What are the Fire Sprinkler Regulations in the UK?
Different buildings in the UK have different regulations when it comes to implementing fire safety. Although fire sprinklers are recommended for commercial and residential properties alike, they aren’t a legal requirement, despite the fact that they are one of the most successful and effective methods of fire protection, saving property damage and saving lives. Different building regulations require certain fire sprinkler systems to help protect those within the property, but how safe are fire sprinklers? And what are the different regulations for each country?
Regulations vary from building type to size, with fire sprinkler heads and systems fitted to suit the dimensions of each property. Sprinklers work by detecting heat from a blaze, and activating the sprinkler heads in the nearest vicinity to isolate the fire and keep water damage to a minimum. Installing fire sprinklers differs from property to property; if you wish to keep on top of the latest regulations before looking towards sprinkler installation, please read our latest article below.
England Fire Sprinkler Regulations
Since the tragedy of the Grenfell disaster, radical changes have been suggested and implemented to help keep high rise buildings and their inhabitants more protected from the devastating impacts of fires. Before the disaster, residential blocks in England that were over 30m high had to be installed to meet the approved standards. Now, reformed policies have highlighted that buildings over 18m in height will be fitted with sprinkler systems in order to prevent further tragedies like Grenfell from happening again. This means that over 15,000 properties will be fitted with sprinkler systems over the next ten years, such as care homes, high-rise buildings and supported housing. RAD is very busy keeping up with the demand particularly with the increased demand for high rise sprinkler protection.
Although domestic homes don’t fall into this category, they’re still a great place to install residential fire sprinkler systems, keeping your home and those within it safe. The sprinkler heads will be fitted with a cover plate, which can protect your interior decor and keep the sprinklers out of sight. To find out more about our domestic sprinkler systems, please visit us here.
Scotland Fire Sprinkler Regulations
From March of this year, sprinkler regulations have changed for the better. New standards now require automatic fire suppression systems in new flats, social housing and shared occupancy buildings, as opposed to just new high-rise buildings above 18 meters. These changes were also encouraged by the aftermath of the Grenfell tower disaster, ensuring all people in high-rise, large buildings are as protected from fires as possible.
These sprinkler regulations can work in line with smoke detectors and alarms that are already in place, alerting occupants to a fire as well as extinguishing the flames before it spreads to unmanageable proportions. This way, those most at risk have time to evacuate instead of waiting for the fire department to arrive, risking their lives in the process.
Wales Fire Sprinkler Regulations
In 2011, building regulation powers were delegated to Wales, allowing them to develop new legislation in terms of automatic fire sprinklers in dwellings. It is now compulsory for all new homes to have residential fire sprinkler systems installed, a law much safer and more advanced than any other country in the UK. In 2014, new or converted buildings such as children’s homes, hospices and student accommodation were required to install fire sprinklers to keep buildings and occupants safe. By 2016, this law was passed to sheltered housing and registered group homes. In the 2020-21 period, the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service attend around 32,000 fires, compared to 528,601 in England.
If more properties in England and Scotland fitted automatic sprinkler systems like Wales, and had tighter sprinkler regulations, the proof is in the statistics that deaths, injuries and destruction to property would be lowered significantly. If you would like to inquire further about installing fire sprinklers in your property, or you would like to receive a quote, please fill out our online form here.