Residential sprinklers systems in the UK, 24 March 2013, BRE Watford

The importance of properly designed and approved sprinkler systems was the subject of a one day conference held at BRE.

After a welcome and introduction from BRE’s Director of fire sciences and building products, Dr Debbie Smith, the programme started with a background to the product and installation standards of residential sprinklers, which was delivered by Kelvin Annable, BRE.

BRE’s Dr Corinne Williams then gave an update on the recently revised BRE digest on residential sprinklers for fire protection (DG 519).

This was followed by the UK fire regulators from England, Scotland and Wales, each giving an update on the implementation of residential sprinklers for life safety purposes including the standards and guidance which govern their use.

In the case of Wales, the status of the consultation on the introduction of residential sprinklers into all new domestic and residential premises was fully explained.

A panel discussion then gave delegates the chance to direct questions at all the speakers. Representatives from a range of backgrounds including building control, fire and rescue services and sprinkler installation companies discussed a number of issues relating to the use of sprinklers in buildings, their maintenance and service and the potential impact of future developments.

After a lively discussion, delegates were shown a demonstration video that showed the difference in the amount of damage inflicted by a sprinkler controlled and a non-sprinkler controlled fire. The residential sprinkler system extinguished the standard test fire in BRE’s burn hall facility.

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