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Building Products December 2017

COMMERCIAL <<< Continued from page 15 Environmental impacts All fires in ICBs create environmental impacts and costs including carbon emissions. A study by Bureau Veritas has calculated that up to 350,000 tonnes of CO2 a year are emitted because of fires in ICBs. Furthermore, the same study has calculated that more than 9 billion litres of water are needlessly used by the UK fire service each year to extinguish fires in ICBs (equivalent to 15m UK households’ daily water use). This vast amount of water, used each year to put out fires in ICBs, could be avoided if the buildings were fitted with sprinkler systems. While the impact is incalculable, the smoke and emissions generated from a fire are pollutants which can lower the quality of the air that we breathe. Fire-water run-off can, in certain situations when buildings contain pollutants, contaminate watercourses and is costly to treat. Furthermore, there is significant unnecessary waste and use of resources to rebuild destroyed property. The inclusion of a sprinkler system can prevent major financial and equipment losses, containing what could be a potential major disaster and turning it into a minor inconvenience. Proven time and again with consistent reliability, it is a small price to pay to prevent a business’s hard-earned success from going up in flames. Automatic sprinkler systems offer the business owner reliable, long-lived and proven technology, which can reduce the risk to life and degree of damage caused in a fire. These systems make buildings and businesses resilient to fire incidents because they control or extinguish a fire before the fire and rescue service arrive. The impacted business can be back up-and-running within hours, avoiding the economic and social costs. www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org 16 BUILDING PRODUCTS | DECEMBER 2017 Case Study: Cleone Foods As a small, family-run food manufacturing company that prides itself on continuity of supply and guaranteeing deliveries to its customers, Birmingham based Cleone Foods says it manages risks by minimising potential threats and disruption to its business. With fire continuing to be one of the biggest threats, the company says it has recognised the resilience benefits of fire sprinklers, and fitted them to its premises. The single-site manufacturing and distribution facility, close to Birmingham’s jewellery quarter, produces Jamaican patties, a traditional Caribbean snack derived from a Cornish pasty. Since the company was formed in 1988, expansion has been rapid, with 70 staff running two shifts and fixed financial penalties in place for the company if it fails to satisfy its orders. According to Cleone, any prolonged disruption would certainly impact profitability and worse still, could affect the survival of the business. Simon Noble, project manager at Cleone Foods said: “We are a small food company supplying major supermarket chains and they are very big on maintaining continuity of supply. We have to keep them happy and cannot afford to have any disruption to our day-to-day operations. “We have reviewed all of our internal and external processes and one of the areas that we identified that could dramatically affect our business is that of a fire at our premises. To address this risk and effectively protect our business, thereby safeguarding jobs, we have installed sprinklers throughout the facility.” To ensure continuity and productivity, a sprinkler system has been installed throughout the 1,000m² site. The company says that, ‘contrary to the myths that exist about sprinklers’, the site team understands well that in the event of fire, only the sprinkler heads that are directly above the fire will be triggered. The water from the sprinkler heads will have the effect of containing or even extinguishing the fire without causing damage to non-affected areas. The alarm and sprinkler system are tested weekly, and servicing is completed once a year by a specialist contractor. The weekly test involves checking the water pressures, carrying out an alarm test and checking the interlocks of the fire alarm system. Further fire protection measures at the site include a full multi-zone fire alarm with remote monitoring, which will automatically call the local fire brigade to attend in the case of an activation. “As a business we have to be prepared. Sprinklers form part of our resilience strategy, the success of which is highlighted by impressive growth figures and minimal disruption to the business since its implementation in 2009,” added Simon Noble. “It’s about being a responsible business and the inclusion of sprinklers is part of our commitment to our customers, our staff and our local community.”


Building Products December 2017
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