A major Lincolnshire textile processing facility recently benefited from having a Fire Sprinkler System installed following the outbreak of an electrical fire above a steam drier.  The sprinkler system at Fenland Laundries’ Micronclean facility in Louth was designed and installed by Fire Security (Sprinkler Installations) Ltd in 2002 and has been subsequently maintained and serviced by the installing company.

The seat of the blaze was an electrical conduit and the heat of the fire operated two conventional pattern sprinkler heads that were rated for activation at 68°C.  Water from a full capacity sprinkler water storage tank was delivered directly to the blaze by the operation of an electrically driven fire pump.  The sprinklers contained the fire, preventing it from spreading until fire marshalls extinguished the remaining flames with portable fire extinguishers.

The Fire and Rescue Service were in attendance within 10 minutes of receiving the 999 call with 1 appliance and 7 crew attending but were only required to provide a walkaround to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

The fire caused minor charring to a wooden floor and damage to electrical and fire alarm circuitry.  The facility was fully operational within hours of the incident.

Had the sprinkler system not been installed, it is feared that, due to the location of the fire’s seat, the entire facility could have been destroyed.  This would have meant the potential for enormous loss of earnings, loss of business, threatened the employee’s careers as well as untold damage to the environment.  Fortunately, the foresight of the company’s directors meant no customers were left inconvenienced.

The sprinkler system was designed to BS 5306 Part 2 to meet Ordinary Hazard Group III property protection.  The system consists of a 381m³ dual purpose Water Storage Tank serving the Fire Sprinkler System and process water equipment.  The Fire Pump is an LPCB approved Electrically Driven Fire Pump rated at 3,510 l/min at 5.379 bar.  The system is maintained and serviced in accordance with Technical Bulletin 203 of the LPC Rules For Sprinkler Installations incorporating BS EN 12845:2009.

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