Sprinklers are the most effective way to ensure that fires are suppressed or even extinguished before the fire service can arrive.

They save lives and reduce injuries, protect firefighters who attend incidents, and reduce the amount of damage to both property and the environment from fire.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the National Fire Sprinkler Network (NFSN) have worked together to investigate the effectiveness and reliability of sprinkler systems.

The evidence produced indicates that sprinkler systems operate on 94% of occasions, demonstrating very high reliability. Furthermore, it is evident that when they do operate, they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions and are thus very effective.

The research also found that in both converted and purpose built flats that sprinklers are 100% effective in controlling fires.

The NFCC recognise that sprinklers are an effective part of an overall fire safety solution and can be used efficiently to improve fire safety in a range of new and existing buildings.

The NFCC support the concept of risk assessed retro fitting of sprinklers in existing buildings and also welcome the update to the Building Regulations (Approved Document B) requiring sprinklers in all new blocks of flats with a storey above 11m.