Warehouse fires cost UK £1 billion

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The British economy has lost more than £1 billion and 5,000 full-time jobs through preventable warehouse fires over the last five years, according to the Business Sprinkler Alliance’s latest research.

Conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the study says the cost of this lost is equivalent to the annual productivity of the UK’s soft drinks industry.

It looked at the financial and economic impacts of fires in warehouses without sprinkler systems in both England and Wales.

Findings included; the fires causing a direct financial loss of £230 million to business each year, a loss of £190 million a year in productivity and impacts on the supply chain, and a loss of some 1,000 jobs annually due to disruption and business failure.

The research also showed the Treasury has lost around £160 million in tax receipts over the five years, 135,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere annually, and £11 million worth of carbon dioxide emissions and water was used in fire-fighting services.

Both BSA and Cebr are now calling on the government to review current building standards on fire sprinklers in warehouses.

President of the Chief Fire Officers Association, Paul Fuller, said: “Businesses need to consider how they protect their properties to make them more resilient to fires.

“Installing fire sprinklers brings peace of mind for businesses and they can reap all the benefits that come with them. Sprinklers do much more for the UK than people know.”

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