Founded in 2012, UK Sprinklers Ltd (UKSL) provides design, fabrication, installation and maintenance expertise in the active fire suppression market for both new and existing buildings. Based in Manchester, UKSL operates throughout the UK, working with end-user clients, developers, architects and consultants in the residential and domestic sectors.
The growth of UKSL has perhaps been as spectacular as some of the high-rise buildings it fits out. From revenues of £100,000 in its first year, the company saw sales grow to £2.6m by year three. “We’ve continued to grow and grow,” said Steve Griffiths, Managing Director, UK Sprinklers, “Once we delivered our first successful project, more work followed. Plus, we have been lucky with the timing: we’ve certainly benefitted from a change in building regulations and an upturn in the construction business.”
handful of competitors
We have to offer customers something others cannot match, whether that’s in terms of service, technology or quality"
The change in regulation is the one stating all residential buildings over 30m in height must now have sprinklers fitted in every apartment. The regulation dates back to 2005, yet because of a slow-down in new builds through 2008-09, many new projects didn’t materialize until 2012 – the year UKSL opened its doors. “At the time, most work was in London,” said Griffiths. “We’re now seeing projects across the UK.”
With more work comes increasing competition. Griffiths says that while there may have been a handful of competitors for tenders in 2012, today there are hundreds: “Competition is healthy. It means we have to offer customers something others cannot match, whether that’s in terms of service, technology or quality.”
Residential Fire Sprinkler System
UKSL has been a Tyco Rapid Response Partner in the UK since day one. This means it provides technical information and support to UKSL for all Rapid Response Products, as well as arranging fire protection product training. Tyco’s Rapid Response Residential Fire Sprinkler System is a state-of-the-art fire protection technology designed specifically for the home. It is the most complete fire protection system on the market, offering a diverse selection of sprinkler designs and finishes, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC pipe) and fittings and a full line of system components.
“Fire protection products have to meet industry standards,” said Griffiths. “There is not always a lot to choose from between different brands. But unlike some other manufacturers, Tyco has never had an incident in which a large number of sprinklers have operated inadvertently. Tyco has an excellent reputation for reliability.”
warranty against defective parts
One recent UKSL project was at Nine Elms in London; a large-scale development project that includes seven residential blocks; the highest of which measures 37-storeys. Tyco solutions were an integral part of the installation for this comprehensive project, and included:
- The installation of Tyco BlazeMaster pipework and fittings
- The Installation of approximately 5,500 Tyco LFII concealed sprinkler heads in a total of 645 apartments
“Tyco wasn’t specified,” said Griffiths. “We told them they needed to use Tyco. The conversations with Tyco started before we even opened for business,” said Griffiths. “Being a Tyco Rapid Response Partner gave us instant credibility. Tyco is a recognized, global brand. It certainly helped open doors that might not have been so easy. As a start-up, we were able to offer a ten-year Tyco-backed warranty against defective parts and installation. This reassures customers that, even if we’re not around, the manufacturer will pick up the tab.”
support provided by Tyco
On an operational level, Griffiths says the size, scale and support provided by Tyco ensures jobs run smoothly: “Tyco stock levels are good, which means we can order products to be on site when they’re needed. We’re working on some very large projects, where site space is at a premium. As a supplier, you can’t afford to have stock piling up on site. Stock needs to arrive when it’s needed.” Steve Griffiths, MD, UK Sprinkler Ltd.
He added that the company’s relationship with Tyco also extends to product development: “We discuss feature upgrades. I know for certain some of the feedback is being tested in Tyco R&D. We feel valued.”