London Fire Brigade

Sprinklers prevent serious school blaze

26 June 2013

London Fire Brigade say that a Carshalton school’s sprinkler system played a vital role in helping to limit the damage when a fire broke out in a classroom yesterday (Monday).

A small part of a classroom on the school’s second floor was damaged in the blaze. Around 1,100 staff and pupils were safely evacuated before the Brigade arrived and fire crews led two other people to safety from the building. There were no reports of any injuries.

Damage from the fire was minimised though after a sprinkler system successfully activated in the room where the fire started.

London Fire Brigade Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation Mark Andrews said: “This fire clearly demonstrates the benefits of installing a sprinkler system. The sprinkler which activated helped to quickly bring the fire under control and undoubtedly helped prevent it from spreading and causing more damage.

“The cost of school fires is around £65million each year, with London accounting for over a third of the cost. As well as having a huge financial impact, school fires cause disruption to students, teachers and families and can have a devastating effect on the wider community.

“As well as stopping fire from spreading and reducing the risk of injury, sprinklers significantly reduce the cost of repairing damage caused by a fire.”

London Fire Brigade is campaigning to encourage builders and developers to install sprinklers in schools, residential care homes, social housing and commercial premises.

If sprinklers are factored in at the design stage of a building or the refurbishment of an existing building, costs can be kept as low as one per cent of the original construction costs.

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters from Croydon, Wallington and Sutton fire stations attended the school fire on Damson Way in Carshalton. The Brigade was called at 0953. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Read more about London Fire Brigade’s ‘Think Sprinkler Campaign.’