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British Automatic
Fire Sprinkler
Association Ltd

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Sprinkler News

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Sprinklers save unique collections at the Smithsonian

A fire in the Smithsonian Castle within the Smithsonian Institution, which is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex has been extinguished by sprinklers.

The fire broke out on the third floor of the towering, historic building on the National Mall, at 1000 Jefferson Drive SW.

The building completed in 1855 may be old, but it's modern sprinkler system worked fully extinguishing the blaze which occurred in a non-public, staff area, Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said.   No one is reported to have been hurt.

The castle closed for the rest of the day for cleaning of the area.

The fire was  accidental and "electrical in nature," the fire department said in an update. 

The castle, also known as the Smithsonian Institution Building, is home to the Smithsonian Institution's administrative offices and information center. It has items from the collections of each Smithsonian museum. 

No art or artifacts were damaged. 




The BAFSA Annual Reception & Dinner will be held on Thursday 16th November. This is the perfect event to catch up with members, friends and guests - this year in the classic surroundings of the Liverpool Marriott, City Centre.

BAFSA Members with their guests can book tickets @ £70 each. Tables of 10 are available @ £630 (email if you would like to take a larger table for your party - we will try and accommodate your needs ). 

This special evening will commence with a "Champagne Reception" from 19:00 followed by a delicious meal and wine served from 19:45.

Book your tickets now

Review of Building Regulations announced

BAFSA awaits further detail of an independent review of building regulations and fire safety which has been announced by Government. In the announcement the Government reported :

"This follows the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, which raised serious questions about the fire safety of high rise residential buildings, and subsequent government testing of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from similar buildings across the country.

Immediate action is already underway to ensure the safety of residents in these buildings. But the results also make clear that we need to understand how current building regulations and fire safety works in order to make them as effective as possible in the future.

This forward-looking independent review, to be led by Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation, will look at current building regulations and fire safety with a particular focus on high rise residential buildings. It will report jointly to the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and the Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

It will examine:

  •     the regulatory system around the design, construction and on-going management of buildings in relation to fire safety
  •     related compliance and enforcement issues
  •     international regulation and experience in this area

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:  Since the tragic Grenfell Tower disaster, the government has been working to make sure people living in high rise buildings are safe. It’s clear we need to urgently look at building regulations and fire safety. This independent review will ensure we can swiftly make any necessary improvements. Government is determined to make sure that we learn the lessons from the Grenfell Tower fire, and to ensure nothing like it can happen again.

As part of the review, Dame Judith will consult the Buildings Regulations Advisory Committee– which advises the government on changes to building regulations– as well as the construction and housing industry, the fire sector, international experts, MPs and the public.

The review will also work closely with other government departments and the devolved administrations and consider the implications of changes to the regulatory system on other government objectives.

Review Chair, Dame Judith Hackitt said :   I am honoured to be asked by government to lead this important independent review. This review will look at building regulations and fire safety to see what changes can be made for the future to make these more effective. I am keen to engage widely with industry and the public to inform the recommendations from the review. I want the recommendations to lead to any necessary improvements in the system being made.

Terms of reference for this independent review will be published in summer 2017, once the terms of reference for the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry have been agreed. It is expected that the review will present an interim report before the end of the year, and a final report no later than spring 2018. The government will act swiftly on any recommendations from this review to make sure people living in high rise buildings are safe."


Sprinkler Save : high rise flat, Bedfordshire

Bedfordshire F&RS were called to a 5th floor residential flat fire at 23:06  on 31 July 2017. The resident had fallen asleep  leaving a chip pan on, a fire broke out whilst the resident slept,  fortunately the fire activated the residential sprinkler system and the sprinkler head within the kitchen extinguished the fire as well as raised the alarm. One female casualty was escorted from the flat by fire service personnel  and handed over to ambulance service.

The fire officer  in charge of the incident  reported that without the sprinkler activation, the whole flat would have been lost and there was a real possibility that the occupant would have lost their life. The sprinkler system was reinstated the following day.

The flat was within the social housing area on the 5th floor of a high rise block of flats ( The Heights, St Johns Street, Bedford )  consisting of 14 floors.  The building is not cladded but received a fire safety audit from a fire safety officer on the day of the fire as part of the services initiative following the Grenwell Tower fire

L2 Sprinkler Installation courses autumn 2017

Bookings now being taken. Dowload your booking form now and apply for a course at one of the three "BAFSA preferred training provider" establishments :

The Manchester College

Neath Port Talbot College Group

Llandrillo College