It’s official – Sprinklers Save Lives!

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) National Sprinkler Week campaign, which looks at the importance of sprinklers in residential, public and business settings from homes to offices and schools to shopping centres.

The campaign runs from Monday 17th – 23rd May and will raise awareness of the benefits of sprinkler systems in keeping people and buildings safe from fire.

Fire sprinklers are widely recognised as the single most effective method for fighting the spread of fires in their early stages. Research by the NFCC and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) found that sprinkler systems operate on 94% of occasions so are very reliable and when they do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions.

The result is sprinklers reduce injuries by at least 80%, reduce property damage by 90% and substantially reduce damage to the environment from fire. This also means that sprinkler systems help to protect the lives of firefighters as they respond to much smaller fires when sprinklers are installed and that is just one of the reasons they are fully supported by fire services.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is proud to be echoing those thoughts of the NFCC when it comes to emphasising the importance of sprinklers and their vital role in fire prevention.

Flats on the North of Sunderland, which form part of Gentoo’s Core 364 project

Ian Bell, Group Manager Fire Safety at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“The crucial role that sprinklers play in protecting buildings from fire can never be underestimated. They can be the key factor in stopping a fire from spreading throughout a block of flats or being able to contain a commercial property fire, subsequently averting major damage.

“But ultimately sprinklers are life savers. They help to protect people’s lives and in some cases people’s livelihood.”

“Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service works closely with local authorities, housing providers, business proprietors and residents – to provide essential guidance, awareness and advice about the importance of fire prevention.

“We work with organisations like Sunderland based housing association, Gentoo, as they looked to deliver their Core 364 project, where sprinklers are an integral part of the reconditioning of 364 flats in the region.  It shows the key role that the Fire Service plays in liaising with organisations when important decisions are being made.”

Flats on the North of Sunderland, which form part of Gentoo’s Core 364 project.

Gentoo has recently completed a modernisation programme that involved gas being removed from seven tower blocks in the north of Sunderland as part of the Core 364 project. One of the main aims of the project was to maximise the fire safety of the seven tower blocks.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo, said: “The safety of our tenants and buildings is our priority. We understand the vital role sprinklers can play in the event of a fire.

“As part of the recent modernisation work at our seven towers in the North of Sunderland, we have installed a state of the art sprinkler system in 364 flats, on top of upgrading the fire alarm and smoke detection system to help improve the safety of the towers.

“The work we do with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is crucial to ensure we continue to provide safe homes for our tenants.”

“We are confident we exceed all statutory and regulatory requirements in relation to fire safety and we work jointly with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) on what is one of our key priorities.”

For further information about National Sprinkler Week please visit