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Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in Care Homes

Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in Care Homes

 

Fire Safety Regulation for Care Homes

Prior to October 2006, over 100 Acts and Regulations referenced fire safety, the earliest of which was the 1833 Lighting and Watching Act.  All these regulations were brought together by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005.

Although domestic properties aren’t affected, Care and Residential Homes are included in the legislation, which shifted responsibility for all aspects of fire safety to the nominated “responsible person”.

While this change in approach has improved the safety of the most vulnerable members of society, it poses a challenge to many existing Care and Nursing Homes.

In Scotland, legislation has been introduced to make fire sprinkler systems compulsory in new-build Care Homes.

Residential Sprinkler Systems and Fire Safety in Care Homes

 Fire Risk Assessments for Care Homes

A Fire Risk Assessment is essential and can highlight shortcomings in a variety of areas such as means of escape, fire compartmentation, staffing levels and management.   Many of these problems can be alleviated by the inclusion of a Residential Fire Sprinkler System, compliant with BS 9251, the British Standard for such systems.

Design Principles Based on Risk

Code of practice DD 9999, utilizes design principles based on risk associated with time, and provides a means of calculating the amount of risk reduction available if other provisions that reduce fire growth and spread etc., are put in place.  For example, clause 8.5.3 states that the inclusion of a suitable sprinkler system permits a reduction in the risk profile, giving a larger allowable travel distance.

 Benefits of Incorporating Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems in Care Homes

Enhanced Safety, Accommodation and Profile

 There are a number of benefits to incorporating a Residential Fire Sprinkler system in a Care Home:

  • increased safety for residents
  • unique selling point for the home
  • reduced travel distances
  • reduced fire separation
  • increased living accommodation
  • reduced staffing levels

Installing Fire Sprinklers in Existing Properties Converted to Care Homes

Compliance with Building Regulations

 Remodeling one of the rooms in a converted property, to provide a lobby required by Building Regulations, can spoil the proportions and render the remaining space inadequate to meet minimum size requirements.  A relaxation in the need for a lobby between living/sleeping and common areas should be possible if a fire sprinkler system is fitted, thus preserving valuable space and the proportions of the property.

Retention of Period Features

 Other problems associated with the conversion of existing properties to Care Homes can also be addressed by incorporating a fire sprinkler system, especially where the original features of an old property need to be retained.   If a fire sprinkler system is installed, many period features such as elaborate ceiling cornices and paneled doors and walls, might not need to be removed to upgrade the building.

Concealed Residential Fire Sprinkler Heads

Residing out of sight in the ceiling void and hidden by cover plates, Concealed fire sprinkler heads are unobtrusive and do not detract from traditional period features.

Expert Professional Advice

 RAD Fire Sprinklers offers specialist advice and if necessary can refer customers to Approved Inspectors familiar with relaxations associated with BS 9251.

For more information for Landlords and Housing Associations click here

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RAD Fire Sprinklers Ltd.
58A St John’s Road
Tunbridge Wells, TN4 9NY

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