Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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National Sprinkler Week 2015: March 16-22

Essex County Fire and Rescue is urging businesses throughout the County to Think Sprinkler and make sure that they have the excellent fire protection sprinkler suppression systems offer.

Sprinkler systems are by far the most effective tool in helping prevent a fire from developing, save lives and can reduce the cost of fire damage in a home or business by thousands of pounds.

The Service has provided funding which has seen three blocks of flats fitted with sprinkler systems. The latest of these is Basildon’s Felmores Estate which has suffered devastating fires in the past. Work has been completed on the first block and ECFRS are set to continue working with Basildon Council to fit sprinkler systems to the rest of the blocks.

Divisional Officer Mark Earwicker said: “Sprinkler fire suppression systems offer unrivalled fire protection. We have seen fires which could have caused devastation and instead has been stopped in its tracks.

“Sprinkler systems activate immediately and, more often than not, contain the fire to the room where it started and limits the damage caused.

“Fires can devastate businesses but those with sprinkler systems are in a much better position to recover following a fire. In many cases they are able to re-open the day after the fire thanks to sprinklers limiting the fire spread and damage.”

There are some common misconceptions about sprinklers that might put many people off:

- If one sprinkler goes off, so do the rest, causing water damage in the whole building. False – Only the sprinklers in the area of the fire will go off, preventing the fire from spreading to other rooms.

- They go off when there isn’t a fire. The chances of this are rare, modern sprinklers will not go off unless they’re exposed to the kind of extreme temperatures generated by a fire, burning your toast won’t do it.

- Sprinklers are unsightly and so unsuitable for the home. Wrong again – modern sprinklers can be made to blend with your walls and ceiling.

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