Regulatory Requirement Update - Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011

What are the changes?

From 1st January 2016 automatic fire suppression systems need to be installed in all new and converted houses and flats in Wales.

This requirement has been in place for higher-risk properties such as care homes, student halls of residence, children’s residential homes, boarding houses and certain hostels since 30th April 2014.

  • The measure applies to bulding work in Wales that comprises or includes:
  • Constructing a building for use as a residence, or a number of residences,
  • Converting a building, or part of a building, to use as a residence, or a number of residences,
  • Subdividing one or more existing residences so as to create one or more new residences, or
  • Amalgamating existing residences so as to create a new residence or new residences.

Each residence must be provided with an automatic fire suppression system that is operating effectively. Fire suppression should be targeted at rooms most likely to give rise to fires (e.g. kitchen).

The main standard for sprinkler systems for residential premises in Wales is the British Standard 9251:2005. This requires sufficient pressure to be delivered by the mains or to be tank fed. The likelihood is that installation would require a separate water tank and pump to operate in homes in Wales.

The cost per residential premises is estimated at £3075 for a house and £879 for a flat, according to a BRE cost benefit analysis.

A number of other fire suppression systems are marketed worldwide including low pressure or simple systems based on use of the existing mains water supply. Lower cost systems may be suitable for use in Wales but there is limited evidence of their effectiveness compared to the British Standard.

What should we do?

You need to be thinking now about what projects you will be undertaking from the beginning of 2016 onwards and which fire sprinkler/fire suppression system contractors you plan to use.

To ensure compliance with these regulations and your other subcontractor vetting duties you need to let Santia Accreditation know which contractors you plan to use as soon as possible. We can then ensure that they are registered on the appropriate assessment scheme and have gained accreditation through successfully completing our auditing process. The contractors will then be able to work for your organisation when you need them.

Post date: 05 Aug 2015

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