Sprinklers & Building Regulations
Reducing the risk of fire, and, in the unlikely event of one starting, restricting the spread of it, are some of the most important aspects of any building project.
Approved Document B, featuring in schedule 1 of the Building Regulations, covers all requirements when it comes to fire safety in domestic and residential dwellings.
The installation of domestic and residential fire sprinklers is one of the easiest and most effective ways of adhering to these regulations. They meet all these requirements and with a professionally planned fire sprinkler installation, your property will be completely covered.
This comprehensive and fire engineered approach will quite often afford protection that is equal to, if not more than, that of the Approved Document B regulations. In fact, the installation of fire sprinkler systems designed and installed to BS9251 will actually provide a higher level of fire safety than those strictly adhering to ADB.
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There are a variety of applications that are often accepted by building control officers when fire sprinklers are installed. These include:
Fire Brigade Access Limitations
Where the access requirements for fire brigade vehicles cannot be met, the installation of fire sprinklers or mist systems can make a big difference. As part of building regulations, fire brigade appliances must be able to be sited within 45m of a domestic or residential property and access roadways must be of a certain width and have suitable turning circles available.
Development on land not meeting these requirements will be allowed where fire sprinkler protection is installed in accordance with BS9251.
Only in the instance where fire sprinklers are installed are stairways open to ground floor living areas from second floor accommodation are acceptable. This is particularly beneficial when a property requires a loft conversion and already has an open plan ground floor.
Alternative Means of Escape
In the scenario where there is an occupied space over 7.5m, a secondary means of escape will be required to meet the Approved Document B regulations. This requirement can be waived if a fire sprinkler is installed.
The installation of fire sprinklers will see a relaxation of requirements for heat detectors to be installed in bedrooms or bedsits with cooking facilities and kitchens. Fire sprinklers actually actuate at a similar temperature to heat detectors, meaning that audible alarms are sounded at the same time.
Generally, inner rooms that open on to an open plan living space are now acceptable under the requirements of the ADB. However, an installation of a fire sprinkler or fire suppression system will allow this to be accepted.
Internal Protected Corridors or Hallways
Hallways or corridors are able to be extended where fire sprinklers are installed.
Where fire sprinklers are installed, travel distances in open plan flats or bedsits can be extended.