Fire Regulations BS 9252:2021: Backup Power for Sprinkler Systems

The BS 9252:2021 standard, which came into effect on June 30, 2021, introduces significant changes related to fire safety and sprinkler systems. As a landlord or residential building owner, understanding these updates is crucial for ensuring the safety of occupants. Let’s delve into the key aspects of this standard, focusing on backup power requirements for sprinkler systems.

Sprinkler system

Category 4 Sprinkler Systems

The most notable update in BS 9252:2021 is the introduction of a new category of sprinkler systemCategory 4. This category applies to residential and domestic buildings that meet either of the following criteria:

  • Height: Over 18 meters.
  • Storeys: Above 4 storeys, whichever is shorter.

Backup Power Supply

For Category 4 sprinkler systems, compliance involves providing a back-up power supply and automatic changeover functionality. Specifically:

  1. Primary Power Source: The system should be connected to the mains supply as the primary power source.
  2. Secondary Power Source: An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) serves as the secondary power source.
  3. Automatic Transfer Switch: In the event of a mains power failure while the sprinkler system is in use, an automatic transfer switch ensures a seamless transition from mains power to UPS power.

Emergency exit

Importance of Backup Power

Why is backup power critical for sprinkler systems?

  • Emergency Reliability: Most life safety systems, including sprinklers, rely on electricity to operate effectively during emergencies.
  • Risk Mitigation: A drop or fluctuation in power could lead to system failure, jeopardizing lives.
  • Recent Examples: Storms like Arwen highlighted the vulnerability of mains power infrastructure, leaving thousands without power for extended periods. Without backup power, sprinklers would have been rendered ineffective during such outages.

Recommendations for Building Owners

  1. New Constructions: While the amendment to BS 9252:2021 applies primarily to new constructions, it is recommended that existing buildings also update their sprinkler systems.
  2. Retrofitting: Consider retrofitting existing infrastructure with UPS systems to ensure uninterrupted power supply for sprinklers.
  3. Here at Critical Power Supplies we specialise in retrofitting UPS and central power supply systems (CPSS) into existing buildings.

Remember, adhering to safety regulations like BS 9252:2021 is essential for keeping residents safe in the event of a fire. Backup power ensures that sprinkler systems remain operational, protecting lives and property.

To find out more speak to one of our specialist: Call 0800 088 5107