Sprinkler system saves business on Bicester industrial estate

Firefighters were called out to deal with a fire in Bicester. ENGNNL00320131227115754

Firefighters were called out to deal with a fire in Bicester. ENGNNL00320131227115754

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Sprinklers stopped a blaze at a Bicester business from spreading last night, Monday, when a piece of equipment caught fire.

Firefighters from Bicester, Kidlington and Buckingham were called to Wyndehams Bicester, on the Chaucer Industrial Estate off Launton Road, shortly before 8.40pm, to a fire in the compressor room.

Crews arrived within minutes and found the sprinkler system had activated and staff had been evacuated. The fire was extinguished and the parts of the site that were unaffected returned to normal operation.

Group manager Dave Bray, fire protection and business safety manager for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said: “This incident clearly demonstrates the benefit of businesses having an automatic water suppression system to protect their plant, product and buildings.

“The site workers were alerted to the presence of fire through their fire detection and warning system, and upon investigating the cause of the alert, found their sprinkler system already activating and holding the growth of the fire in check.

“Due to clear and well-practiced emergency procedures, the fire and rescue service were called without delay, whilst the building was being evacuated and a roll call taken. The sprinklers contained the fire to the piece of equipment where it started, and extinguished the flames.”

He added: “The heat from the fire activated only the sprinkler heads directly over the piece of equipment which is how an automatic water suppression system is designed to operate. This meant that the other pieces of plant equipment in this area, and the structure of the building itself were completely undamaged, meaning that the company was able to return to ‘business as normal’ very quickly.”

For more information on sprinkler systems and business continuity planning visit www.365alive.co.uk, call the free phone community safety helpline on 08000 325999 or email community.safety@oxfordshire.gov.uk.