What standards do I need to comply with when designing or installing sprinkler systems?

There are a number of standards that relate to sprinkler systems:

  1. Domestic/Residential Sprinkler Systems - BS 9251 Sprinkler systems for residential and domestic occupancies - Code of practice.
  2. Commercial Systems - EN 12845 Fixed firefighting systems - Automatic sprinkler systems - Design and maintenance.
  3. LPCB Rules for Automatic Sprinklers These are insurer’s requirements and consist of the text of BS EN12845: 2009 together with a series of Technical Bulletins (TBs). The TB’s interpret and in some cases impose requirements that exceed those of the BS EN. Compliance with these Rules is invariably specified by a client/owner if the sprinkler system is being installed at the behest of the insurer.
  4. FM Standards - FM Global is a US-based, international insurer that issues its own sprinkler standards. You can access these from its website: www.fmglobal.com.
  5. NFPA Standards - The US National Fire Protection Association issues a wide range of standards which are used extensively in the US and elsewhere. NFPA 13 is the main sprinkler standard (similar to BS EN 12845) while NFPA 13-R covers residential sprinkler systems and 13-D is for domestic properties.
  6. Company Standards - Some large organisations have their own fire protection standards and installers may be expected to comply with these even where they deviate from national standards. It is essential in such cases that written acceptance of any deviations from international standards is provided by the owner.