Sprinklers needed for all houses

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In fairly recent times the following have been more or less destroyed by fire: the Pier, Warrior Square Surgery/flats and terraced houses at Marine Parade.

After Eastbourne’s pier fire of 1970 I believe that some of the wooden deck was replaced with non flammable concrete (not so nice to look at).

Hastings will have timber [maybe non-flammable treated?] decking throughout and even some timber trusses under it instead of the previous steel ones.

Warrior Square Surgery/flats is a modern building so it’s surprising the fire compartmentation didn’t restrict the fire better.

The houses on Marine Parade were all old and spread of the fire was probably due to poor party walls or spread through the attic.

What all of the above sites had in common I would guess was a lack of fire suppression sprinklers.

I hope that all three sites will have automatic fire suppression sprinklers as part of the new designs/rebuild, and if not, that consideration will be given to adding them as an afterthought. For example when the houses in Marine Parade are rebuilt they could have domestic sprinklers installed for probably less than £5,000 each.

Similarly Warrior Square could have domestic standard sprinklers installed in every flat.

Ideally all buildings on the pier should be have sprinklers too. It’s worth remembering that although there may not be many buildings on the pier as now proposed, but in 10 or 20 years upwards, buildings may be added piecemeal and these would be coverd by extending the sprinkler system.

Sprinkler heads would normally discharge within five minutes of a fire starting, causing less water damage than hoses since they normally use less water (most fires are put out with a maximum of three heads operating).

All the major supermarkets sprinkler their shops. Also building insurance premiums would cost less.

Sadly I would guess sprinklers will not be installed in any or most of the above, since in the UK the question put is Why sprinkler this building? But in many countries the question put is Why is this building NOT being sprinklered?

I believe that the history of the Pier, Warrior Square Surgery/flats and the houses at Marine Parade all argue clearly for themselves that sprinklers should be provided because in each case if sprinklers had been installed the damage would have been much less than actually occurred.

Bruce Latimer

Marlow Drive