The LWF Blog

Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Sprinkler Installation Design – Part 39

March 29, 2018 2:29 pm

In LWF’s Fire Engineering blog series for Architects and others in the building design business, we have been looking at the topic of sprinkler installations. In part 38, the importance of thorough commissioning and testing despite usually being unable to test the sprinkler in a fully operational mode was discussed, including pneumatic and hydrostatic testing and water supply testing. In part 39, we move onto alarms and monitoring and third-party certification before talking about maintenance.


In order to ensure that the sprinkler system will respond quickly and appropriately to the signals received, it should be tested in association with the relevant alarm system. Links to remote locations should be checked and found to be working, along with any valve functioning monitoring. Upon satisfactory completion of the tests, the installer will issue a completion certificate.


The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) offer a scheme of registration for sprinkler systems in the UK which have been constructed and installed to a recognised standard. The scheme is known as LPS 1048 and those contractors which work under the scheme will be classified as one of four approval levels. Each level indicates the amount of LPCB supervision required and the contractor’s ability to issue certificates. In addition, five different categories of work are defined.


Where the design of the sprinkler system requires the parameters to fall outside the letter of the rules, it is possible to have a schedule of ‘non-compliances’ which is provided with the certification.  The absence of such certification does not necessarily mean a sprinkler system isn’t suitable for use, the design and purpose of the system should be as required by the circumstances and all authorities having jurisdiction should be in agreement with the features.

When sprinkler installation is complete, the building owner or user should receive an operation and maintenance manual which must contain certain details:


 Entire system documentation including details of all components, associated plant, alarms, utility supplies and should include record drawings.


 Instructions detailing the day to day operation of the system and any procedures which must be undertaken in a fire situation.


 A full maintenance and testing schedule.


In the majority of cases, the testing, maintenance and servicing of a sprinkler system will be carried out under agreement with the installer or an accredited servicing company. In cases where the system is in place and no existing maintenance contract is in effect, a suitable contractor can be found using the LPS 1048 scheme which will provide lists of suitably experienced and qualified individuals.


It is important that personnel on site are aware of how the sprinkler system will work in a fire situation as well as being made aware of their own required actions. When the system is shut down for repair or maintenance, such work should be completed as quickly as possible, with all interested authorities being advised.


In part 40 of this series, LWF will look at sprinklers for life safety purposes. 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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