Fire safety in commercial buildings

Published:  01 February, 2017

BSI has revised BS 9999: 2017 Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings – Code of practice.

The primary objective of the standard is to ensure that a reasonable standard of life safety can be achieved in the event of fire in the building.

The revised standard, which is intended to provide good practice to safeguard the lives of occupants and firefighters, provides recommendations and guidance on the provision of measures to control or mitigate the effects of fire, including business continuity and the environment.

The main changes in BS 9999 over the standard it replaces are:

• An inclusion of a flowchart showing the sequential steps in the design process, to assist users in the application of the standard

• Revised clause on fire safety management with references to PAS 7

• Inclusion of watermist fire suppression systems

• Expansion of the guidance on voice alarms

• Expansion of fire growth rates table to provide more information.

The revised standard is applicable to the design of new buildings and to material alterations, extensions and material change of use of an existing building. It is aimed at architects; building managers; fire safety engineers; fire risk assessors; building control personnel; fire and rescue personnel; installers of fire and smoke alarms, sprinklers and smoke and heat control systems; and inspectorate for certification and installation schemes.

The revisions align the standard with current good practice, new technology, and consistency with other recently revised fire safety standards, BS 9990 and BS 9991.

The revised standard also features updated recommendations for smoke and heat control; fire curtain barrier assemblies; mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning systems; shopping complexes; and ducting.

BS 9999 is not applicable to dwellings and residential accommodation blocks with individual bedrooms and the provision of kitchen/sanitary facilities constructed within a fire compartment. 

  • Operation Florian

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