In the first 5 months of this year, there have been 28 fire deaths in Scotland this is a considerable increase in deaths due to fire in Scotland from the previous year. We already know those who are at greatest risk from death by fire, those who live alone, persons with physical or mental health conditions or have issues with alcohol and drugs. Last week saw the chief fire offices in Scotland making a public appeal for the public to put them in touch with those who are most at risk surely this can only be a short-term solution.
Scotland already has significantly better legislative requirements for fire sprinklers to be installed than we do in England. They already require sprinkler systems in residential care homes and sheltered housing and this was brought about after a change in the Scottish building regulations after a serious fire in a care home that costs the lives of many.
Domestic and residential fire sprinklers are the way forward
There is now considerable pressure on the Scottish government to once again look at installing domestic fire sprinkler systems into all-new premises a move which has to be welcomed and will undoubtedly protect the most vulnerable in society. Of course, they will not be the first as Wales has already passed such legislation although it is not fully implemented many of us are watching closely and hoping that it will be a great success.
Domestic and residential fire sprinkler systems provide a cost-effective method of providing protection to property and life and unlike in the movies, not all the sprinklers operate at once only those closest to the fire. In smaller properties like a house, it is very rare for more than one fire sprinkler to operate but once it has then it will discharge water directly onto the seat of the fire keeping it under control or extinguishing it giving the occupants a safe environment in which to evacuate.
Any fire sprinkler system regardless of size has to be installed and designed in accordance with a credible design standard. Fortunately in the United Kingdom, we have tried and tested British standard BS 9251 design and installation of domestic and residential fire sprinkler installations this standard was introduced in 2005 and has been recently updated in 2014.
For fire sprinklers installations to work effectively they require the correct amount of water to be discharged from the fire sprinkler heads so one of the important part of the design is the hydraulic calculations. Fortunately, help is at hand with software such as the Canute FHC program which can calculate the pressure losses through the pipework and provide the designer with an accurate source and pressure requirement. The hydraulic calculation software is already used by leading fire sprinkler installation companies working in the field of commercial, domestic and residential fire protection.
Canute has considerable experience in the design of domestic and residential systems and so are able to offer guidance and support for anybody using the FHC hydraulic calculation software.