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BS 9251:2014 Fire sprinkler systems for domestic and residential occupancies- Code of practice


The British Standard details and recommends the design, components, water supplies, commissioning, testing and maintenance of domestic and residential fire sprinkler systems used for life safety purposes to BS9251:2021.

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BS9251:2021 is the British Standard. This is the 3rd version of this standard, originally published in 2005 then reviewed and amended in 2014 and 2021 with help from members of the fire service and players in the industry.

Category of System and key requirements 

Each type of occupancy has different requirements regarding the design, installation and the servicing of fire sprinkler systems. The types of properties covered vary on size and type of resident and therefore are split into risk categories. These categories range from 1-3.

Category of System Description of building/occupancy


Single family dwellings such as: (A)

·         Individual dwelling house

·         Individual flat

·         Individual maisonette

·         Transportable home

Houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) – (A) (B)

Bed and breakfast accommodation (A) (B)

Boarding houses (A) (B)

Blocks of flats 18 m or less in height and with a maximum total floor area of 2 400 m2 (A) (C)


Blocks of flats greater than 18 m in height (D)

Small residential care premises with ten residents or fewer

Sheltered and extra care housing (D)


Residential care premises with more than ten residents

Dormitories (e.g. attached to educational establishments)



(A) If any of these buildings permanently house vulnerable people, this should be considered in determining the building category.

(B) Buildings with more than two floors and five or more lettable bedrooms should be treated ad Cat 2.

(C) Where fire strategy requires the communal rooms and corridors to be sprinkler protected, or where the total floor area is greater than 2 400 m2, then the building should be treated as Cat 2.

(D) Where the fire strategy requires the communal rooms and corridors to be sprinkler protected, then the building should be treated as Cat 3.   


Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Minimum flow rate

60 Lpm

130 Lpm

240 Lpm

Static Pressure

3 bar

4.5 bar

6 bar

Effective stored water

1m3 – 1.5m3

3m3 – 4.5m3

6m3 – 9m3



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