Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation
Residential fire sprinkler installations provide the ultimate peace of mind for homeowners and building developers. With the BS 9251 (2021) providing the guidelines for design, installation, and maintenance, you can trust that your home will be equipped with one of the most proven and effective life safety systems ever invented.
As a homeowner or building developer in the UK, the safety of your property and loved ones should be your top priority. With a residential fire sprinkler system, you can protect your property against the dangers of fire, providing you with peace of mind and ensuring that you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.
On this page we will exploring all the benefits of installing a residential fire sprinkler system into your property. We will also discuss the four categories outlined in BS 9251, and why you should consider contacting a professional fire sprinkler installation company like London Sprinkler Systems to design and install a sprinkler system for your home.
The Benefits of Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation
Increased Safety and Protection:
A residential sprinkler system provides an additional layer of safety and protection in your home, ensuring that everyone inside, has the time they need to escape the building in the event of a fire. The speedy suppression of a fire by your sprinkler system, reduces the potentially devastating damage to your property.
Compliance with Building Control and Regulations:
Installing a fire sprinkler system helps you comply with building control guidelines and regulations, certifying that your home is fully compliant and meets the latest safety standards.
Reduction in Fire Fighter Response Times:
In the event of a fire, a speedy response from the fire brigade is critical in extinguishing the fire before it causes significant damage and potential loss of life. Your sprinkler system is designed to detect and suppress a fire quickly and stop the fire from spreading through the property. This is particularly important in larger apartment blocks or buildings. With a fire sprinkler system in place, fire brigade response times are reduced, ensuring that fire fighters arrive to contain and extinguish the fire as early as possible.
Lower Your Insurance Costs:
By installing a residential fire sprinkler system, you can lower your insurance costs. This is because insurance companies recognize the added safety and protection that fire sprinkler systems provide. Fire sprinkler systems are proven to be effective at minimizing the risk of fire damage and loss. For example, since 1945 no one in the UK has ever died as a result of a fire in a building with a working sprinkler system.
Peace of Mind:
Knowing that your home is protected against fire will ensure peace of mind. With a fire sprinkler system installed, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your family and home are protected in the event of a fire.
The benefits of residential fire sprinkler systems are clear: increased safety and protection, compliance with building codes and regulations, faster fire fighter response times, lower fire insurance costs, and last but not least peace of mind for you and your family.
The majority of fires and resulting deaths and injuries take place in the home.
The smallest of fires can cause an incredible amount of damage to property.
A fire sprinkler is individually activated by heat
Smoke will not activate a fire sprinkler
Only the nearest sprinkler to the fire will activate
The centre of a fire sprinkler head contains a tempreature sensitive glass bulb. The sprinkler head will actitvate at around 68°C, releasing water onto the fire. Fire sprinklers will not respond to smoke, steam, dust or fumes.
It is very rare for a fire sprinkler to discharge by accident. The chances of a fire sprinkler accidentally activating, is in the region of 16 million to one.
Fire sprinklers have suppressed 12 social housing fires since 2010. Also 96% of fires in buildings with fire sprinklers, are extinguished or contained.
Don’t let fire be a threat to your property and loved ones – contact London Sprinkler Systems today
Considerations Before Fire Sprinkler Installation
In this section, we’ll go over some important factors to consider before installing a fire sprinkler system.
The Cost of Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation:
With so many benefits, a residential sprinkler system is the ultimate investment in your property. Your sprinkler system will ensure the safety of the everyone that lives in it. While the cost of installing a sprinkler system isn’t cheap, it’s important to keep in mind that the long-term benefits of having a system in place far outweigh the cost of installation. A typical three-bedroom flat can be protected by London Sprinkler Systems with a fully compliant category 1, BS 9251 sprinkler system for as little as £5,000. By reducing the risk of fire damage to your property and keeping you and your family safe, a residential sprinkler system provides the peace of mind and protection that you cannot put a price on.
The Occupancy of Your Building:
If you’re planning a fire sprinkler installation for a multiple residency building, for example, a block of flats or a care home, it is important to consider the occupancy profile of the residents who will be living in the building. It could take longer for vulnerable or elderly residents to evacuate in the event of a fire because they may have poor reaction or realization of the danger presented by a fire. In these types of building, the category of the sprinkler system will be increased and the water supply could be enhanced even further.
Building Control Regulations:
Before installing a residential fire sprinkler system, it’s important to consider building control regulations and requirements. A professional fire sprinkler installation company like London Sprinkler Systems will help you understand what is needed to gain approval from building control, and the requirements laid out in your fire strategy. Our qualified engineers will ensure your system is installed in full compliance with all relevant regulations.
The Buildings Design and Layout:
Your properties design and layout are important considerations when installing a residential fire sprinkler system. London Sprinkler Systems qualified and experienced design team, will assess your buildings design and layout. This will help to determine the most effective placement of your sprinkler heads and pipework, ensuring that your sprinkler system provides the best protection for your property.
The Sprinkler Systems Water Supply:
When choosing a water supply for a fire sprinkler system, it is important to consider the specific needs and circumstances of your building.
Mains Fed Water Supplies
A mains water supplied fire sprinkler system is a reliable and readily available option. Sometimes the pressure from the mains water supply will need to be boosted by a pump. The boost from the pump will provide the sprinkler system with the required pressure to effectively suppress a fire.
Stored Water Supplies
A stored water supply or tank fed fire sprinkler system, is a standalone system that is separate from the domestic water supply. The stored water in the tank supplies water to a pump, which activates if a fire is detected and pushes the water throughout the system to suppress the fire.
Gravity Stored Water Supplies
If you are installing a fire sprinkler system into a tall building, a gravity-fed stored water tank could be used as the water supply. The sprinkler tank can be placed at the top of the building, allowing gravity to provide the water pressure for the sprinkler system. Gravity tanks may be able to provide all the pressure needed to operate the sprinkler system on its own, or it can be used to supply water to the sprinkler pump.
Maintenance After Installation:
Residential fire sprinkler systems require regular maintenance to ensure that they’re in good working order. Professional fire sprinkler installation companies like London Sprinkler Systems can help you understand the maintenance requirements for your system, and ensure that it’s always providing the fire protection you need.
What is the BS 9251 and How Does it Make Your Home Safer?
The BS 9251 (2021) is the most recent British Standard that provides compliance guidelines for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of residential fire sprinkler systems. This standard ensures that your home is equipped with the most effective system for your properties unique needs, providing you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your property is protected against fire hazards.
The Four Categories of BS 9251 Fire Sprinkler Systems
BS 9251 categorizes residential buildings into four groups based on size and purpose, ensuring that every type of home will receive the protection it needs. These categories include:
Category 1 Sprinkler Systems:
This category of sprinkler system is used for single family dwellings such as the following:
- Individual flats
- Individual maisonettes
- Transportable homes
- Houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s)
- Bed and breakfast accommodation
- Boarding houses
Because these are the smallest type of dwelling, they will be easier to escape in the event of a fire. This means the amount of water needed to supply your sprinkler system can be reduced.
In a category 1 system, the duration of the water supply is set at 10 minutes. If a sprinkler head activates, the mains water or sprinkler tank must be able to feed the sprinkler head with water for a minimum of 10 minutes without running out.
Category 1 sprinkler systems are designed to be able to supply two sprinkler heads simultaneously for the 10 minute duration. Also, the design density, which is the amount of water released by the sprinkler system, should be a minimum of 2.10mm per minute to each sprinkler head.
Category 2 Sprinkler Systems:
This category of sprinkler system is used for multiple occupancy residencies such as the following:
- Blocks of Flats
- Small residential care premises with 10 residents or fewer
- Sheltered housing
- Extra care housing
As these types of buildings tend to be a lot bigger than those in category one, occupants will need a lot longer to evacuate, and the fire service may need extra time to access and extinguish a fire. There is also an added risk that occupants may be vulnerable or elderly and need more time and assistance in order to evacuate the building. This means that the amount of water needed to supply the sprinkler system must be increased.
In a category 2 system, the duration for the water supply is set at 30 minutes. Category 2 sprinkler systems are designed to be able to supply two sprinkler heads simultaneously for the 30 minute duration. The design density is also increased and the system should be able to supply a minimum of 2.80mm of water per minute to each sprinkler head.
Category 3 Sprinkler Systems:
This category of sprinkler system is used for multiple occupancy residencies such as the following:
- Residential care premises with more than 10 Residents
- Student accommodation
- Dormitories (e.g. attached to educational establishments)
Category 3 type premises contain multiple occupants that may have vulnerabilities. They could also have separated but connected buildings, meaning fires could break out in different areas at the same time.
In a category 3 system, the minimum duration for the water supply is set at 30 minutes. Category 3 sprinkler systems are designed to be able to supply two to four sprinkler heads simultaneously for the 30 minute duration. The design density should be able to supply a minimum of 2.80mm of water per minute to each sprinkler head.
Category 4 Sprinkler Systems:
Fire sprinkler systems for all residential buildings 18 metres or higher will be category 4 sprinkler systems. Buildings of this size will present the occupants in the top floors an increased vulnerability in the event that they need to evacuate the building. The fire service could also have problems with reaching the higher floors if a fire were to break out.
In category 4 systems, the minimum duration for the water supply is increased to 60 minutes. Category 4 sprinkler systems are designed to be able to supply two to four sprinkler heads simultaneously for the 60 minute duration. The design density should be able to supply a minimum of 2.80mm of water per minute to each sprinkler head.
Further Enhancements to Residential Sprinkler Systems:
Depending on varying parameters like occupancy or type of premises, all four of the BS 9251 categories can be enhanced even further to provide superior sprinkler protection for all types of situations.
There are many more guidelines and protocols in the BS 9251 that must be adhered to when designing, installing and maintaining your fire sprinkler system. That’s why contacting a professional fire sprinkler installation company like London Sprinkler Systems is essential. We have the experience and qualifications needed, to be able to guide you through all the processes of planning a sprinkler system to protect your property.
The Residential Fire Sprinkler Installation Process
Installing a fire sprinkler system is a complex process that requires the expertise of a professional. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the residential fire sprinkler installation process and what you can expect from professional fire sprinkler installation companies like London Sprinkler Systems.
The first step in the residential fire sprinkler installation process, is a comprehensive survey and assessment of your property. Our highly qualified engineers will assess your buildings design and layout, along with your fire strategy and building control documents. We will also look at the water supply requirements for your system, the structure of your walls and ceilings, and any other structural elements that could obstruct or hinder the installation process. Once all the information has been gathered, we will determine the optimal placement for the sprinkler heads and pipe runs, ensuring your sprinkler system provides the protection needed for your home.
Design and Planning Stage:
Based on the assessment, our design team will work closely with you and design a fire sprinkler system that meets all your specific needs. This includes determining the best placement of sprinkler heads, selecting the right piping and materials, providing advice on the systems water supply and making sure your system is compliant with building control and your fire strategy. The completed sprinkler designs will then be issued to you for your final approval before any installation work on the project begins.
System Installation Stage:
With the sprinkler design and planning complete, the next step is the actual installation of your sprinkler system. You will be issued with our pre installation health and safety documentation such as method statements and risk assessments. Our team of experienced engineers will then begin the installation of your fire sprinkler system to the highest possible standards, taking care to minimize disruptions to your home and your daily life.
CPVC Fire Sprinkler Pipe Installations
Residential fire sprinklers have become cheaper and easier to install. Chloro-polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) have simplified fire sprinkler installations.
CPVC is a lightweight, thermoplastic piping material. Thermoplastic does not support combustion and if subjected to flames will only char. Designed for continuous use with a life expectancy of at least 50 years, CVPC does not corrode. The material is tested and approved by UL, FM and LPCB, as well as all leading insurers.
Fire sprinkler installers can fabricate (CPVC) systems much more easily than metal systems. Joints are made using a cold solvent welding process that requires only a few simple tools. Pipe lengths can be cut and prepared on the spot with a hand held (CPVC) pipe cutter. Unlike with metallic pipes, there is no need for oil or grease on the pipe. This minimises the risk of damage or mess to the property.
The stages of a CPVC sprinkler pipe installation
Using CPVC, sprinkler systems can be quickly retro fitted into every kind of building. A typical 3 bedroom house, can be retro fitted with a fire sprinkler system, concealed within in a couple of days. Even listed or historic buildings can have a sprinkler systems installed. Retro fit installations will not compromise the integrity of the building.
Another benefit of retrofitting fire sprinklers is residents do not have to be re-housed while the system is installed. Even elderly or vunerable residents are able to remain in their homes while the system is being installed.
A cover plate has three solder points inside it. When exposed to the heat of a fire, the solder melts away exposing the sprinkler head, allowing it to operate.
Cover plates can be made to match any paint colour, texture or even wood finish.
Fire Sprinkler Testing and Certification:
After your installation is complete, our engineers will conduct thorough testing of all the sprinkler systems components and provide you with all the certification required by building control. You will also receive the operating manuals and as installed drawings of your sprinkler system, so that future maintenance can be carried out correctly.
Maintenance Instructions and Schedules:
Regular maintenance is crucial to the longevity and effectiveness of your fire sprinkler system. You will be provided with detailed maintenance instructions and schedules, so that you can keep your system in perfect working order and ensure that it’s always providing the protection you need.
In conclusion, the residential fire sprinkler installation process is a collaborative effort between you and a professional contractor. By working with London Sprinkler Systems, you can ensure that your system will be installed safely, efficiently, and effectively, providing you with peace of mind and the protection you need.
At this point, you should have a clear understanding of the importance of residential fire sprinkler systems in the UK, the four categories outlined in BS 9251, and the benefits of installing a sprinkler system in your home. So, why wait? Take action today and contact London Sprinkler Systems and start planning a fire sprinkler system for your home. Protect your property, your loved ones, and your peace of mind – invest in your fire sprinkler system today.
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