BS 9991:2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. Code of practice

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BS 9991:2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. Code of practice

BS 9991 exists to help people put adequate fire safety measures in place in residential buildings. This includes fire detection and alarm systems and fixed fire-fighting systems. The 2015 revision provides a full technical update, to take into account new and revised standards published since its last publication, in 2011.

What is BS 9991:2015?

BS 9991 gives recommendations and guidance on the design, management and use of residential buildings so that they attain reasonable standards of fire safety for all the people who are in and around them. It covers: 

  • Dwellings (single-family dwelling houses, self-contained flats or maisonettes)
  • Residential accommodation blocks (e.g. for students or hospital staff), with individual bedrooms and the provision of kitchen/sanitary facilities constructed within a fire compartment
  • Specialized housing

The standard applies to the design of new buildings, and to material alterations, extensions and material changes of use to existing buildings. It does not cover hotels, caravans/mobile homes, hospitals, residential care homes, places of lawful detention or hostels. 

BS 9991:2015 also provides guidance on the ongoing management of fire safety in a building throughout the entire lifecycle of the building. This includes guidance for designers to ensure that the overall design of a building assists and enhances the management of fire safety. The recommendations and guidance given are intended to safeguard the lives of building occupants and fire-fighters. 


What’s new on BS 9991:2015?

 BS 9991:2015 presents some major changes, which include:

  • Change from “sheltered or extra care housing” to “specialized housing” and expansion of related recommendations
  • Expanded recommendations for escape from basements
  • Updating of recommendations relating to lifts
  • New recommendations for power supplies
  • New recommendations for cluster accommodation
  • New guidance on the management of additional needs and disabilities
  • General update to take into account new and revised standards published since 2011

Who should use BS 9991:2015?

This standard was written for: 

  • Architects
  • Fire safety engineers
  • Fire and rescue service
  • Fire risk assessors
  • Building control officers
  • Installers of fire and smoke alarms
  • Certification and installation scheme inspectors

How does BS 9991 relate to BS 9999?

BS 9991 complements and aligns with BS 9999, which is a code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings that are not residential. BS 9991:2015 will align with the revised BS 9999, which will be published in 2016. Sign-up here to keep up-to-date with all the revision new about BS 9999.  

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