Common questions and misconceptions regarding fire sprinkler systems fitted in homes in the UK:
1. “Does the property require a full or partial domestic fire sprinkler suppression system?”
BS 9251 states that sprinkler protection should be provided in all parts of the building except bathrooms below 5m² and cupboards with a floor area less than 2m². Building Control Office (BCO)Can sometimes relax BS: 9251 Standards depending on the building and its individual merits. Because these relaxations to BS 9251 are at the discretion of the BCO it is difficult for any fire sprinkler company to offer such advice.It is recommended that the client, at the planning stage, find out from the BCO what level of protection is required for that particular building.
2. “What type of water supply will be required?”
Water company’s policies on domestic and residential fire sprinkler supplies vary considerably. If the property is a retro fit then it is highly unlikely that the existing water supply is sufficient. Retro fit properties virtually always require a “new mains supply” or a “tank fed” system. Most domestic fire sprinkler systems for new build properties can be run direct from the town mains supply providing that provision has been made sufficiently early in the build process.
3. “At what point do I instruct a Fire Sprinkler contractor?”
The sprinkler system design will need to be submitted to the Building Control Officer (BCO) prior to the installation and we advise our customers to obtain confirmation in writing to any deviations to the British Standard BS9251 that have been granted by the BCO.
4. “At what point in the build does the Fire Sprinkler Installation start?”
We would have a first fix stage and a commissioning stage. We always prefer to commence work prior to any electric wiring and plumbing works that take place. This is not vital but it does avoid any design deviation, thus altering the design of the system if unknown installations are there. It would be an advantage if we have any lighting plans or any other important installation designs prior to us designing the system.
5. “For a storage system: how much water do I need to store and what do the water tanks weigh?”
Most domestic systems require around 1000 litres. This will weigh approximately 1 tonne. We us coffin type tanks that spread the load over a number of joists if these are placed in an attic space. Other tank solutions are available for other locations.
6. “How big is the pipe work and can it be concealed?”
Blazemaster cpvc plastic pipes are used in the vast majority of domestic premises. 28mm or 35mm are the most commonly used sizes in domestic situations in the UK. When the pipe work runs at right angles to joists the joists will be drilled on the centre line in a position between 0.25 and 0.4 of the joist span.