was the second fire to devastate the building.

Because of their vulnerability, we believe all school buildings should have sprinklers and fire tanks. This is how a school fire can quickly get out of control.

Fire tanks and their use in schools

Fire tanks are a good idea for sprinkler systems in schools, largely because of campus layouts and sizes. The average comprehensive school, for example, has interconnecting buildings, most often on multiple levels. Any building on this type of scale requires adequate water to contain a fire as soon as it is detected. While sprinklers will automatically be triggered, relying on mains water is not recommended. We are proud to supply and maintain water storage solutions that are exclusively designed to serve sprinkler systems.

Insurers believe the threshold for current requirements are too low, focussing solely on life preservation. They want to see more done to protect material assets as well as provide more protection for firefighters called to tackle blazes in schools. They point out that arguments over the cost of installing sprinklers don’t stand up because, often, savings passed on by reduced insurance costs eventually pay for the investment.

One of the areas being examined is the size of ‘compartments’ in a building. Some believe, with greater use of sprinklers, the existing standard size could be increased – but only for those properties with sprinkler systems. We don’t want to comment on this suggestion because it is a matter for building control and the government to examine. What we can say is that there is plenty of evidence out there to support claims that fire tanks in schools provide the most robust protection, delivering water to the seat of a fire as soon as possible and keeping it contained in those vital early seconds and minutes.

Currently, class sizes are rising in the UK. This corresponds with an increase in overall school pupil numbers. The average secondary school has a total of more than 940 students. In September, Zurich Municipal suggested that up to two-thirds of England’s schools lack systems to properly manage fire risks. After conducting research, it stated that the area worst impacted is the south of England.

school fire doors

Are fire safety measures in schools without sprinkler systems robust enough to not just save lives but minimise damage?

Our background in fire safety

Nationwide Water Solutions installs, maintains and inspects fire tanks across the UK. Based in Yorkshire, we deliver services to a wide range of sectors. Our customers include those in manufacturing and industry as well as the public realm. We usually meet our customers for the first time when they decide they want to install a sprinkler system and need a dedicated water supply, or have concerns about the integrity of their existing water tank.

Our services include free site surveys for those looking to invest in robust water storage, fabrication of bespoke sprinkler tanks, installation and refurbishment and relining. We also conduct independent inspections that ensure sprinkler systems remain operational throughout as well as conserve water. Our team achieves this with technology that is used under water to survey the surface and components of a tank.

The fire tank repair service includes fibreglass and epoxy coatings as well as EPDM linings. We can only undertake repairs to water storage systems that have been deemed by an independent expert to be suitable. In cases where remedial action is recommended, our solutions can extensive the lifespan of a tank by more than a decade.

For further information about our products and services, please visit our website or contact us by telephone on 0345 505 254.

 

sprinkler system supply water

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.

sprinkler system supply

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

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.

 

 

hotel fire

Investigation Launched Into Hotel Fire

An investigation is under way following a fire at a hotel in Cornwall. The building had to be evacuated in the dead of last night after a blaze broke out in the roof space of an annexe. Firefighters from stations across the county attended the scene.

The fire, in Launceston, was tackled with breathing apparatus. The fire and rescue service said nobody was injured and that the fire had been successfully extinguished. Firefighters are now using thermal imaging equipment to check for hot spots and to help remove damaged materials.

 

The dangers of a hotel fire

Nationwide Water Solutions, which installs water storage tanks for automatic sprinkler systems in hotels, said the incident highlights the need for all businesses providing accommodation to consider fire risks from every angle. A spokesman said: “Risks posed by an annexe or an adjoining property can easily be overlooked. While there is no suggestion that this is what happened in this case, quite often an initial fire can go on to severely damage a neighbouring property. Luckily, in Cornwall, the fire was brought under control. Never overlook the risks of a property you do don’t own.

“We advise hotel owners to always install automatic sprinklers. While this fire was quickly contained, a blaze that takes hold is extremely dangerous in a hotel setting. Adding a sprinkler tank to a sprinkler system will ensure enough water is immediately available to fight a fire. Quite often a fire service will need to call in a water carrier. In rural areas, the carrier can be tens of miles away. It is always best to have your own water supply so work to contain a blaze is not delayed.”

 

Sprinkler tanks for hotel fire systems

Nationwide Water Solutions doesn’t just install sprinkler tanks in hotels – it maintains them too. It offers a wide range of services designed to extend the life of a fire tank. It also carries out independent inspections using underwater equipment.

Find out more about Nationwide Water Solutions online or book a free site survey if you are considering purchasing a sprinkler tank.

sprinkler tank work

Sprinkler Tank Work By Accredited Professionals

The safety of your people and assets should always be paramount. Property owners and businesses invest in automatic sprinkler systems because it gives them peace of mind. Ensuring sprinkler tank work is only ever undertaken by accredited professionals is vital.

Engaging unqualified workers to repair or maintain an important component of fire safety equipment is not just dangerous, it is foolish. A sprinkler tank failure, for example, could cause serious water leakage or cause sprinklers to fail in an emergency. It is also important to bear in mind that anyone working on a sprinkler tank should be trained to work at height and have the appropriate first aid knowledge.

Nationwide Water Solutions, the UK’s foremost expert for all sprinkler tank work, explains what accreditations you should look out for.

 

Safety Schemes In Procurement

If you see the SSIP logo, you can be assured that your sprinkler tank work is being undertaken by a contractor competent in health and safety management. This important accreditation is recognised across multiple sectors, including construction.

 

CHAS

This third party accreditation body is a trusted advisor on health and safety compliance. It is considered an authority and sets industry standards that accredited members must follow.

 

The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association

The BAFSA is the driving force behind the manufacture, installation and maintenance of automatic fire sprinkler and water-based fire suppression systems in the UK.

 

Sprinkler Tank Work You Can Trust

Nationwide Water Solutions is accredited by all three of these important organisations and more. It installs new sprinkler tanks as well as delivering inspection, maintenance and repair services. It works with businesses and public authorities across the UK, setting new standards in fire safety.

If you are in the process of investing in a sprinkler system and want to benefit from on-site water storage, arrange a free site visit. For all your sprinkler tank work, contact Nationwide Water Solutions.

fire tank

Tackle Malicious Arson With A Fire Tank

As police in Northumberland issued images of an arsonist who unwittingly set himself on fire, a fire tank expert was warning businesses not to be complacent when it comes to fire safety. The arsonist was caught on camera torching a workshop in Gateshead earlier this month. Footage shared by police shows his hands and clothes on fire.

A police spokesman said the fire is being treated as ‘malicious arson’. The workshop was on a farm and the culprit, who has yet to be identified, could be seen pouring a flammable substance on a door. He then became a human fireball. Police say they are certain the man would have suffered serious burns in the incident and have issued an appeal in a bid to locate him.

 

The rise of malicious arson attacks

Businesses, in particular, need to be aware of the dangers posed by malicious arson attacks. A spokesman for fire tank specialists Nationwide Water Solutions said: “This type of crime is on the rise and can prove very costly, as well as dangerous. Businesses that store large amounts of goods or who count machinery as assets should protect them, their building and people’s lives with automatic sprinkler systems.”

The spokesman added: “Industrial and commercial premises, particularly those on more than one level, should also invest in a fire tank. This will ensure that water is ready to fight an arson attack almost immediately. It is fortunate that, in the Gateshead incident, nobody else was injured. The fact is that many arson attacks take place at night when few people are around to raise the alarm quickly. Having the right equipment on standby will ensure that no time is lost in containing a fire.”

 

Nationwide Water Solutions, the fire tank expert

If you want to protect your business from malicious arson attacks, consider the benefits of a fire tank. Talk to Nationwide Water Solutions. It installs, maintains and inspects water storage tanks across the UK. For further information, visit Nationwide Water Solutions or call 0345 505 2540.

landlords

The Hidden Fire Danger Landlords Should Fear

If you are a landlord, having responsible tenants should be a top priority. But even the most robust checks can fail – leaving property owners with not just bad tenants but a huge fire risk. The hidden danger for landlords lies in the rise of cannabis factories. With criminal gangs setting up shop in residential lets, this outlawed activity is big business.

If you own a property in an unassuming street or a on a respectable estate, you are at risk. This is because crooks are favouring rented homes that blend into their surroundings. Many have sprung up in middle class areas, some only being uncovered following reports of a pungent smell and others thanks to heat-seeking technology used by the police.

 

Why landlords should invest in sprinklers

Growing cannabis is no easy task. It takes a huge amount of electricity to power lights. Lamps are often left switched on for twelve hours a day. They are used to mimic natural light and encourage a crop to bud quickly. Heat generated from some of these lamps can be terrific. Some images released by police forces show a row of snow-covered roofs, except for one – where heat from a cannabis factory has kept the roof warm.

Read that word again – ‘warm’. Earlier this month a major house fire in Birmingham was thought to have been caused by a cannabis-growing operation. Multiple fire crews tackled the blaze, reporting huge flames on the building’s first floor. Additional resources were required to bring the blaze under control. It was discovered the electrics had been bypassed to ensure the huge use of electric was neither detected nor charged for.

 

Sprinkler systems for all types of property

Sprinkler systems are suitable for a wide range of properties, including residential buildings. In fact, a sprinkler system with a sprinkler tank is likely to put crooks off a property. Having a sprinkler tank is especially important. It retains water in the right quantity to ensure a fire can be tackled effectively from the moment it is detected.

Are you a landlord? Do you worry about the risks of fire? Talk to Nationwide Water Solutions. The company is the UK’s foremost supplier of sprinkler tanks and related services.

For further information visit the website.

 

 

sprinkler tanks

Interest in Sprinkler Tanks ‘Rising’ Says Expert

The UK’s leading expert on sprinkler tanks says interest in water storage equipment is rising. Nationwide Water Solutions has seen a spike in requests for free site surveys. It says, the rise coincides with ongoing inquiries into the Grenfell tragedy.

Nationwide Water Solutions installs and removes sprinkler tanks for a wide range of public, private, industrial and commercial clients. It also delivers a wide range of repair, maintenance and inspection services. It offers free sites visits and in-depth advice to those considering the benefits of investing in advanced fire safety equipment.

 

Sprinkler tanks in demand

A spokesman for Nationwide Water Solutions said: “Landlords and businesses, in particular, are recognising the importance of effective fire safety measures. More and more want to benefit from sprinkler tanks, which store water solely for the use of sprinkler systems. Having water set aside to fight a fire offers peace of mind and mitigates problems such as low water pressure.

“We are always happy to discuss the merits of sprinkler tanks, when used in conjunction with modern fire-fighting equipment. One of the best ways to learn more about your needs is to book a free site survey. We carry out this service for free across the UK.”

 

Nationwide Water Solutions

Based in Yorkshire, Nationwide Water Solutions supplies and installs sprinkler tanks capable of storing from 20,000 litres of water up to 2 million litres. It repairs tanks showing signs of corrosion or wear and also offers a guaranteed refurbishment service.

Existing sprinkler tanks can be inspected with Nationwide Water Solutions’ state-of-the-art equipment. It uses remote controlled vehicles to take camera equipment and ultrasound underwater. This gives a 360 degree view of a tank’s condition, without having to drain it or compromise a sprinkler system.

Book your free site visit by contacting Nationwide Water Solutions here.

tower blocks

96% of Council Tower Blocks in London Don’t Have Sprinklers

Over the past year, you may have noticed us recording sprinkler projects in high-rise tower blocks. As a sprinkler tank specialist, we like to stay up to date with projects. Up and down the country, it seems, landlords are doing their bit to improve fire safety following the Grenfell tragedy. So you may be surprised to learn that just 4 per cent of council-owned tower blocks in London have the life-saving equipment.

According to research, undertaken by Labour and shared with the BBC, only 32 of the capital city’s 837 council-owned buildings above 30 metres have sprinklers. Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones is now calling on the government to set up a “fire safety fund” to help councils. You may recall reading stories on this blog where government cash towards sprinkler schemes was refused.

 

Necessary steps ‘taken’ for tower blocks

While Housing Minister Kit Malthouse claims the government has done what is required when it comes to fire safety in high rise buildings, many don’t agree – including councils. Some have pledged to spend in excess of £10m to ensure their tower block tenants get the protection they need.

A coroner recommended councils should consider retrofit sprinklers in existing high-rise residential buildings back in 2009 – before the fire at Grenfell Tower. The government is likely to be reminded of that when the fund is mooted.

 

Sprinklers and a sprinkler tank for robust fire safety

Nationwide Water Solutions, the UK’s foremost sprinkler tank expert, says it is surprised so many tower blocks in London are still without sprinkler systems. A spokesman said: “We are here, ready to assist councils when they consider the importance of water storage for sprinklers. For any council considering retro-fitting sprinkler systems, we offer completely free site surveys.”

If you represent a council keen to invest in fire safety, contact Nationwide Water Solutions. Find out more by visiting the company’s website.

 

restaurants

Sprinkler Tanks and Fire Safety in Restaurants and Pubs

Now, here’s some food for thought for restaurants… What fire safety measures have you got in place for your restaurant or pub? Because they are linked to kitchens, restaurant owners have to consider risks to the public as well as their premises. Kitchen fires pose a constant danger and having robust measures in place can stop a fire from causing major damage – and protect lives.

Every year, hundreds of fires occur in restaurants across the UK. Some go unreported, because they are quickly contained. The real danger of a fire in a restaurant is that it could spread to neighbouring properties, particularly if it is located in a mixed use building. Canteen facilities in schools, hospitals and workplaces need to pay particular attention to fire safety.

 

Recognise the dangers in commercial kitchens and restaurants

Cooking oil and deep fat fryers are a common cause of fires in commercial kitchens. They are among the reasons why restaurant fires feature highly in loss statistics. Other causes of kitchen fires include faulty appliances and wiring. When you consider the risks and potential losses incurred as a result of a fire, it is worth investigating how automatic sprinklers and a sprinkler tank can offer you greater protection.

Large premises should always invest in sprinklers. A sprinkler tank should be added to ensure water is available in the right quantity when a fire breaks out. This is especially important if the building is spread out over multiple levels or is considered vulnerable.

 

How to find out more

Talk to us. We are Nationwide Water Solutions Limited. We are the UK’s leading independent fire tank specialist. We offer free site surveys with detailed reports, and we can design, supply and install the right sprinkler tank solution for your premises.

If your restaurant or commercial kitchen already benefits from sprinklers, when was your sprinkler tank last inspected? Insurers take a dim view of those who fail to maintain fire safety equipment properly. We recommend an independent inspection is conducted at least annually. Contact us to book an appointment. There is no need to drain your tank for the inspection because we use underwater technology.

For further information, visit our website.

 

 

car parks

Why Open-Sided Car Parks Need Sprinklers

A major fire in Liverpool at the end of last year could prompt fresh calls for new fire safety assessments in open-sided car parks. It is understood that pressure groups will demand sprinklers in all ‘at risk’ parking areas. The fire in Merseyside spread to multiple cars, causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage. More than 1,000 vehicles were destroyed in the blaze.

It has been reported that the fire spread so rapidly a car was catching alight every half a minute. At the moment, open-sided car parks are not required by law to have sprinklers. The Government has, in the past, played down the effectiveness of sprinkler systems in car parks. However, fire safety experts are now suggesting the matter needs to be revisited.

 

Containing fires in car parks

Sprinklers contain fires, delaying the time it takes for them to spread. Firefighters universally back the installation of sprinkler systems in high-risk buildings. It keeps a blaze under control until emergency services get to the scene. One of the biggest concerns about open-sided car parks is that they are often found in multi-purpose buildings, including some tower blocks.

The number of vehicles affected by a blaze in a car park would be significantly reduced by sprinklers. Housing experts are already expressing concerns that fire suppression systems are not more widely used in covered car parks.

 

Nationwide Water Solutions

Nationwide Water Solutions is the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank specialist. It says: “The risks posed by burning vehicles makes all covered car parks an obvious choice for sprinkler systems. Open-sided covered car parks are no exception.

“We supply sprinkler tanks to ensure sprinklers have the water they need to suppress a fire. Any building owner who is concerned about fire safety in an open-sided covered car park is invited to get in touch. We provide free site surveys and technical advice.”

Nationwide Water Solutions supplies and installs sprinkler tanks. It also maintains and repairs tanks.

For further information, visit the company’s website.