CEN have published the draft standard pr EN 16925 fixed firefighting systems – automatic residential sprinkler systems – design, installation and maintenance it’s a long title and a long document at around 70 pages.  The standard covers residential and domestic dwellings from a house, blocks of flats, student accommodation and care homes it also covers small hotels which are up to 4 stories in height.  Is not appear to be any other limit the size of the building so standard can be useful flats to any height even though they only require a single water supply.

Standard also has included the multipurpose sprinkler systems these types of systems can only be used for smaller dwellings for the principal is that you only have one set of pipework running from the cold water supply which would also feed the sprinklers to a knowledge these type of systems have not been installed in Europe before and we think some water authorities would not like to see the introduction due to the risks of water contamination.

This new standard also proposes that the sprinkler water density of 2.04 mm/min will be sufficient for all categories of risk which are covered by the standard.  If an area within your building has a classification risk greater than that covered in the standard and if the area is less than 100 m² you can protect it at 5 mm/min design density. 

We found when reviewing the standard it is quite difficult to follow as it doesn’t appear to have any logical flow and some of the wording is quite ambiguous so they have a lot of work to do before this will become a workable document.  Once the standard is fully approved and published the national standards organisations will have to withdraw any conflicting standard and this will include BS 9251:2005 'Fire sprinkler systems a domestic and residential occupancies – code of practice'.  If you have an interest in the development of residential and domestic sprinkler systems I would strongly recommend that you get a copy of EN 16925 which is now available for public comment and I understand that the cut-off date has been extended to 15 February, 2016.