Rise in Sprinkler Demand after Grenfell Tower Disaster
More than a year on from the Grenfell Tower fire and we’re still learning from the mistakes that lead to the disaster, after it was revealed that the tower was not fitted with a sprinkler system during a renovation in 2016, residents and the public were outraged at the loss and damage that could have been avoided. After the Government promised to never let a fire like Grenfell Tower happen again, we don’t see much change. 5 months after the disaster and only 2% of the UK’s council blocks have sprinkler systems, with Grenfell fire chief calling for sprinkler systems and a London Assembly report recommending a law for sprinklers to be fitted in certain buildings; will we finally see a movement being made?
Sprinklers – the next step towards safer homes
The benefits of both domestic and residential sprinkler systems are obvious, and can prevent a huge amount of damage and loss. It seems blatant that sprinkler systems should be installed in any building as a safety precaution, some of the benefits include:
- Sprinklers save lives – we all know this by now, sprinkler systems are the only fire protection that detects fire, suppresses it, and raises the alarm for others as well as emergency services.
- Low maintenance and low cost – for the amount of protection provided, and money saved in the event of a fire, sprinklers are cost-efficient. And with only annual checks after installation, and no upgrades needed, they’re very low maintenance.
- Less damage – overall fire sprinklers reduce the potential damage of a fire to your property.
Some of the statistics that have arisen since the Grenfell Tower fire are shocking; it’s obvious that this disaster indicates a flaw in the UK building and fire regulations, and the impact that having a sprinkler system could have had to prevent such a painful loss that residents are still dealing with today:
- In 99% of cases, sprinkler systems extinguish or contain the fire
- Sprinklers would have given a 99% chance of survival and prevented the flames taking hold
- Local council budgets were slashed by 40% by Conservatives in 2010; resulting in lacking the funds to carry out necessary fire protection and safety checks.
- In November, only 2% of tower blocks had sprinkler systems.
A new law?
In 2007 sprinkler systems were made compulsory in new-build high rises over 30 meters tall in England, however, there is no law for retrofitting older properties. Sprinklers are mandatory in new homes in Wales in 2016 – the first country to do this. The London Assembly committee’s report is currently being reviewed and calls for many fire protection movements including:
- Sprinkler systems to be installed during refurbishment in existing buildings in England
- A requirement for new buildings over 18 meters tall to be fitted with sprinkler systems
- Recommend the Mayor of London should fund £50M to retrofit high-risk buildings
If you want to gain peace of mind that you’re protected in your own home or property then Residential Sprinklers can help; from domestic sprinklers to mist systems, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0208 864 3914 today. Alternatively, you can contact us online or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a prompt response on our sprinkler systems and any fire protection we offer.