From 1st January 2016 if you build a New Home or create one by Conversion in Wales, under the building regulations approved document B; you must install an Automatic Fire Suppression System. These are generally sprinkler systems, however looking at the market there are other types available such as Watermist systems.

I think in principal its a great idea in homes. The practicality of having a fire prevention device which doesn’t need human intervention is only going to add to our own safety, and hopefully save our homes in the case of fire. Smoke alarms have been an essential part of our homes for the past 40 plus years; and automatic suppression systems are a greater advance of fire prevention.

However when discussing the new regulation with one of my clients earlier this week, his main concern was nuisance activations with the sprinkler system. We have all had our smoke alarms go off when we burn the toast in the morning; but will a sprinkler or watermist system do the same? If there is a problem our homes would be left very wet and damp!!!

Most systems on the market are activated by heat detection, the same way our home heat detectors systems work. Manufactures say this eliminates all nuisance activations. However this regulation has been in force in England for a while and we haven’t seen any bad press on them yet.

Systems are to be installed by competent installers, with an installation certificate provided to meet British Standards. If you are planning on starting building your new home in the near future and already have your building regulations plans approved by the local authority before 1st January, then fire suppression systems do not have to be installed providing construction has commenced by 1st January 2017.

All new building regulations plans for new homes & conversions done by RPC Design & Architecture will specify a fire suppression system to meet building regulations in Wales.