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A basic guide to sprinkler systems – for developers who need one after height rule changes

If you’re involved with a development of flats in 2021, you will likely already know that you need to incorporate a sprinkler system within the build if it’s over 11m.
The change was made last May as part of the Government’s reform on fire safety. It was previously 30m, so many smaller developers will now need to know more about sprinkler systems or find someone else with the expertise.

RAD Fire Sprinklers Ltd has been installing them for more than 15 years – and can advise on all you need to know if the changes affect your projects that were previously outside of the height rules.

Director Paul Hummerston, said: “The change has meant that we are now working with many smaller developers who weren’t previously affected or needed to know about or install sprinkler systems. With our background in both construction and sprinkler systems, we are able to advise on the most suitable system for their requirements and installation.
“It’s important for us to work with the other trades and design consultants to ensure that the working parts can be hidden and blend into the aesthetics of the room.”

There are two types of fire sprinkler systems – RAD fits both:

High Pressure Mist – perfect for retrospective installations

  • These systems use a mist rather than a spray to dampen down the fire.
  • Up to 80% less water is required compared with a sprinkler system.
  • No tank or water upgrade is usually required.
  • Installed quickly, with minimal disturbance to walls and ceilings.
  • Less water on activation means less of your property is water damaged.
  • Often the preferred option by developers and architects.

Sprinkler systems – the traditional system

  • A discreet option for where the requirements of mists cannot be met.
  • Usually suitable for larger installations such as high-rise development projects and care homes.
  • As with mists, the sprinkler heads are activated by heat not smoke.
  • The system often requires the storage of water nearby.
  • Can be designed to complement lighting design to maintain aesthetic appearance.

RAD works with both private homeowners who need the system to satisfy building regulations, developers and mechanical engineers who are required to provide a safe exit route, ensuring the best system is installed for the property, budget and purpose.

Ask us for help and advice for your project.

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Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems

Common myths about fire sprinkler systems

We get asked many questions about fire sprinkler systems, so here are the main ones – to help you to understand them a bit better and know a little bit more for your project.

  • Modern systems don’t always need a huge water supply as they can be plumbed into the mains, drawing water only if and when they are activated
  • Sprinkler systems are activated by heat and not smoke. They contain a small glass tube of liquid which expands when it reaches the temperature created by the fire – around 57 Celsius.
    It expands and triggers the sprinkler head to release water.
  • Burning your toast won’t set the system off – because it is heat activated.
  • If a sprinkler head is triggered in one location, the other heads around the house are not necessarily activated. You may have seen it differently in films – but that’s just for dramatic effect!
  • Sprinkler heads are discreet and blend into a ceiling without ruining the aesthetics of a room.
  • Sprinkler systems usually interface with a domestic smoke alarm or fire panel. The system triggers the alarm system, not the other way round.
  • Sprinkler heads can be fitted that permit an open plan design to cover the exit routes as required by building control.
  • Sprinkler systems can be fitted to older properties as well as new-build ones.
  • Sprinkler systems are built to British Standard BS9251:2014.

Get in touch to ask us any questions to help with your project.

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Air Conditioning & Fire Safety

Air conditioning systems and units are a great way to keep your property cool and more and more individuals and businesses are choosing to use them. However, when left unmaintained air conditioning can cause fires that can be potentially lethal.

Common Causes of Air Con Fires

Any air conditioner that doesn’t have regular maintenance carried out, runs the risk of developing a fault that could lead to a fire. This can be caused by a number of things such as worn out filters, fault fire dampers or a build up of debris.

Some other common causes of AC fires are faulty equipment, flammable materials that are stored close by and malfunctioning controls. When a system doesn’t undergo maintenance, it can lead to internal system damage that could lead to a fire. Below we take a look at some of the most common cause of air con fires.

Flammable Materials

Storing any type of flammable material near your unit or system can put your system at risk of catching fire. Allowing materials such as paper, leaves, other debris or flammable liquids near your air conditioner means there at potential fire risk. All units and systems should be kept clear and free of any materials or debris, and the recommended distance is 3 metres.

Poor Cleaning/Maintenance

Failure to have regular maintenance or cleaning carried out, is one of the most common air conditioning fire causes. Many people think air conditioning will look after itself, which can lead to problems occurring. All parts of the units or system need to be thoroughly cleaned, including the air vents, filters and coils. Any obstruction to how the system works means your system or unit is at risk of catching fire.

Fault Parts & Equipment

When you neglect an air conditioning system, you wont know if all of the parts and equipment are working how they should be. Systems and units that are left unmaintained will gradually degrade until it fault occurs or it stops functioning all together. System failure can lead to a large amount of heat building up, which can to a fire breaking out. Having your air conditioning serviced regally by a professional will help to keep your system running smoothly all year around.

How To Prevent Air Conditioning Fires

Whether you’re a home or business owner, there are a number of things that you can do to help prevent air conditioning fires. Taking a proactive approach to prevent AC fires will help to protect both your property and the people in in. Below we’ll go through some of the best ways to prevent air conditions fires.

Regular Maintenance

Having regular air conditioning maintenance carried out, will help to ensure your system or unit is kept clean and fully functioning. Any servicing should be carried out by trained professionals to ensure it is carried out correctly. Many local air conditioning companies offer servicing and maintenance packages for both units and systems.

Fire Dampers

Fire dampers are a passive fire protection that is used in heating, cooling and ventilation units and systems. When places inside air conditioning ducts they can help to prevent fires from spreading. The dampers are designed to trigger when the temperature in the duct reaches a particular level. When the temperature rises the fuse in the fire damper will melt which will trigger the door to shut. This cuts the flow of air which helps to prevent the spread of fire through the vents.

Fire Sprinklers

One of the most common ways to protect any property from fire is with a fire sprinkler system. Sprinklers can be installed throughout a property, meaning they provide comprehensive fire protection coverage across the whole of your property. Systems have been upgraded in recent years meaning they are no longer visible and many companies offer discreet and concealed systems. Choosing the best fire of fire sprinklers for your property can be difficult, an that’s why it’s important to get in touch with a professional company such as RAD Fire Sprinklers. Our team of experts can provide advice and guidance to ensure you choose the best system for your property.

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Diligent & a very professional team. A joy to deal with. Will certainly be calling on them to help with many more future schemes.
Jason Tema
22:17 08 Jul 19
Great team, fitting sprinklers, saving lives & property... What more could you wish for!!!
Colin P
17:53 01 Jul 17
Excellent company & great service... This company rocks! They sprinkle fires & save lives!!!
Music N Videoz
07:15 16 Dec 16
As somebody who feels that it should be a necessity for all properties to have fire sprinkler systems, I am a big fan of this company. I have used them numerous times to service my home system and they are very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend their service.
Kate Fraser
09:25 30 Mar 15
One look at Rad Fire Sprinkler's website will tell you that these guys know exactly what they are talking about when it comes to Fire Sprinklers and the legislation surrounding fire safety. A very trustworthy company.
Adam Hudson
16:45 15 Nov 13

Our Services Cover London & South East




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

Mon – Fri: 9AM – 6PM

Tel: 01892 680 090

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