Fire Sprinkler Systems; Design Advice for Builders
When builders, architects and developers start making plans for a brand-new building, they sometimes don’t consider fire sprinkler systems. Commercial and residential water sprinkler systems are the most effective form of fire prevention for properties; they activate at the first sign of heat from a fire, and only the sprinkler heads in the near vicinity of the fire will operate, saving on both fire and water damage. When builders are working on plans, sprinkler systems should be considered, and need to be included in certain buildings. However, we have some advice for architects and developers alike…
Here at RAD Fire Sprinklers, we are often approached by developers who have little to no experience in handling domestic and commercial fire sprinkler systems. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware that sprinkler systems can be installed in residential properties, such as private homes and care homes. By providing such useful knowledge, architects can incorporate life-saving sprinkler systems into their designs, but there are still challenges that they may face.
The Benefits Water Sprinkler Systems Have
When designing a property, there are various obstacles that architects and builders can encounter. Fire sprinklers can alleviate a number of issues, especially if the property is built to certain dimensions. For instance, if there is limited access for a fire tender when a property is 45 meters above curt-ledge level or there is a lack of alternative escape when a property is more than 7.5 meters high. You can find out more on our dedicated page for architects and developers here.
Every aspect of a water sprinkler system, from the sprinkler heads to the sprinkler system installation, works together to provide great safety in any property. When residents are aware that there is a fire sprinkler system in place, they can feel more comfortable in their space. Domestic properties often use concealed sprinkler heads to benefit the design even more, so they won’t hinder the overall look of the property you are envisioning. Installation can also be quick and simple, so there won’t be any extreme time or financial costs to the development of the property.
Fire sprinklers are only a requirement in all new builds in Wales. However, that isn’t to say that properties in England and Scotland can ignore the crucial benefits they bring. And, it all starts with incorporating sprinklers into the design.
Key Design Factors to be Aware Of
When designing a property, it is important to remember some key factors about sprinklers to make sure you are fully compliant throughout the entire process. For example, there are relaxations in boundary distances between any properties that have fire sprinkler systems fitted. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about ensuring it is the right distance away, as these measurements can be edited. Other important notes to take include:
- In care homes, the number of beds can be increased and self-closing doors are not a necessity when sprinklers are fitted. This can help you create a larger space that benefits the local community.
- An additional, separate staircase is not required in a property over 4.5m high from the ground unless they have sprinkler fitted
- Fire separations between a shop front and the salesroom can be modified if sprinklers are fitted
These design benefits aren’t very well known, so it is important to arm builders with the correct information before they believe misconceptions about water sprinkler systems.
Our Installation Process
Here at RAD Fire Sprinklers, we take great care when installing all of our water sprinkler systems. Like the process that electricians and plumbers follow, sprinkler system installation is incredibly straightforward. We can design and install sprinklers to fit the dimensions of your building, so if you’re struggling to fit sprinklers into your design, we’re here to help. We have worked with many architects and developers over the years, and have a good scope of knowledge to help you incorporate these life-saving systems into your design.
To find out more, or to receive a bespoke quote, please get in touch with us today by calling 01892 680 090. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form here.