Fire Sprinkler Requirements for Commercial Buildings
Fire safety is one of the most integral requirements that businesses must cover in order to meet the regulatory standards for the prevention of fire within a property. Given how fast a fire can spread, it is vital that businesses have carried out the necessary checks on fire sprinkler requirements for commercial buildings.
Commercial complexes, business parks and office buildings in the United Kingdom all experienced a large footfall. It is in the best interest of every business owner and property holder to keep the vast amount of people that come in and out of a building away from harm
Having a fire sprinkler system installed helps to ensure that any fire can be prevented or contained if one should break out.
In this RAD Fire article, we’ll take a look at the legislative fire sprinkler requirements for commercial buildings.
Why Do Businesses Need a Fire Sprinkler System?
Fire sprinkler systems are critical for protecting the health and safety of every occupant. In addition to preventing the loss of life, fire sprinkler systems also prevent property damage and data loss.
Many office buildings store masses upon masses of hard form and digital data, whether relating to internal operations or client-linked information, this data could be priceless, and at risk of being destroyed in the scenario of a fire.
Sprinkler systems are designed to detect the heat caused by a commercial fire, which will then automatically activate a stream of water that will either extinguish the flames or prevent the fire from spreading and wreaking havoc.
Fire safety systems are designed to activate in a time-effective manner so that the fire can be suppressed early enough, allowing building occupants to evacuate prior to the fire spreading across exit points preventing any means of escape.
A sprinkler system can reduce the severity of a blaze so that a fire brigade can access the premises to contain the impacted area.
What are the Requirements?
The UK Government’s legislation on fire safety requirements demands that all buildings must be constructed and designed in accordance to the standards set out in the Building Regulations.
Sprinkler systems installed in residential settings can help to reduce the risk of injuries and death, in addition to significantly reducing the likelihood of property damage.
The requirements now state that building regulations including mandatory fire sprinkler systems and necessary safety signage must be put in place in all new contractions that stand over 11 metres tall.
Automatic fire sprinkler systems are required in all newly built commercial buildings with a fire area of over 5,000 square feet, after a renovation that pushes the fire area behind 5,000 square feet, or any single tenant expansion requiring a new certificate of occupancy that increases the fire area beyond 12,000 square feet
Fire pumps should be stationed in order to increase the amount of pressure with a sprinkler system when the system is fed by a non-pressurised water supply or when the water system lacks the required level of pressure to provide enough water to the sprinkler heads. Where possible, fire pumps should be kept in a separate building.
If kept in the same building, they should be housed in a fire-rated room with an exterior entrance, marked with the correct signage for easier access.
The fire sprinkler requirements for commercial buildings also state that water supply control valves must be accessible for easy operation. Each valve location should be clearly identifiable and marked with exterior signs indicating the position of indoor valves.
RAD Fire Sprinklers have been exclusively installing residential fire sprinkler systems longer than most companies in the field.
With years of experience carrying out fire sprinkler installations, registered accreditation with the FIRAS and IFC 3rd party certification scheme and a member of the Residential Fire Sprinkler Association, the Fire Protection Association and the National Fire Sprinkler Network, we’re equipped with the industry advice and expertise to help guide you towards the right fire safety methods.
For more information on fire suppression systems or details on system installations then please get in touch.