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Home Renovation

Retrofit Fire Spinkler System Engineers

Fire Sprinkler Retrofit allows us to install sprinkler systems into existing structures, conversions and extensions.

Our team complies with the current legislation and industry standards, while liaising with key stakeholders and any in situ tenants of the property.

 

Our work is carried out quickly and efficiently, to ensure residential homes and flats are ready for occupancy without delay, and to minimise costs and disruption to the building fabric.

 

We offer a full design process and can supply, install and maintain your new sprinkler equipment. We can ensure that your Fire Sprinkler Retrofit project meets modern BS9251 standards.

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I would like to compliment the engineers that we have met on site who have completed the servicing and repair works on the systems....I cannot find one area where I would be unhappy with the service we have received.

Jack Newell, Weaver Vale Housing Trust

Why retrofit sprinklers?

 

Many premises, both residential and commercial, have no sprinkler systems in place. However, there is a growing body of legislation requiring sprinkler systems to be installed as part of changes in use, conversion to residential, and even as part of extensions and refurbishments.

 

Retro fitting sprinkler systems allows you to comply with legislation, while also showing your tenants that you have considered fire safety when making renovations and refurbishments. We can do this while minimising disruption and avoiding unnecessary costs.

 

Because of this, retrofitting existing sprinkler systems can be:

  • Fast

  • Affordable

  • Stress-free

 

However, especially when working on a building that is already occupied by sitting tenants, it's important to work with a professional sprinkler design and installation company who can make sure your sprinkler system meets modern standards and is installed seamlessly.

Why is retrofitting sprinklers systems important?

 

Fire protection system retrofit is increasingly a legal requirement in residential properties of all types, and can help to safeguard residents in high-rise apartment buildings, student accommodation and care homes.

 

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) sponsored a sprinkler retrofit project in Callow Mount, a multi-storey residential block in Sheffield.

 

The subsequent Safer High-rise Living report concluded: "It is both cost-effective and practical to retrofit automatic fire sprinklers in occupied, high-rise social housing blocks without disturbing residents."

 

With a higher number of sources of ignition (e.g. the large number of kitchens in multi-storey apartment blocks) the immediate, targeted fire suppression offered by sprinklers can save both lives and property with no human intervention required.

Why are sprinklers good for tenants?

 

Tenants should be made aware of the significant benefits of automatic sprinkler systems, which will help to overcome any initial reluctance to have them installed.

 

Sprinkler systems are automatic and targeted, dispensing water only in the immediate vicinity of the fire. This means that they react quickly to contain the fire, without causing water damage to surrounding areas.

 

In large buildings, this means that neighbouring areas are unlikely to be severely damaged and follow-up work to extinguish the fire by emergency services can be contained to a much smaller area too.

 

Alarm-only systems do not begin to suppress the fire until the emergency services arrive. This allows flames to take hold, putting tenants at greater risk and resulting in much more significant water damage as firefighters attempt to regain control of the blaze.

 

Retrofitted fire suppression systems are cost-effective, and often don't have a visual impact thanks to the recessed sprinkler heads we can install in the ceilings. This all adds up to offer substantial value to new and existing tenants alike. 

Do I need a fire sprinkler retrofit?

 

Retro fitting a sprinkler system is desirable in many substantial residential property works, whether renovating interiors, adjusting layouts or building extensions. In Wales, all new residential extensions must be fitted with a sprinkler system, and we believe this will be introduced in England in the coming years too.

 

Legislation requiring sprinkler systems only moves in one direction over time, so retrofitting sprinklers as part of refurbishment and extensions now will help to future-proof your property against tighter rules in the future.

 

Base Fire Sprinklers monitor any changes in building regulations and legislation for property owners, construction companies and landlords. We aim to keep abreast of the ever-changing laws on sprinklers in England, Wales and across the UK.

 

If you are not sure whether a retrofit sprinkler system is a legal requirement in your property, or you would like expert help to determine the capacity of the sprinkler system you should install, please contact us and we will be happy to help you meet your obligations.

  • How much does a fire sprinkler system installation cost?
    The cost of installing a fire sprinkler system varies widely depending on factors such as property size, layout, and the type of system chosen. On average, you can expect to invest several thousand pounds for residential installations, while commercial installations can range from tens of thousands to significantly more.
  • What is the process involved in installing a fire sprinkler system?
    The installation process involves assessment, design, component selection, installation, testing, and compliance verification. It begins with understanding the property's layout and fire risks, followed by designing a customized system. The chosen components are then installed, tested, and certified to meet safety codes.
  • Can I retrofit a fire sprinkler system in an existing building?
    Yes, retrofitting fire sprinkler systems in existing buildings is possible and often recommended to enhance fire safety. While the process can be complex due to the existing infrastructure, it's a worthwhile investment to protect lives and property.
  • Do I need a professional for fire sprinkler system installation?
    Yes, hiring a professional for fire sprinkler system installation is crucial. Professionals have the expertise to design, install, and test the system accurately while ensuring compliance with regulations. Attempting a DIY installation can compromise safety and effectiveness.
  • What are the retrofit sprinkler requirements for existing buildings?
    The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: This applies to most buildings except individual private homes. It places a duty on the 'responsible person' (usually the building owner or occupier) to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and ensure safe escape. BS 9251:2021: This British Standard provides the latest guidelines for the design, installation, components, water supplies, and backflow protection of fire sprinkler systems in residential buildings. Compliance with BS 9251:2021 is a key factor in retrofitting projects, ensuring that systems meet modern standards for efficiency and safety. Building Regulations Approved Document B (Fire Safety): This document outlines the requirements for fire safety provisions in buildings, including escape routes, fire detection, and suppression systems. It has implications for retrofitting sprinkler systems, especially in multi-occupancy residential buildings and high-rise structures. Local Authority Regulations: Depending on the location, local authorities may have additional requirements or guidelines for retrofitting fire sprinklers in buildings, particularly in areas with higher fire risk or historical buildings.
  • What legislation changes can we anticipate in fire safety?
    The landscape of fire safety legislation is continually evolving, with trends indicating a move towards more stringent regulations, especially in the wake of high-profile fire incidents. Here are some anticipated changes that could affect retrofitting fire sprinkler systems: Expansion of Mandatory Sprinkler Systems: There is a growing movement towards making sprinkler systems mandatory in a broader range of buildings, especially residential properties. This could include lower-height buildings, older structures, and specific types of occupancy such as care homes and student accommodation. Stricter Regulations for High-Rise Buildings: Following incidents like the Grenfell Tower fire, there is an increased focus on fire safety in high-rise blocks of flats. Future legislation might include mandatory retrofitting of sprinklers in all high-rise residential buildings, regardless of their construction date. Integration with Smart Building Technology: As smart technology becomes more prevalent in building design, future legislation might require fire safety systems, including sprinklers, to be integrated into smart building management systems for better monitoring and response. Enhanced Standards for Materials and Installation: Upcoming regulations may set higher standards for the materials used in sprinkler systems and the methods of their installation, emphasising durability, efficiency, and minimal environmental impact. Increased Focus on Environmental Sustainability: Future legislation might also consider the environmental impact of fire safety systems, encouraging the use of eco-friendly materials and water-saving technologies in sprinkler systems. Staying ahead of these potential legislative changes is essential for property owners and developers. We are committed to keeping abreast of these developments, ensuring that retrofitting projects not only comply with current standards but are also future-proofed against upcoming regulations.
  • How long does it take to Retrofit Fire Suppression Systems?
    The duration of a retrofit project varies depending on the size and complexity of the building, as well as the type of sprinkler system being installed. Generally, Base Fire Sprinklers aims to complete retrofitting projects as efficiently as possible, often within a few weeks, to minimise disruption. The process is planned meticulously to ensure that work is done swiftly and efficiently, often allowing occupants to continue their daily routines with little to no interruption.
  • How much does it cost to Retrofit a Fire Sprinkler System?
    The cost of retrofitting a fire sprinkler system can vary based on the building's size, the complexity of the installation, and the type of sprinkler system used. Base Fire Sprinklers provides detailed quotes after assessing the specific needs of your property, ensuring transparency and cost-effectiveness. Retrofitting a fire sprinkler system can enhance your property’s safety, which is a desirable feature for potential buyers or tenants. It can also contribute to lower insurance premiums, representing a long-term investment in your property’s value and safety.

Calculating capacity of retrofit sprinkler systems

 

We can survey your property and calculate the minimum capacity of sprinkler systems that you should retrofit as part of your extension, conversion or refurb. 

 

Remember that if you are changing the layout or increasing the occupancy of the building, you should check that your planned sprinkler system meets the legal minimums.

 

Some of the aspects of retrofit sprinkler systems that we can advise on include:

  • Water tank: Do you need one? What size should it be? Where can it go?

  • Water pipes: We use flexible, heat-resistant CPVC pipes for easy installation

  • Sprinkler heads: How many? In what positions?

 

Together, these elements of a retrofit sprinkler system ensure you have sufficient water pressure and good enough coverage of all areas of your property, with hidden sprinkler heads that descend into view only when required to dispense water and contain a fire.

Water Tank Capacity Calculator

Our Online Water Tank Size Calculator provides a free estimate of tank size requirements for a residential fire sprinkler system. This easy-to-use online tool will help you determine the right sizing for your water tank needs.

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Why choose Base Fire Sprinklers?

We are accredited to a number of industry standards, including SafeContractor Approved, UKAS Product Certification, the Fire Protection Association (FPA), and the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA).

 

We're also proud to hold FIRAS Certification from Warringtonfire, the leading certification scheme for fire sprinkler system installations.

 

A good retrofit should give you complete peace of mind that your premises are fully compliant with legislation and building regulations. Occupant safety is the goal, but we also provide confidence about the quality of the installed technology, as well as compliance with minimum capacity requirements.

 

Together, this allows us to retrofit sprinkler systems as part of your refurbishment or extension work, without adding unnecessary cost or delay to your project timeline overall, and leaving you with cutting-edge, aesthetically pleasing fire protection for all your occupants.

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