Residential Sprinklers

Residential Sprinkler Systems – Category 2, 3 & 4 Sprinklers

Since updates to BS 9251 in 2014 and more recently in 2021 all fire sprinkler systems in residential properties are classed as residential sprinklers. Previously sprinklers were divided into domestic and residential sprinklers now they are divided into category 1, 2, 3 and 4 residential sprinklers.  Category 1 covers sprinklers in private homes, (previously domestic sprinklers) see more info on our page about home fire sprinklers.

Category 2, 3 & 4 residential sprinkler systems are designed for buildings where more than 1 family lives i.e. multiple occupancy properties, flats, care homes etc. These are divided into three categories:

Category 2 Fire Sprinklers

Covers: Blocks of flats less than18m in height, small residential care premises with 10 or less residents and sheltered and extra care housing.

Category 3 Fire Sprinklers

Covers: Residential care with more than 10 residents, dormitories (educational) and hostels.

Category 4 Fire Sprinklers

Covers: Blocks of flats 18m and above.

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Further information on building regulations and fact sheets relating to domestic and residential fire sprinkler requirements and safety standards can found on one of our Residential Sprinkler Fact Sheets

Residential Sprinklers 

Designed to protect homes and their occupants from the spread of fires. Here are some key points about residential sprinkler systems:

  • Function: Residential sprinkler systems automatically detect, slow the spread and even extinguish fires in homes. They release water when a fire is detected.
  • Components: A typical residential fire sprinkler system includes sprinkler heads, a water supply source (often a dedicated water tank or connection to the mains), pipes, and a control panel.
  • Activation: Sprinkler heads are activated individually when they reach a certain temperature, caused by the heat of a fire. This helps contain and suppress the fire at an early stage.
  • Coverage: The number of sprinkler heads and their placement depend on factors such as the size and layout of the house. They are strategically positioned to provide effective coverage.
  • Benefits: Residential sprinkler systems can save lives and minimize property damage in the event of a fire. They are highly effective in controlling fires before they escalate.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance and inspections are essential to ensure the system’s proper functioning.

Residential fire sprinkler systems enhance fire safety in homes. If you have specific questions or need more detailed information about these systems, feel free to ask.

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Residential Sprinkler Case Studies


Ultrasafe Complete Copper Box Project

Here at Ultrasafe, we have completed the design and installation of a cutting-edge Category 3 fire sprinkler system at Liverpool’s Copper Box project. This system adheres to the latest British Standard, BS 9251: 2021, setting out design, installation and testing requirements for these mains-fed residential fire sprinklers.  Copper Box based...

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Fire Suppression Commercial Road Student Accommodation in London

Property Details:  Work began on the 12,000 sq m Commercial Road Student Accommodation scheme last spring and is due for completion in summer this year. Once complete, the development, which neighbours London Metropolitan University, will comprise 417 student rooms with prefabricated bathroom pods and kitchenettes. The accommodation will also include...

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Extra Care Facility Fire Sprinkler in Kent

Property Details: Modern care homes have all the ‘mod cons’ in some cases including Fire Sprinklers. Ultrasafe were asked to install sprinklers as part of the fire strategy, which in turn reduced the staffing levels required. It is important to protect vulnerable people such as those in care homes. Often residents have...

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Residential Sprinkler News


NFCC Urges Government to Strengthen Regulations for Mandatory Sprinklers in England

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has published a position statement today, urging the Government to introduce more robust regulations for mandating fire sprinklers and other automatic water suppression systems (AWSS) in England. Sprinklers in Schools and Care Homes The NFCC is calling on the Government to require that sprinklers...

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The Challenges and Benefits of Retrofitting Fire Sprinklers in Old and Historic Buildings

Retrofitting Fire Sprinklers in Old and Historic Buildings Preserving the architectural legacy of older and historic buildings is a fundamental aspect of cultural heritage. As these structures tell stories of a bygone era, serving as a link between the past and the present. However, these beautiful relics often lack modern...

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Retrofitting fire sprinklers in high-rise blocks

High Rise = High Risk  While there is currently no mandate to retrofit sprinkler systems in existing high-rise buildings, the fire risk remains significant, potentially even greater than in new constructions. High-rise fires pose unique challenges, often being more intricate for responding firefighters compared to fires in typical residential properties....

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Fire Sprinkler Specialists

Southern Office

Ultrasafe, Unit 1 Bowlings Corner, Marley Lane, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0RE

Northern Office

U2 Farriers Court, Horsefair Green, Thorne, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK, DN8 5EE

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