Business Sprinkler Alliance



A massive fire engulfed an unsprinklered warehouse in Burgess Hill, resulting in the complete destruction of the facility. The warehouse was operated by a mail order hair and beauty products business.

The fire broke out on the afternoon of June 19th, necessitating the response of a substantial firefighting operation. Approximately 70 firefighters, along with 10 appliances and specialised equipment such as aerial ladder platforms and high-volume pumps, were deployed from both the West and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services to combat the blaze. The intensity of the fire at Capital Hair and Beauty generated dense clouds of hazardous black smoke, which billowed over the congested surrounding area. Sadly, much of the one-story building was ravaged by the flames, and the firefighters worked hard to limit the spread to the adjacent business premises.

Fortunately, all workers managed to escape unharmed. However, substantial resources were deployed by the fire and rescue service to contain the fire. The incident had a significant impact on the local community and environment, resulting in road closures, residents being advised to keep their windows and doors shut to avoid the harmful smoke, and various measures implemented to mitigate pollution and safeguard the local surroundings.

The demolition and disposal of the 1,500 m2 building will cause an adverse environmental impact, while the materials and resources needed for its reconstruction will result in substantial financial expenses.  It was reported that the business has warned of delays to customers and that alternate distribution channels were to be set up to help accommodate online orders.

History has shown that fires can leave a lasting impact on businesses, requiring them to undertake a recovery process in the aftermath of such blazes. In the most severe cases, the consequences of a fire can even result in the permanent closure of the affected business. 

It is interesting to note that this fire took place in a modestly sized building. The fire service worked hard to protect surrounding properties yet the intervention of 100 firefighters and their resources could not stop the fire in a building of this size. Industrial fires impact far larger premises with similar results and with potentially larger impacts.

By employing a variety of strategies, it is feasible to effectively avert extensive and costly fires.  One of the most effective methods is the use of sprinkler systems which contain and control fires before the fire and rescue service arrives. They therefore minimise the wider impact of unmanageable fires, reducing costs to business and the economy as a whole. Importantly, by limiting any fire damage, they allow businesses to resume operations quickly, often within hours of the incident. 

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