There are a number of benefits to installing a fire sprinkler systems into new and existing dwellings/residential buildings aside from the life safety aspect.

Installing these systems can bring a number of design benefits which can be applied during design stage. A summary of some of these “trade-offs” are listed below:

Approved Document B: Fire Safety

  • An additional and separate staircase is not required in dwellings over 4.5m high from the ground, so long as they are fully fitted with sprinklers (2.7b).
  • Relaxation in boundary distances between properties which have a sprinkler system (9.15)
  • Residential care homes can increase the quantity of beds as well as negate the need for self-closing doors should a sprinkler system be fitted (3.52)
  • Fire separate between a store room and a shop front can be relaxed (5.58)
  • Fire fighting shaft requirements can be relaxed (17.9)

BS 9991:2015 Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Residential Buildings

  • 3 storey house with open plan ground floor (6.3)
  • 4 storey house with no second means of escape (6.4)
  • Increased travel in common corridors from 7.5m to 15m and 30m to 60m (7.4)
  • Open plan flats can be achieved (9.7)
  • Increased travel distance can be achieved so long as fire service will arrive no later than ten minutes after the initial call ‐ 90m for houses less than 4.5m in height and 75m for houses/ flats not more than one floor above 4.5m. (e 19.1.2)
  • Boundary distances can be reduced by half (29.4.2).

BS 9999:2008 Code of Practice For Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings

  • Reduction in fire growth leading to a reduction in risk profiles.
  • Longer travel distances – the 45m rule can be extended.
  • Larger compartments – larger open spaces.
  • Smaller doors
  • Relaxed fire resistance between Compartments
  • Relaxation in heat detectors
  • Sprinkler systems can allow for the reduction in the risk profile thereby increasing allowable travel distances (8.5.3).

The above is a summary of the most common trade offs, for specific design guidance and a full breakdown of the design benefits available, please contact us.