Campsfield House Immigration Centre is a privately run immigration detention centre located in Oxfordshire. It was converted from a Young Offenders Institute to an immigration detention centre in 1993 and has a capacity of 215 persons.

Home Office Campsfield House Immigration Detention Centre protected with Watermist fire fighting equipment.

The Problem:
Campsfield House Immigration Centre has suffered two fires in the last 5 years. The last fire (in 2013) spread from a cell area into the roof space above and extended along the roofof a wing of a accommodation block. The resulting conflagration required 10 fire tenders to get the blaze under control; the fire resulted in the hospitalisation of 2 men. The procedures needed for evacuation of a detention centre are far more challenging than that of an open access building.

The Solution
Fireworks designed and installed a Anti-ligature in-cell fire protection system in the cells and Ordinary Hazard Group 1 fire protection system in other areas of the detention centre.

The in-cell anti-ligature fire protection system has been proven by UK Building Research Establishment (BRE) to suppress the fire, maintain a tenable atmosphere - allowing the detention centre time to respond to the fire threat - and evacuate the detainees safely.

The Fireworks OH1 fire protection system has been 3rd party certificated by Lloyds Register to CEN TS14972:2011 to suppress the fire in an Ordinary hazard group 1 fire risk. The certification testing proved that the Watermist system is more effective than a sprinkler at reducing consequential loss whilst using less water – the result is that the facility has less consequential damage and can return to operation more quickly.

Employing high pressure watermist allows water to be used in its most efficient fire suppression mode – resulting in the cell being able to be re-instated very quickly and without water damage to the surrounding cells. Fireworks Fire rotection systems have already saved many lives in prisons to date.

The speed of the installation ensured continuity of accommodation for other detainees, and allowed the remainder of the immigration centre to be kept open whilst works were completed. Overall this minimised any possibility of disruption to the day to day business of the detention centre.

Fireworks have installed Watermist equipment throughout UK prisons since 2006. The UK home office figures for current prison population is over 86,000 inmates and prisons in the UK are now mostly protected by Fireworks equipment.

Watermist systems were selected by the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office after extensive fire testing at the UK Building Research Establishment proved that Watermist systems were much more effective than traditional hose reels and would save lives.

The BRE test criteria were

  • Maintain a tenable atmosphere for a period of 20 minutes when fire tested in accordance with the specifications
  • Discharge a relatively small amount of water
  • Deliver a spray of water mist with sufficient momentum to discharge droplets to the back wall of a cell.

The Inundation was to last for 5 minutes after pre-burn and operation of internal cell fire detection systems, then a simulated ‘rescue’ of an inmate involving opening the door for a set period of one minute would occur, followed by Re-closing the door and waiting 10 minutes during which time the fire was not to resume.

Watermist systems were selected by the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office after extensive fire testing at the UK Building Research Establishment proved that Watermist systems were much more effective than traditional hose reels and would save lives.

Fireworks tested Watermist products as follows:

  • Mobile 8 and Hose reel mounted hand held lances
  • Fixed in cell nozzle with glass frangible bulb operation using a locally mounted pump unit.
  • Successfully extinguished the fire at the first attempt
  • Dramatically reduced cell temperature, toxic gases & smoke to ‘tenable’ levels
  • Ensured sufficient oxygen was available to sustain life throughout the cell.

Note: During the ‘rescue’ and the ten minute waiting period after inundation that the fire did not resume; temperatures & toxic gases in the cell continued to fall, remaining well below levels that could be harmful to life.

The life-saving capabilities of the Watermist system were borne out within weeks of the first installation when a young woman’s life became at risk due to a fire breaking out in her cell . The Watermist system was deployed and she was safely evacuated – this was the first of many lives saved.


In-Cell Anti-ligature MOJ and SPS approved nozzles

Designed to prevent ligature risk, Real Fire tested by Ministry of Justice and approved for use in prison and police cells.

  • Heat activated nozzles for prison cell applications
  • Detector activated tamper proof nozzles for police custody applications
  • Can be used in psychiatric care markets
  • Sidewall mounted securely “through wall”
  • Designed to stay intact during activation for fast re-set
  • Nozzle is fixed in place ready for action
  • Installed in Police and Prison cells
  • Individually numbered to provide traceability
  • Precision manufactured from stainless steel to give long service life

Designed in conjunction with the Scottish Prison Service and Ministry of Justice the anti ligature custodial protection nozzle produces high pressure water mist with enough flow and velocity to effectively suppress and extinguish fires whilst preventing ligtaure points and remaining intact during custodial protection service for fast re-set of the system post fire event.

Anti-ligature custodial protection nozzles are designed and tested to meet the specific fire protection needs of the application. Based on information supplied by our custodial market clients, an approved designer, working from the design manual, determines the detailed specification of the number and type of nozzles to meet the specific fire risk.

Fast Response Time Index (RTI) properties incorporated in the nozzle design ensures rapid reaction to the fire and maximises the effectiveness of the system. Minimal aesthetic impact is achieved by the low profile dimensions of the nozzle.


For more information contact us on 01953 469237 or email