Sprinkler Systems in Hospitals. Lisbon 6 November 2008

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1 Sprinkler Systems in Hospitals Lisbon 6 November 2008

2 Some Statistics from NFPA USA ,600 fires/year in healthcare facilities Causes of fire: Other equipment 20% Cooking equipment 18% Appliances/tools/air-conditioning 15% Electrical distribution equipment 12% Incendiary or suspicious 11% Smoking 8% Open flame, ember or torch 7% Heating Equipment 5%

3 More Statistics from NFPA % of these fires in sprinklered buildings Sprinklers reduce fire death rate by 86% Sprinklers reduce fire losses by 72%

4 Why Sprinklers in Hospitals? Patient safety Property Protection Business Continuity Insurance discounts It s the right thing to do!

5 Why Sprinklers in Hospitals? Patient Safety Usual approach is to divide the hospital into fire compartments and in a fire to evacuate from one compartment to another on the same floor How long will this take how long do you have? Doctors say it can be life-threatening to move patients connected to certain devices Is this approach realistic? Fire deaths in Almelo, Hamburg, Liverpool, Pfastatt; fire injuries there and at many other hospitals...

6 Why Sprinklers in Hospitals? Property Protection 26 May 2007 VU 26 May 2007 VU Medisch Centrum Amsterdam Centrum Amsterdam 8 operating theatres badly damaged 50 million

7 Why Sprinklers in Hospitals? Business Continuity 2 January 2008 Royal 2 January 2008 Royal Marsden London 5 operating theatres closed > 6 months

8 Why are Sprinklers not installed in Hospitals? Misperception among doctors and managers that sprinklers could go off without a fire Hospitals have a major issue with false alarms from fire detection systems very costly disruption But sprinklers only react to heat. If the temperature is over 68 C at the ceiling something is wrong Misperception that all the sprinklers will operate together to cause huge water damage Sprinklers react individually to heat

9 Why are Sprinklers not installed in Hospitals? Misperception that water from sprinklers could damage equipment In operating theatres place sprinklers at periphery so a slow leak will not drip onto equipment If there is still concern install a pre-action system, which only releases water if the electronic fire detection system AND the sprinklers detect a fire It is very rare for a sprinkler to operate without a fire you are more likely to win the lottery!

10 How do Sprinklers Work? Glass bulb contains a liquid with a vapour bubble Liquid expands as the temperature rises, compressing the vapour bubble At a set temperature (usually 68 C) the bubble has gone and the bulb breaks, releasing the water seal

11 Sprinklers do not: React to smoke from toast or a cigarette Open all at once (usually 1 or 2 sprinklers operate) Cause major water damage (system sprays less water than a single fire hose) Operate without reason (this is very rare) 1 in 1.6 million sprinklers for all reasons including end user or contractor damage (FM Global in 1977) 1 in 16 million sprinklers due to a manufacturing error (FM Global in 1977)

12 Reliability of Sprinklers Sprinklers release water when they get hot and control or extinguish fire Statistics show properly designed and maintained sprinkler systems control/extinguish 98% of fires Swiss Cantonal Insurance Federation 100% in 2000 LPC 99% in 2000 Danish Institute of Fire Technology 98% in 2003 German Property Insurers 97.9% in APSAD of France 97% in 2000

13 Benefits of Sprinklers in Room of Fire Origin Sprinklers sensitive to heat and respond quickly before conditions become life-threatening Prevent fire growth => less toxic gases Keep temperature at survivable level Often extinguish fire 2004 report for UK Government found with sprinklers it is usually possible to survive in room of fire origin => Sprinklers offer the only hope to those who do not leave the room where the fire starts

14 Sprinklers Reduce Fire Damage Respond before arrival of fire brigade Fire is still small and is not allowed to grow Less water is needed to deal with a small fire Average fire damage is reduced by over 85% Scottsdale (88% commercial buildings; 96% residential) Vancouver (92% residential) NFPA (72% in healthcare facilities)

15 Around the World thousands of Hospitals, including many in Europe, are sprinklered,, proving these fears to be groundless!

16 Two Sprinklered Hospitals Northwestern Memorial hospital, Chicago Opened 1999 Insured value $2.5 billion Sprinklers required by code and by insurer University College Hospital, London Opened 2005 Sprinklered to compensate for inadequate compartmentation

17 Downtown Chicago

18

19 Hospital Reception sprinklered!

20 Alarm Panel in Reception

21 Alarm Tie to Fire Brigade

22 Sprinklers below Overhead Walkway

23 Sprinkler Pump Room

24 Sprinkler System Alarm Valves

25 Sprinklers in Ward Corridor

26 Control Cabinet Heat and Smoke Detectors Pre-Action System in New Stem Cell Laboratory

27 Sprinklers in Operating Theatre

28 Sprinklers in Operating Theatre

29 British Hospital Fire Safety Code HTM the design team is expected to consider the advantages that might be gained by installing lifesafety sprinklers throughout the building Fire resistance of structural elements may be reduced by 30 minutes: ; 90 60; Distance from a fire main outlet on floors higher than 18m may be increased from 45m to 60m

30 University College Hospital Central London

31 Sprinklers in Corridors

32 Sprinklered Lift Lobby

33 Sprinkler Pumps

34 Sprinkler System Water Tank

35 Alarm Valve and LPCB Certificate

36 Sprinklers Sprinklers in Delivery Bay Insulated Pipes

37 Summary Hospitals can suffer major fires, with the potential for deaths and injuries, very costly damage and lengthy disruption to services Sprinklers are the most effective way to prevent minor fires from becoming major fires Worldwide thousands of hospitals are fitted with sprinklers but most in Europe are not Sprinklers do not operate without a fire and they cause far less water damage than the fire brigade

38 Thank You! Alan Brinson

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