BS9251 BS9999 and BS9991
Residential Fire Sprinkler systems that comply with BS 9251 provide a very effective compensatory feature to meet building control fire safety requirements. They are a relatively recent development, and did not feature very prominently in the Building Regulations Approved Document B (2000 edition).
Their increased popularity was due to the formulation of a new code of practice (BS 9251-2005) in 2005 which was loosely based on an American code of practice NFPA 13R and NFPA 13D.
The subsequently updated issue of Building Regulations Approved Document B (which deals with fire safety) in 2009 placed more emphasis on active fire systems like fire sprinkler systems rather than passive systems favoured in the past and architects found that a residential fire sprinkler system incorporated in their projects could afford them considerable design freedoms and reduced costs.
However, Approved Document B is a prescriptive document which is inflexible as well as rigid. It suggested that residential sprinklers provide a solution to some basic problems within simple scenarios but was very difficult to use in more complex situations and relaxations to ADB were generally down to the discretion of an individual Building Control Officer (BCO)
Introduction of BS9999:2008 –
Code of Practice For Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings
BS9999:2008 was formulated in order to address the problem of inflexibility of ADB. It did this by offering a more flexible approach utilising fire engineered principles to offer trade-offs or relaxations to building design if sprinkler systems designed to BS9251 and BS EN 12845. This standard was aimed more at larger developments and excluded individual dwellings from its scope.
Introduction of BS9991:2011 –
Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Residential Buildings
BS9991:2011 was aimed to complement BS9999:2008 by focussing more on individual residential buildings and suggests trade-offs which can be offered if fire sprinklers have been included within the project
Permits relaxation of standards for levels of fire resistance, means of escape and fire alarm standards
Relaxation of fire access requirements
Many residential fire sprinkler systems can run directly from the mains water supply. When they are fitted at build stage, they have a relatively low cost – similar to that of fitted carpets. However, unlike fitted carpets, these systems are designed to last in excess of 50 years! now that’s a lot of carpet!
By including Fire Sprinklers in a new project the developer can:
- Enhance the project design with more open space.
- Increase the design density of the overall development.
- Reduce building costs due to a reduction in passive fire protection systems.
- Increase revenue due to a greater number of units produced.
- Offer a unique selling point to the customer.
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