Warehouse fire destroys works of art

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Council (LPC) demonstrate that 60% of fires were brought under control by no more than four sprinklers.

It is a myth that the water damage caused by sprinkler systems is worse than fire damage and it is considerably less than damage from fire brigade hose streams. Alpine Fire Engineer’s Mark Stansfield confirms that “sprinklers typically use less than 1% of the water used by the Fire Brigade, which considerably reduces the risk of water damage and possible contamination of the waste water system”. As soon as the fire is under control the sprinkler system can be turned off at the main control valve to prevent further damage.

Financial benefits

There is no question that the cost of building a warehouse with sprinklers would be higher than a similar building which is un-sprinklered but as the FPA’s Jonathon O’Neill emphasises: “In five to six years the cost of the sprinkler system will be paid for as a result of reduced insurance premiums.”

There is also a tax benefit. The Zurich UK Commercial fact sheet on sprinkler systems states: “We can offer attractive terms and increased capacity for sprinklered risks. The customer can also enjoy tax benefits by investing in a sprinkler system.” The cost of maintenance is low, usually less than £1,000 a year.

The decision, by a major DIY retailer to retro-fit in-rack sprinkler systems in all of its stores and national distribution centre was a cost driven business decision. The cost of insurance cover, the potential lost of turnover and customers that would result from the loss of just one major store was such that the benefits out-weighed the cost.

sbh.uk has undertaken a number of retro-fit projects, taking a turnkey approach to all aspects involved. With correct planning and organisation the installation of roof level sprinklers can often

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