What are the Current UK Laws Surrounding Fire Sprinklers?
In the UK, water sprinkler system regulations differ from building to building. Depending on where you live, fire sprinkler systems are not usually a requirement in most properties, but it is important to make yourself aware of the law. If you are a landlord or business owner, keeping your tenants and staff safe is incredibly important. Therefore, you might be considering fire sprinkler system installation to improve the safety of your property. But when are they a necessity by law?
Here at Rad Fire Sprinklers, we know what the law requires. With years of experience installing residential sprinkler systems, we can design and install your system to fit within your dimensions. In the UK, there are different recommendations for certain properties, so where does your building fit into the regulations?
Not All Countries in the UK are the Same
The laws concerning fire sprinkler systems are different in England than they are in Scotland and Wales. In Wales, it is a requirement for all new and converted buildings, including homes, to install a fire suppression system. This has been in place since 2013; for almost a decade, new homes in Wales have been completely protected, saving lives and property damage. In 2021, Scotland decided to follow suit, and all new homes (including social housing and maisonettes) must be fitted with an automatic sprinkler system. When it comes to homes in England, there are currently no laws that exist…
In fact, England is behind its fellow UK countries in terms of fire sprinkler installation laws and safety. Although no laws exist for homes, there are regulations in place for larger buildings, such as office spaces, factories and hotels. Businesses with properties spanning 20,000 square meters must install sprinklers. After a review following the tragedies that unfolded at Grenfell tower, as of this year, sprinklers will now be required in residential buildings that are 11m tall or more. This will protect more people within the property, ensuring atrocities like the Grenfell tower fire does not occur again.
Water sprinkler systems are around 99% effective when it comes to saving lives and preventing fires from growing to uncontrollable measures. To find out more about the services we can provide for residential and commercial properties, you can check out our case studies here.
Important Information for Businesses and Landlords
If you’re a business owner, you’re probably thinking about installing a life-saving sprinkler system to protect you and your staff. However, it is not a legal requirement in most business buildings. If your property spans over 20,000 square meters, you must install sprinklers, as mentioned previously. However, even if your building is sized at less than this, there are still procedures you must follow. If you employ five people or more, you are legally required to conduct a fire risk assessment. So, although they aren’t mandatory, sprinklers may still be recommended for your property.
In recent years, fire regulations have been described as “not fit for purpose.” In residential properties, landlords need to be aware of the size of their buildings. If it is a block of flats that is taller than 11m, then you will need to install a water sprinkler system by law. However, it could give your tenants peace of mind, and it could even save you money too. You can read more about it in our previous blog post here.
How Does UK Law Match with Europe?
UK fire regulations are steadily improving, but they are nowhere near as stringent as other European countries. Certain countries in Europe require sprinklers in buildings with a square footage of 3000, showcasing their dedication to combatting fire and saving lives. The UK needs to keep up with the rest of Europe, especially in the wake of Grenfell. In order to save more lives and the thousands of pounds worth of damage that fires cause, sprinkler systems need to be considered in all buildings.
If you are considering a water sprinkler system for your building, we are here to help. To receive a consultation and a free quote, please fill out our online form here.