The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Planning Sprinkler Installations – Part 28

January 11, 2018 2:20 pm

In LWF’s Fire Engineering and Fire Safety blog series for Architects and others involved in building design, we have been looking at the many options of sprinkler installation available and how they work within the constraints of the building. In Part 28, we will discuss planning for a sprinkler installation.


When preparing for the installation of a sprinkler system, proper planning will ensure that the following essential criteria are met:


 The sprinkler system is sufficient to fully meet the level and type of risk and so will control a fire outbreak.

 Potential future uses of the building are taken into consideration. As the building may not always be used for the purpose it was built, the sprinkler system should meet as many potential criteria as possible.

 The sprinkler system should be absolutely suitable to meet the needs of the owner/occupier, local authority requirements, insurers and any other authorities with an input.

 The local and national byelaws are met.

 The sprinkler system is an integrated part of the building’s construction, as well as being integral to the fire protection and means of escape strategies for the premises.

 The system is installed sympathetically, within the fabric of the building and its services wherever possible for aesthetic reasons.


As the criteria would indicate, it is important that consideration and consultation should take place at the earliest possible opportunity. A Fire Engineer should be consulted at the point where building construction, planning for space and services are to be discussed and may be subject to design change in order to accomplish fire protection aims.


While fulfilling the criteria above is essential, it is also important to consider the impact of operation of a sprinkler system, both in fire and non-fire situations. It may be that steps can be taken to avoid further damage to the premises and contents, or that the drainage of water inside the building should be considered.


The future potential for damage to the sprinkler system should also be a subject of conversation, with steps taken to avoid the likelihood. While damage can be either accidental or deliberate, many opportunities can be avoided with clever design. The potential contingencies in case of damage must be considered too and included in plans.


In Part 29 of this series, LWF will continue to look at the planning of sprinkler installations, but from the point of view of the building itself. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.


Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663.


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.


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