The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Sprinkler Design Codes – Part 11

September 6, 2017 3:12 pm

In LWF’s Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment blog series we have been talking about Fire Suppression and sprinklers in particular. In Part 10, we covered less commonly seen sprinkler systems – external drencher systems and the use of specially designed systems to protect areas of glazing. In Part 11, we are going to look at the design codes and standards which relate to sprinkler system design.


In the UK, the main rules for sprinkler design are contained in BS EN 12845 Fixed firefighting systems. Automatic sprinkler systems. Design, installation and maintenance which applies not only to the UK, but also to other countries in the European Union. In 2015, the Loss Prevention Council released an updated ‘Rules for automatic sprinkler installations’ which incorporates BS EN 12845 and lays out requirements and changes specific to the UK.


Amongst other internationally recognised design codes is the guidance published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which is an American trade association. NFPA codes can be found in use throughout the world.


While this blog series concentrates mainly on UK standards and regulation, the following codes are approved for use in specific countries:


NFPA 13 Standard for the installation of sprinkler systems (USA)


FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets, Installation guidelines for automatic sprinklers


VdS CEA 4001en VdS CEA guidelines for sprinkler systems (Germany)


CEA 4001 (en) Sprinkler systems planning and installation (France)


AS 2118 Automatic fire sprinkler systems Parts 1 to 10 (Australia)


Code of practice for minimum fire service installations and equipment (Hong Kong)


GB 50084-2001 Code of design for sprinkler systems (China)


It should be noted that any links to source material in these blogs are given for information and interest only and that when working in a given area of the world, full care should be taken to ensure you are working from the correct and most up to date information sources, as these are prone to change.


In the vast majority of guides throughout the world, the assumption is that the entire building under development will be protected by the sprinkler system. The main reason for this is that a sprinkler system is designed to subdue a fire in its early stages and not to stop a fire that is already established.


Although it should be acknowledged that it is potentially possible to have areas of your building design which are not sprinkler-compatible, it would, in those instances, be essential that other provisions were made to ensure fire cannot spread into or out of that area. This might include fire-resistant construction, automatic fire detection and potentially, other kinds of automatic firefighting system.


In Part 12 of this blog series, we will continue looking at the guidance given by design codes on sprinkler installations and some of the differences with a fire engineered approach. 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.




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