13 Jan A cautious welcome
Changes to the mandatory installation of automatic fire sprinklers in England, affect new build, material alteration, material change of use and extensions came into effect on 26th November. The main points being
- The height threshold for the provision of sprinklers is reduced from 30m down to 11m.
- BS9251 or BS EN 12845 continue to be recommended for sprinkler system installations in flats.
- There will be no recommendation for sprinklers to be provided in common areas when these are fire sterile (lacking in combustible materials.)
- The new provisions will apply to extensions so that sprinkler protection and wayfinding signage will be necessary in any newly formed accommodation in buildings with a floor 11m or more above ground level.
The UK’s sprinkler trade association BAFSA issued a cautious welcome to the legislation but questioned whether the requirement should have been extended to all new built flats, no matter the height. Evidence has shown that automatic fire sprinklers protect residents of flats from fire, they limit fire spread protecting means of escape for residents, they also protect Firefighters who attend such fires.