When are sprinkler systems needed?
As well as smoke ventilation systems, detectors and sounders/alarms, sprinkler systems can play in important part in the fire safety of a building.
Able to extinguish fires at their source, sprinklers can prevent the spread of fire to other areas, protecting occupants and property alike.
Under Approved Document B (ADB) of the Building Regulations 2010, which deals with fire safety, sprinkler systems are recommended to be provided in accordance with BS 9251 in all blocks of flats that exceed 30m in height.
ADB also states that sprinklers need only be provided within individual flats, and are not required in common areas.
The FDS offering
At FDS, our team of experts has many decades of combined experience in assisting with the design, specification and supply, of sprinkler systems to BS 9251.
As land in urban areas is increasingly unavailable, costly, high-rise residential apartment buildings are a common means of providing city homes, from affordable properties to luxury developments.
Recognising this – and the recommendations laid out in ADB for all apartment buildings over 30m in height to include sprinkler systems – we provide a number of options to suit the commercial and design requirements of your building.
Our Sprinkler Systems
FDS BS1 Conventional Standalone Sprinkler System
The most straightforward of our systems is the FDS BS1. Following British Standard guidance in full, this forms an approved, non-fire engineered concept, simplifying system approval.
The system consists of a standalone water distribution system, dedicated sprinkler water storage tank, pump, control panel, vertical and horizontal pipework and sprinklers. It also requires the largest number of dedicated components and occupies more space than our other offerings.
This may be an issue for projects where space is at a premium, as room will be required for the placement of the water storage tank.
FS01 Floor Sprinkler System (running off Cold Water Boosted Mains)
The FS01 system offers a space-saving alternative to the BS1 standalone system, making use of the existing water supply by running off a cold water boosted storage tank.
Utilizing a cold water boosted storage tank, pump and vertical cold water boosted mains up to the floor manifold, much like a traditional system, the floor manifold is fitted with a tee connection, one which runs to the domestic water manifold and on to each apartment and the second runs to the floor sprinkler circuit.
This allows water meters to be bypassed by the sprinkler circuit, reducing costs as water meters which can withstand the pressure levels required by sprinklers can be significantly more expensive than those which only serve domestic outlets and appliances.
In addition, in some cases it may be possible for fire engineers to submit plans to building control which ‘engineer out’ the need for flow switches in each apartment, which is ordinarily a requirement under BS9251 2014, providing further cost savings.
However, when opting to take this approach it is important to consider that the linked fire control panel will only be able to ‘see’ the entire floor rather than individual apartments, making it more difficult to identify the exact location of a fire.
ABS01 Apartment Sprinkler System (running off Cold Water Boosted Mains)
The ABS01 system works in a similar way to the FS01, again running off the building’s cold water boosted mains, however in this system 100% of the water supply runs to each apartment, before being split into sprinkler and domestic circuits in the apartment’s services cupboard.
As each sprinkler circuit is split in the apartments themselves this system allows fire control panels to identify in which apartment a fire has started, though this also introduces additional costs.
Open-Plan Living Sprinkler System
Open-plan living spaces remain a popular choice for occupants and developers alike due to the increased amount of uninterrupted floor area available.
As the front door of an open-plan apartment opens directly into the living space, the entrance hall and corridor to other rooms can be omitted, reducing build costs as well as increasing design freedom.
By working to BS 9991 open plan apartments are allowed, with the system being similar to the ABS01 system described above, though with the additional inclusion of an LD1 smoke detection and sounder system to alert residents to a fire.
However, BS9991 does include restrictions on the maximum size of open-plan apartments, especially where kitchens are not separated from living areas.
Sprinklers in a Fire Engineered solution
The inclusion of sprinklers can be used as part of a fire engineered solution to justify these larger open plan spaces, in addition to allowing the omission of the compartmented entrance hall, but also internal fire doors, internal fire resistant walls and associated collars.
To achieve this the project’s fire consultant will need to submit the apartment layout plans to the relevant authorities for approval.
Want to know more?
For more information on our range of sprinkler systems, or for a quotation, contact us