The new version of the BS9999 standard has now been published.
BS 9999 gives recommendations and guidance on the design, management and use of buildings to achieve reasonable standards of fire safety for all people in and around them. It also provides guidance on the on-going management of fire safety within a building throughout its entire life cycle, including guidance for designers to ensure that the overall design of a building assists and enhances the management of fire safety.
BS9999 is applicable to the design of new buildings, and to alterations, extensions and changes of use of an existing building. It can be used as a tool for assessing existing buildings, although fundamental change in line with the guidelines might well be limited or not practicable. The recommendations and guidance given in the Standard are intended to safeguard the lives of building occupants and fire-fighters. Whilst some of the recommendations and guidance might also assist in the achievement of other fire safety objectives – such as protection of property, the environment, communities and business/service viability – additional measures might be necessary which are outside the scope of the Standard.
So what's new?
BS 9999 has been fully revised to align with current practices, new technology and other parts of the fire safety standards series, namely BS 9990 (published in 2015 – covering non-automatic fire fighting systems such as hydrants and fire mains) and BS 9991 (published in 2015 - covering fire safety design in residential buildings). The new edition of BS 9999 will introduce the following changes:
Inclusion of 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 guidance on voice alarms
- Expansion of fire growth rates table to provide more information
- Removal of content now covered by BS 9991
- General update to take into account new and revised standards published since 2008
The standard also features revised recommendations for:
- Smoke and heat control
- Fire curtain barrier assemblies
- Mechanical ventilation and air-condition systems
- Shopping complexes
- Building exits