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StephenKP

A Sprinkler Success Story

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StephenKP

I am quite proud to have been involved in 3 of the 7 Hertfordshire, luton and Reading PF2 school program new builds.  All of them have sprinklers installed and one of the schools in Hertfordshire used them in anger last week in a food technology room preventing a serious fire and also protecting the school allowing it to be opened up again (once the 6 heads that activated were replaced) the following day. Cause was careless leaving plastic on cooker top. But they did the job and Hertfordshire fire only needed to attend, inspect and help turn the sprinklers off and help clear away some of the water. Bit of water damage but school able to be fully used next day shows how important they are in preventing fire spread and also keeping a public facility open where a lengthy closure would be detrimental to the local area. I can't post any of the images I was sent however please find the local news article below on it.

http://www.hemeltoday.co.uk/news/hemel-hempstead-school-evacuated-after-fire-1-8054664

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SteelCity

Thanks for the link Stephen, I'm doing a bit of basic study on sprinklers at the moment for my development folder and alot of what I've read up so far states that one and sometimes two sprinkler heads take care of most fires but you say above that six activated. Do you have any additional info as to why so many activated (were they close together / in voids?). Thanks. 

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Messyshaw

Six heads = a pretty reasonable fire. 

You should be proud Stephen. Its a fantastic initiative to protect our schools with sprinklers. After all wee entrust the safety of our most prized 'possessions' with School managers, plus disruption by the long term closure of a school has a massive impact on a local community. In addition to lost coursework, kids often have to be spread out of neighbouring schools and squeezed into already overcrowded classrooms.

I did a paper on this years ago and my research highlighted that. numerous parents were faced with driving kids to different schools in opposite directions. The stress can be enormous and some mums even lost their jobs as their kids could no longer walk to the local school and needed to be driven

Its the Ministers and civil servants that dumped the requirement for sprinklers from new build schools that need to hold their head in shame. Some might say the change in this requirement was made so that their mates in construction companies (who donate to political parties heavily) could reduce their costs when building PFI schools - Of course, I couldn't comment!!

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StephenKP

The sprinklers are in a suspended ceiling in the food technology rooms, the ceiling stops about 1m from the windows and then goes vertical to the concrete soffit.  A sprinkler head is in the last tile then 3 tiles from that.  The rooms being a large room of approx 15m / 7m has 5 rows of main head pipes with 3 heads to each row and an additional that pokes through the bulkhead to douse that space the lower ones in the suspended ceiling can't get to in front of the window. The room was ground floor and typical of your modern food technology suite. I am unsure of the bulb's temperature activation is other than its less than you would have in a commercial kitchen. The heads point up with a deflector and sit in the ceiling behind caps and in the exposed soffit 100mm from the soffit. I beleive the system is a wet mains system with booster pumps and a small storage tanks of about 3x3m.

The schools are PF2 which is the new PFI and the facilities company would face massive fines and costs if a school wasn't able to be used because of a fire hence all PF2 schools its in their interest to have them installed.  The sprinklers are purely to protect the building and are not life safety and for messy, fire engineering would be a B1 classification when looking at escape routes etc. (B rather than A because they teach people unfamiliar with the building at night and also rent out hall etc.) All of these buildings are also fully fire engineered. and due to this one and the other I worked on being 4 stories in places has full firefighting stairs, smoke ventilation, dry risers etc etc.

  • Kudos 2

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