A project which aims to increase the number of buildings which have effective sprinkler systems in Merseyside has seen sprinklers fitted at a St Helens mental health hospital.
The system has been installed on Taylor and Iris Wards at Peasley Cross Hospital on Marshalls Cross Road in St Helens as part of a Merseyside-wide initiative to protect vulnerable members of the community against the risk of fire.
The project, agreed by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority (MFRA) in 2014, aspires to have at least one building in each of Merseyside’s five districts retro-fitted with a sprinkler system.
With a focus on making communities safer and increasing the numbers of properties containing a sprinkler system across the county, MFRA is working with businesses, healthcare providers, schools and housing providers to retro-fit sprinkler systems to a number of large or complex residential buildings.
The sprinklers on Taylor and Iris Wards at Peasley Cross Hospital, part of North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will now help protect 32 patients at the two-storey-high building from fire.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority has agreed to contribute towards the cost of installing the sprinklers, recognising the additional fire safety protection they provide for users of the unit and firefighters when responding to any potential future fires within the building.
Group Manager Any Groom, who is leading on the sprinkler project for MFRA, said: “It has been great to work with North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to fit sprinklers at Peasley Cross Hospital.
“We have seen many fires in Merseyside where fitted sprinklers have prevented the fire from spreading, limiting damage to owners and businesses, allowing faster business recovery from potentially devastating fires and ultimately saving both lives and livelihoods.
“Sprinklers provide a range of benefits including environmental ones and, if more widely used, could potentially save millions of pounds for our economy.
“MFRA believes more can be done to promote the wider use of sprinklers in schools and domestic, commercial, healthcare and residential premises and we continue to actively work towards supporting this aim.”
Mike Roscoe, Assistant Director at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’d like to thank Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority for its kind contribution towards getting these sprinklers fitted on our wards which have helped ensure our patients are better protected in the event of a fire.
“Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority also worked with us to help ensure that the sprinklers fitted are suitable for the environment on our wards.”
MFRA Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Phil Garrigan, said: “The fitting of sprinklers in Peasley Cross Hospital’s Taylor and Iris Wards is a great step forward in helping to protect patients from fire.
“MFRA is promoting the use of sprinklers in schools, commercial, healthcare and residential buildings for a number of reasons. Firstly, they suppress fires and contain them, which helps us when firefighters and crews arrive on scene and contributes towards their safety.
They also limit fire spread, protect occupants and reduce fire damage to businesses, helping owners get back to normal quickly.
“Greater use of fire sprinklers would make the country safer and more resilient.”
More information on the impact and effectiveness of sprinklers can be found at: www.merseyfire.gov.uk/aspx/pages/protection/sprinklerFactsAndFigures.aspx