BS 9999:2008

BS 9999:2008

Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings

Status : Revised, Superseded, Withdrawn   Published : October 2008 Replaced By : BS 9999:2017

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What is it?

BS 9999:2008 is the fire safety code of practice for building design, management and use. The standard outlines ways to meet fire safety legislation through a more flexible approach to design. BS 9999:2008 provides a risk-based structure that takes varying human factors into account, including improving emergency exit access for disabled people. The standard can be used in and around existing buildings, at design stage for new buildings or extensions, and also applies to alterations, extensions and changes of use of an existing building. It also provides an assessment tool to ensure fire safety strategy remains robust.

How does it work?

BS 9999:2008 is based on government guidance and provides a best practice framework for fire safety. The standard outlines ways to test all aspects of your fire strategy, including easy access to exits, to ensure the safety of people in and around the buildings. This includes how to manage fire safety throughout the entire life cycle of the building – starting with design or re-design, to fire system assessment, and maintaining a fire detection system. BS 9999:2008 also gives guidance on training employees in fire safety, organising an efficient evacuation plan and allocating leadership responsibilities. The recommendations and guidance given in this British Standard are intended to safeguard the lives of building occupants and fire-fighters.

Who should buy it?

  • Architects, surveyors and designers
  • Facilities and building managers and building control officers  
  • Fire and rescue services, fire risk consultants and fire safety engineers 
  •  Qualified access consultants, including National Register of Access Consultants.

What’s new?

BS 9999 replaces DD 9999. The national standard provides more information on improving accessibility for disabled people in fire safety design and management plans. The BS 9999 series reflects the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and the principles of inclusive design. Fire safety design strategies for extreme events such as terrorist actions are not covered.

What’s in BS 9999?

Contents include:

  • Introduction
  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • General recommendations and background
  • Spread of fire and smoke
  • Variation of guidance
  • Property and business continuity protection
  • Environment
  • Additional recommendations for specific building types/occupancies
  • Inclusive design
  • Risk profiles and assessing risk
  • Occupancy characteristic
  • Fire growth rate
  • Creating the risk profile
  • Variation of risk profile
  • Ensuring effective fire protection
  • The design stage
  • The construction stage
  • The maintenance stage
  • Managing fire safety
  • Establishing management levels
  • Management of the fire safety strategy
  • Management levels
  • Assessing the management levels
  • Fire safety manual
  • Designing so that a building can be managed
  • Management input
  • Designing for the management of fire prevention
  • Designing for the management of fire protection
  • Designing means of escape
  • Principles of means of escape
  • Evacuation strategy
  • Categories of evacuation procedure
  • Total evacuation
  • Progressive evacuation
  • Internal subdivision and spatial/visual orientation
  • Compartments
  • Cellular planning
  • Open storey (horizontal) planning
  • Atria
  • High fire risk areas
  • Process plant and outdoor structures
  • Designing means of escape
  • Acceptable means of escape
  • Generally unacceptable means of escape
  • Allocation of risk profile
  • Enclosure of fire risks
  • Minimum package of fire protection
  • Fire detection and alarm systems
  • Artificial and emergency escape lighting
  • Exit signs
  • Doors
  • Protected power circuits
  • Lifts
  • Mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Refuse chutes and storage
  • Horizontal means of escape
  • Number of occupants
  • Layout and number of escape routes and exits
  • Travel distance
  • Cellular plan floors
  • Width of doors, corridors and escape routes
  • Methods of horizontal escape for disabled people
  • Vertical means of escape
  • Design of escape stairs
  • Number of escape stairs
  • Width of escape stairs
  • Basement stairs
  • Protected stairs
  • External escape stairs
  • Methods of vertical escape for disabled people
  • Additional fire protection measures
  • Automatic detection and informative warning systems
  • Effect of ceiling heights
  • Maximum acceptable variations
  • Access and facilities for fire-fighting
  • General recommendations for fire-fighting facilities
  • Fire-fighting shafts
  • Fire-fighting stairs and lifts
  • Vehicle access
  • Buildings not fitted with fire mains
  • Access for high-reach appliances
  • Buildings fitted with fire mains
  • Water supplies for fire and rescue service use
  • Fire mains
  • Location and access to external water supply
  • Communications systems for fire and rescue service use
  • Fire control centre
  • Fire-fighters’ emergency switches for discharge lighting installation
  • Drawings for fire and rescue service use
  • Heat and smoke control
  • Smoke control for fire-fighting shafts
  • Venting of smoke and heat from basements
  • Venting of smoke and heat from car parks
  • Smoke and heat ventilation from loading docks and covered service roadways
  • Electrical services
  • Designing the building structure (load-bearing and non-load-bearing elements)
  • Designing the building structure
  • Fire resistance
  • Elements of structure
  • Minimum levels of fire resistance
  • Glazed fire-resisting elements
  • Compartmentation
  • Fire resistance of compartments
  • Size of compartments
  • Provision of compartmentation
  • Construction of compartment walls and compartment floors
  • Openings
  • Fire doors
  • Shutter assemblies
  • Access panels
  • Service ducts, pipes and shafts
  • Fire-stopping
  • Concealed spaces
  • Provision of cavity barriers
  • Extensive cavities
  • Construction and fixings for cavity barriers
  • Materials and finishes
  • Classification and use of internal wall and ceiling linings
  • Special roof coverings
  • Insulating core panels
  • External fire spread between neighbouring buildings
  • Boundaries
  • Unprotected area
  • Degree of separation
  • Roofs
  • External fire spread over the external faces of buildings
  • Accommodation ancillary to the main use of the building
  • Engineering services installation rooms
  • Waste storage and treatment
  • Main storage areas (including receiving and dispatch areas)
  • Engineering services
  • Gas services
  • Electrical services
  • Enclosure of engineering services
  • Lighting
  • Heating systems
  • Lifts, escalators, moving walks and goods conveyors
  • Incinerators
  • Special risk protection
  • Special risk protection
  • Managing occupied buildings
  • Commissioning and hand-over
  • Management issues
  • Approvals and certification
  • Managing occupied buildings
  • Appointment of fire safety manager and other personnel
  • Management organization and structure
  • Overview of the fire safety manager’s responsibilities
  • Buildings occupied by more than one organization
  • Public areas
  • Tenants, concessionaires and residents
  • Caretakers
  • Continuing control and audit procedures
  • Communications
  • Fire prevention
  • Housekeeping
  • Audience/crowd control
  • Arson
  • Conflicts between security and means of escape
  • Contractors and subcontractors on the premises and hot work
  • Maintenance of building plant and equipment
  • Ensuring that systems respond properly in an emergency
  • Escape routes
  • Maintenance of fire safety equipment and provisions
  • Planning the response to a fire
  • The fire routine
  • Provision for people at particular risk
  • Fire control centre functions
  • Evacuation management
  • Test evacuations (fire drills)
  • False alarms
  • Contingency planning for business interruption
  • Protection of building structure, contents, and the environment
  • Salvage and damage control
  • Emergency actions
  • Action on discovery
  • Warning and evacuation signals
  • Calling the fire and rescue service
  • Evacuation procedures
  • Fighting the fire
  • Receiving the fire and rescue service
  • Completion of evacuation
  • Re-entry to the building
  • After the incident
  • Evacuation of disabled people
  • Mobility-impaired people
  • Wheelchair users
  • People who are deaf and hard of hearing
  • Blind and partially sighted people
  • People with cognitive disabilities 248
  • Use of personal emergency evacuation plans
  • Use of refuges
  • Evacuation using lifts
  • Evacuation using stairways
  • Test evacuations for people requiring assistance
  • Fire instructions and training
  • Management of fire safety prior to full occupation of a building
  • Building works, alterations, decommissioning and demolition
  • Hot work
  • Change of use of buildings
  • Units in disuse and areas decommissioned
  • Additional considerations for property and business continuity protection
  • Recommendations for atria
  • Design solutions and exemplars for atria
  • Recommendations for theatres, cinemas and similar venues
  • Recommendations for shopping complexes
  • Process plant and outdoor structures
  • Recommendations for refuges and evacuation lifts
  • Fire safety manual
  • Fire control centre and evacuation management
  • Fire safety equipment, facilities and systems
  • Signs and signage
  • Typical arrangements to keep fire-fighting lift wells free from water
  • Operational information (emergency packs) for the fire and rescue service
  • Commissioning and hand-over of smoke control systems
  • Fire safety training
  • Control of conditions in public areas
  • Recommendations for owners of multi-occupancy residential buildings
  • Advice to occupiers of dwellings in residential buildings
  • Examples of fire instruction notices
  • Audience/crowd control
  • Hot work
  • Routine inspection and maintenance of fire
  • safety installations
  • Routine inspection and maintenance of ventilation and air conditioning ductwork
  • Phased evacuation
  • Examples of evacuation strategies
  • Example messages for use in a phased evacuation
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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The BS 9999 Handbook. Effective Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings 
Michael Green and Jonathan Joinson

Download chapter 1 of the guide to BS9999
Read more and buy the guide to BS 9999

Standard NumberBS 9999:2008
TitleCode of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings
StatusRevised, Superseded, Withdrawn
Publication Date31 October 2008
Withdrawn Date31 January 2017
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)BS 5234, BS 7346-4, BS EN 5306-2, BS 5266-1, BS EN 12845, BS EN 12150-1, BS EN 12101-3, BS EN 12416-2, BS EN 13501-2, BS 5306-6, BS 9251, BS 5306-5, BS 5651, BS 476-7, BS EN ISO 306, BS EN 1364, BS EN 60702-1, BS 5306-8, BS 5839-3, BS EN ISO 1716, BS 8414-1, BS EN 13823, BS EN 81-2, BS 8486-2, BS 7346-6, BS EN 60702-2, BS 4790, EN 12101-3, BS EN 1366, BS 5266-7, BS 3251, BS 5852, BS 9990, BS 476, BS 5499, BS EN 81, BS 7036, BS EN ISO 12543-2, BS 6644, BS 476-22, BS EN 1154, BS ISO 10294-5, BS 5656-1, BS 5438:1989, BS 5395-2, BS 5906, BS 5306-1, BS 5839-1:2002/AMD 2:2008, BS ISO 14520, BS 8300, BS 6798, BS EN 378, BS 7157:1989, BS EN 12101-2:2017, BS EN 54-11:2001, BS EN 1366-4, BS EN 1366-3, BS 6262-4:2018, BS 7346-7:2006, BS 5839-9:2003, BS 5410-2:2018, BS 5867-2:2008, BS 5306-3:2017, BS 5839-1:2002, BS EN 54-7:2018, BS 5852:2006, BS 5839-1:2017, BS EN 81-70:2018, BS EN 1125, BS EN 1155, BS EN ISO 14122-4, BS EN 12101-1, BS 6180, BS 8313, BS 6263-2, BS 799-5, BS EN 81-1, BS EN ISO 1182, BS 7671, BS EN 12101, BS 7176, BS 5306-0, BS EN 671, BS 8414-2, BS 7346-7, BS 7346-3, BS EN 1634-3, BS 5656-
Informative References(Provided for Information)BS 5655-12, BS 2782, BS 5516-2, BS EN 1991-1-2, PD 7974-1, BS EN 1021-2, BS EN ISO 9000, BS 4514, BS 25999-1, BS 5655-11, PD 7974-3, BS EN 1993-1-2, BS 6266, BS EN 1021-1, BS 6133, PD 6520, BS EN ISO 13943, BS 5255, BS EN 1158, CEN/CENELEC Guide 6, BS 7974, BS 6187, PD 7974-7, BS 4422, BS 6336, BS EN 1366-7, DD ENV 1187:2002, BS EN 179
Replaced ByBS 9999:2017
ReplacesBS 5588-8:1999, BS 5588-0:1996, BS 5588-12:2004, BS 5588-5:2004, BS 5588-10:1991, BS 5588-11:1997, BS 5588-6:1991, BS 5588-7:1997, BS 5588-9:1999, DD 9999:2005
Draft Superseded By08/30158435 DC
DescriptorsFire-escape routes, Crowd safety, Disabled people, Shops (buildings), Fire sprinklers, Buildings open to the public, Fire doors, Lifts, Firefighting equipment, Risk assessment, Emergency lighting, Fire spread prevention, Seating, Means of escape from fire in buildings, Fire alarms, Firefighting, Hazard prevention in buildings, Fire safety, Management, Fire-resistant materials, Assembly facilities, Circulation and space systems (buildings, Atria (buildings), Shopping centres, Emergency exits, Fire safety in buildings, Buildings by fire risk categories, Structural fire protection
ISBN978 0 580 57920 2
File Size4.444 MB

*To ask about withdrawn titles contact the
Customer Relations, +44 345 086 9001
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