Shop fires in retail outlets allegedly without working sprinkler systems have been in the news. Shops selling clothing are among those to have suffered significant damage. Investment in high-tech fire fighting systems is on the rise. But fire safety experts say more needs to be done to prevent a future tragedy. They urge large retail chains to look again at their risk assessments and budget for improvements.
In particular, they point to the need for a sprinkler tank in very large retail units or where shops are spread over more than one floor. We conducted a Q&A with a spokesman for Nationwide Water Solutions, the UK’s leading independent sprinkler tank specialist.
Major shop fires be averted by a sprinkler tank
Why is a sprinkler tank important for a large retail unit?
“Getting enough water to the point of a fire quickly is paramount. Not just for public safety but to prevent significant damage and losses. A sprinkler achieves this. It stores water just to fight a fire and for no other purpose. Very importantly, a sprinkler tank slows down the spread of a fire giving people more time to get out of a store. This type of store can attract a very high football and the safety of customers and staff should be paramount.”
Can a sprinkler system operate without a sprinkler tank?
“Yes, but it would be relying on the mains supply. Low water pressure can impede the delivery of water to multiple levels of a building. You also have to appreciate the amount of water that may be required. The best automatic sprinkler systems have sprinkler tanks because they guarantee a supply of water in the correct quantity.”
What is involved when you invest in a sprinkler tank?
“Specialists like Nationwide Water Solutions provide a comprehensive service to make everything as straightforward as possible. We always visit potential clients first to carry out a site survey. This service is free. It helps us assess individual needs and consider things like the proposed location for a tank as well as the size and shape required. We offer a bespoke service so that sprinkler tanks are individually fabricated to suit their environment. Once we have the tank, we install it. We recommend annual independent inspections and also carry out repairs and refurbishment on ageing sprinkler tanks.”
Want to know more or book a free site survey? Discover how your retail business can benefit from a sprinkler tank. Visit Nationwide Water Solutions.