In 1812 the progenitor of today's flood and sprinkler systems was designed and installed by William Congreve at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in the United Kingdom. A water supply fed a network of perforated pipes. These systems (which soon spread to textile factories) needed to be activated manually and acted on the entire area to be protected. Even now, today's flood and water spray systems use water in large quantities and, unlike sprinklers, act simultaneously across the entire protected space. Unlike the Congreve system which exploited gravity and perforated pipes, today, thanks to the force of pumps and control of the delivery through appropriate nozzles, these systems can switch off or contain a fire until the arrival of emergency teams, but also prevent it from spreading, cooling the surrounding environment. They are in fact used where the propagation speed of a fire can be high and where highly effective intervention is required from the very first stages. In particular, the cooling action is particularly effective in safeguarding the resistance of the structures, especially if they are metallic (typically they are used to cool tanks which, if overheated can generate the phenomenon of BLEVE - boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion due to softening of the structural components).