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Need for Sprinkler system?

Guest SD67

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Looking for some different perspectives... 

4 storey building, ground floor and basement flats all have own access/egress so not in scope. Converted to studio flats (open plan) in approx 1985. No fire risk assessment has ever been completed. 

Common area (MOE) is a single staircase enclosure and corridor providing access to flats on first and second floor (12 in total). Travel distance from furthest flat is approx 20m. 

At point of inspection, no fire alarm system, inadequate compartmentation, no confirmation that flat doors were fire doors (RP thinks its unlikely they are). 

Immediate suggestions: L3 alarm and fire doors to flats (FD30S). 

Colleague (fellow fire engineer but specialises in design work on new buildings) that the L3 isn't adequate compensation for travel distance and therefore suggested sprinkler system. This would prove extremely difficult for RP as flats are owner occupied so access is difficult and the cost would be significant. 

In your view, is sprinkler system required or can you think of alternative compensation measures that would be sufficiently protect life I.e. increased detection coverage etc? 

Would like to hear any suggestions before making the recommendation re sprinkler system. 





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Worst case is communal L1 so all areas of the flats are covered (with suitable false alarm management designed in) as part of the main system - it's an option in the Purpose Built Flats guide for the worst cases that can never be upgraded with resort to compartmentation & smoke control.

This sort of solution is expected for a Tudor age building and shouldn't be required for a 1985 build as there were regulations back then (although the 1985 Building Regs MoE requirements just pointed to the 70's version of CP3) so something must have really gone wrong with the build! I'm guessing the original plans and fire safety strategy (as far as one existed back then) are long gone.

Retrofitting sprinklers and mist systems isn't impossible, but isn't easy either - remember you aren't expected to be to the latest new build standards in a building of this height & age, just a reasonable compromise to give an adequate level of safety. Flat internal layout is partly outside the scope of the FSO too.

It's not one I can be definitive about without seeing it myself

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