Sprinklers save life and property in Kirklees

Release Date: 17-Jan-2013
An elderly woman escaped serious fire injuries this week, thanks to sprinklers installed at a retirement living complex in Emley.
The tenant was alerted to a fire in her flat at Savile Court on the morning of 12 January 2013 when smoke in her bathroom, caused by a discarded cigarette in a waste bin, activated the sprinkler system.

The lady was able to make a safe exit with the help of a KNH scheme coordinator. West Yorkshire firefighters discovered the fire to be extinguished on arrival and accessed the flat to save the owner’s pet budgie.

Skelmanthorpe Crew Commander Chris Oxley was in charge of the incident: “There is no doubt that if the fire had not been put out by sprinklers it would have spread and may have been life-threatening. The early warning helped the tenant to leave safely and significantly limited the damage to the property.”

Savile Court is one of 19 retirement living schemes to benefit from sprinklers since a fire safety agreement was signed by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), KNH and Kirklees Council in 2009.

WYFRS Kirklees District Commander, Keith Robinson said: “Time and again sprinklers show their value in reducing the damage to property and saving lives, contributing to making West Yorkshire safer.

“The excellent working relationship between KNH, the Council and WYFRS has brought significant benefits for the community and in this case has prevented a serious incident.”

KNH which manages council housing on behalf of Kirklees Council, has already established a nationwide reputation for its fire safety work in the design of new and refurbished properties and has worked extensively with the fire service.

According to John Whittington, Head of Investment at KNH: “We’ve made a significant investment in our buildings to try and keep people safe from fire and in this case, that investment has paid dividends by keeping tenants safe.

“But this should also remind everyone of the value of smoke detection and of the importance of weekly testing.

“All our properties are fitted with smoke detectors and we check them every year to make sure they are working properly. We would urge everyone to make sure they don’t interfere with them in any way as they could end up saving their lives.”