Can I Install My Own Fire Sprinkler System in the UK?
March 2nd, 2023
Last updated: June 14th, 2023
Fire sprinkler systems provide an extremely effective way to prevent the spread of fires and suppress potentially life-threatening situations. Though not a legal requirement in every situation, sprinkler systems are often the best option for a commercial business. They don’t come cheaply, which has led to many people asking the question “can I install my own fire sprinkler system?”
We delve into this question in the post below. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as a “yes” or “no” answer.
Which Businesses Need Fire Sprinkler Systems
If you run a business that is uncompartmented (such as a wide open space like an indoor market) that spans 20,000 square metres or more, then you must have a sprinkler system installed. Though sprinklers are more strictly mandated in high-rise residential buildings, in commercial buildings they are often optional.
That said, a fire risk assessment is a legal requirement, and it is possible that this risk assessment could outline a sprinkler system as being one of the best solutions for your specific business premises.
Most businesses that experience a fire cease trading within 18 months, so you can see why this is such an important thing to prevent.
Can I Install My Own Sprinkler System?
This depends a lot on what you mean by the wording of the question.
If you are talking about actually carrying out the installation, the answer is probably “no” unless you are trained to a high standard. The installer of the system must be able to demonstrate training, experience and competence in the installation of fire sprinkler systems, and must be trained to the LPCB international standard. Sprinkler systems should also comply with British standard (BS9251:2021).
If “installing your own sprinkler system” refers to getting an external, qualified company to retrofit in an existing business, then the answer is “yes”. In many business premises, our team can install fire sprinklers as a protective measure and a way to keep staff more safe and secure. So, if you inherit a business premises and need extra fire suppression methods then sprinklers are an option. In fact, they are a great option…
Benefits of Sprinkler Systems
Let’s explain some of the benefits of sprinkler systems for businesses, and how they can be linked with commercial fire detection systems.
Early Detection of Fire: Fire sprinkler systems may be linked with fire detection systems to detect a fire in its early stages, even before the fire alarms sound. This allows for a quick response and can minimise the damage caused by fire.
Fire Control: Once a fire is detected, the fire sprinkler system will activate and spray water onto the fire, helping to control and extinguish it. This can prevent the fire from spreading and reduce damage to the property as well as giving people more time to leave.
Life Safety: Fire sprinkler systems can save lives by providing a quick and effective response to a fire. They can suppress the fire, reduce smoke and heat, and provide a clear path for occupants to evacuate safely.
Reduce Property Damage: Fire sprinkler systems can reduce the damage caused by fire by quickly controlling or extinguishing the fire, lowering the level of fire and smoke damage to the property.
Reduce Insurance Costs: Buildings that have fire sprinkler systems installed may be eligible for lower insurance premiums. Insurance companies recognise the benefits of fire sprinkler systems and may offer discounts to buildings with this added protection.
Fire Sprinklers – The Future of Fire Suppression?
While they are just one of many tools required to suppress fires in your business premises, there is a big push towards using fire sprinklers.
In recent years, we saw an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which was headed up by Dame Judith Hackett. The review found that the current regulations are ‘not fit for purpose’. Sprinkler laws were one of the aspects pointed out as lacking, and in some European countries, commercial spaces measuring just 3,000 square metres require sprinklers.
This has led to encouragement to use sprinklers, even though it is not mandated. Campaigns include Sprinklers Save Lives.
Fire sprinkler systems require upkeep to stay compliant.
Robinsons Facilities Services can work with your Yorkshire-based business to maintain fire sprinkler systems within the legal requirements, and advise on other aspects of fire safety. For more information about our fire safety services, contact us today.
Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.