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How Visually Intrusive are Sprinkler Heads?

A successful construction or remodelling project results from the collaboration between architects, designers and developers, where each contributes an individual skill. But, when a beautifully crafted design, well received by a client, attracts the attention of Building Control, what are the options?  A number of routes exist to satisfy Building Control Fire Safety Regulations – and this includes bespoke residential sprinkler heads.

 Awareness, Availability and Aesthetics

apartment room

Room showing an unintrusive concealed sprinkler head in the ceiling

A lack of awareness around availability or negative, incorrect assumptions about the impact on décor and styling, means that some properties are missing out on the significant safety benefits provided by residential fire sprinklers.   So, what is the reality of including (now widely available) residential fire sprinkler systems in the designs for new-build properties or retrofitting to an existing building, and how visually obtrusive are they?

The Facts of the Matter

This image shows the alignment of sprinkler heads with light fixtures

This image shows the alignment of sprinkler heads with light fixtures

The simple answer, with the addition of one crucial word, is that they’re not.  Concealed residential fire sprinkler systems, where the sprinkler heads sit out of sight in the ceiling void, do not disturb the visual impact of the areas they protect, and can in fact contribute to the aesthetic value of properties designed and furnished in a contemporary style.

home room

Home office showing sprinkler heads positioned to align with central lights

Equally, thanks to the low-key appearance of thin, flat ceiling plates, which completely conceal the fire sprinkler heads, more traditional spaces suffer no sense of intrusion as the cover plates (which are white as standard) blend easily with their surroundings.

Working with Designers, Developers and Architects

If not included from the outset, concealed residential fire sprinklers can be accommodated once the design process is underway.   How they will look can be an issue raised by clients with their designer, architect or developer, but as the photographs in this article clearly show, this need not be a concern.

The Best of Both Worlds

Cleverly conceived sprinkler systems, in the hands of experienced, skilled installers, combine enhanced fire safety with a design that’s unobtrusive and easy on the eye.  Fire sprinkler modern fancy roomheads, concealed by ceiling plates, can be positioned in line with other ceiling-mounted items familiar to architects and designers, for example, heat recovery system grills, home entertainment speakers, downlights, smoke detectors and air re-circulating units.

Hiding in Plain Sight

When not activated, the fire sprinkler heads reside in ceiling voids and cannot be seen.  Water supply pipework is likewise confined to ceiling voids and riser cupboards.  As such, both remain concealed but accessible, should the need arise.  There are no ugly protrusions from the ceiling and if you didn’t know the area was protected by a fire sprinkler system, you’d never guess!

How They Work


sprinklers in ceiling

Chandelier within a protected area with concealed sprinkler heads either side

Concealed residential fire sprinkler units work like this:

  • every thin, flat ceiling plate is engineered to fall away when the heat from a fire below it reaches a predetermined temperature
  • release of the ceiling plate allows the deflector plate of the sprinkler head to drop down from the ceiling void to a point below the level of the (finished) ceiling surface
  • the further rise in temperature activates a heat sensor and the sprinkler is triggered to deliver water to tackle the fire

Professional Installation within London or the South East of England

Positioned in line with downlights in much the same way that fire sensors and speaker systems can be incorporated into the reflected ceiling layout, all the rooms photographed for this article benefit from concealed residential fire sprinkler systems installed by The RAD Fire Sprinkler Company.  In each example, the fire sprinkler heads are positioned out of sight within the ceiling void and concealed by cover plates.

Concealed sprinkler heads positioned either side of a coffered ceiling feature

Concealed sprinkler heads positioned either side of a coffered ceiling feature

The RAD Fire Sprinkler Company offers expert advice to architects and developers on the installation of concealed residential fire sprinklers.  We work only with experienced designers who bring the skills and expertise necessary to position fire sprinkler heads in line with reflected ceiling layouts, whilst ensuring correct and effective functionality within design limitations.

 No Need to Compromise

Designers, architects and developers are committed to meeting their clients’ brief whilst also satisfying building regulations.  Fire represents a significant danger, so as every effort is made to safeguard people and property, concealed residential fire sprinklers offer substantial additional protection and regulatory compliance, without the need to compromise on style and aesthetics.    What’s not to like?


Mist system was a great solution for our renovation needs and them team at RAD have been great. Always communicated clearly and been on hand to discuss over the phone as needed. Would highly recommend!
09:32 17 Jul 22
I have used RAD for a couple of projects and found them to be good to deal with. They did a pair of 3 storey open plan houses and seven three and four story town houses. The sprinklers were to improve fire safety, allow more flexible space and comply with building regulations. The sprinklers were far more cost effective than the mist type systems and look very discrete when installed.
Paul Jeary
15:50 11 Jul 22
It has been a pleasure to deal with RAD for installation of fire sprinklers at our site is Sevenoaks. They were fast, professional, working to time and quote, which made it easy to work with them.
Katrina Horobin
12:03 29 Jun 22
My requirement was a bit unusual for RAD in that I wanted a mist system in one room of a rented house. I had no drawings or technical back up. RAD were very helpful and repositioned the unit after the initial installation. Luckily with the help of Sonny, the engineer it all worked out very well.
Simon Gurney
16:16 12 May 22
I have used RAD for the last 10 years for all of my housing developments in need of a sprinkler system. Easy process from start to finish and no issues or problems throughout. Always someone at hand to answer a querie and we have a great working relationship with the team at RAD. Would highly recommend.
15:33 12 May 22
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 and the South East

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

Mon – Fri: 8AM – 5PM

Tel: 01892 680 090

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