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vegplot

Wales is the first country in the world where...

sprinklers will be compulsory in all new homes.

I'm not sure whether this is good or bad and how much it will add to build cost and maintenance plus inspection charges (if any).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-12477983no smilies
Cathryn

It might have been passed by the Assembly but there are years and years and oh so many errors away from it being a law.

Must take my work head off and peel potatoes. :)no smilies
Colin & Jan

As a firefighter with 30+ years experience including a number of years in fire safety I can only applaud this decision. Coupled with hard-wired smoke detectors the likelihood of death, injury or destruction of property will be reduced.

Will add a relatively small amount to the build cost and may reduce insurance premiums.

I am currently running in conjunction with others a series of seminars to the care industry and councils on the benefits of domestic sprinklers for vulnerable groups; i.e disabled, aged, care.

Regards
Colinno smilies
jema

http://www.assured-ltd.co.uk/articles/irish-fire-association-warns-of-increase-in-house-fire-deaths/1401/

I'd have to question if the response is proportionate to the problem? There are a lot of bigger risks out there and sprinklers would presumably not save all lives.

Smoke detectors being hardwired on the other hand seems common sense.no smilies
sean

It's not proportionate, or sensible. And I'm not even sure that hard-wiring stuff saves lives, unless it's set to go off if the power supply fails. And let's face it, you'd soon bypass it if your alarms and sprinklers went off every time there was a power cut.no smilies
Cathryn

Umm, did you both miss the post from the firefighter?no smilies
sean

No. It's vested interest nonsense though. It will be reduced. Not by an amount that makes it worth doing.no smilies
Colin & Jan

Any life saved or any property damage reduced has got to be positive. Trust me; I have seen many times the pain caused by the loss of life or general devastation and it isn't something to shout about.

I have no vested interest other than to raise awareness. I do not fit sprinklers, nor do I recommend any companies. Only a few years ago similar resistance and apathy was being shown towards smoke detectors and yet they have saved untold lives.

Hard wired detectors are a far better bet than battery single point detectors as they are linked together, function at all times (because they have a 3-hour battery backup if the power goes down) and can't have their batteries removed or go flat.

Sprinklers operated by heat, therefore will only function if the temperature around the bulb reaches a critical level (approx 75 degrees centigrade). If the fire is caught in its incipient stages only the head/s in the vicinity of the fire will operate; design principles are to control the fire but in may cases the fire will be extinguished.

Regards
Colinno smilies
sean

Any life saved or any property damage reduced has got to be positive.

Regards
Colin


It's positive. It may not be worth it though. A life has a value I'm afraid. I didn't mean to suggest that you had a financial interest.no smilies
earthyvirgo

... and from a totally selfish point of view, will it mean we have to go back to planning for a third time (at 300+ every time), to comply with rules the WAG are voting in?

Perhaps there will be funding to help us, as we certainly haven't got a bottomless bit of money :(

EVno smilies
jema

It is hard to see how applying this measure would not cost hundreds of millions, there has to be more effective ways of saving lives than sprinklers with that kind of money.no smilies
Colin & Jan

I think you will find the legislation is not retrospective and only applies to new builds and the cost of a domestic sprinkler system working from the incoming mains supply is i believe remarkably cheap. In very simple terms plastic pipe and 1 or 2 recessed sprinkler heads in each room.

In new commercial applications the fitting of sprinklers can extend travel distances (from furthest point to final exit) and negate or reduce the requirement for expensive structural fire prevention measures.

Regards
Colinno smilies
sean

Right. How many lives is it going to save? And how much is it going to cost/life saved?no smilies
Colin & Jan

I'm afraid I can't answer your questions and only I wish I could quantify in monetary terms. From my experience it is difficult to put monetary value on a human life.

Regards
Colinno smilies
sean

Try working in medicine then. I'm sorry, but the idea that anything that saves a life is worth doing is nonsense.no smilies
jema

I'd be willing to bet that there would be a whole lot of misery and expense caused by sprinkler systems leaking, going off, or otherwise being a nuisance.no smilies
RichardW

We could save money & lives.


Just ban all cars & motorbikes.no smilies
earthyvirgo

I'd be willing to bet that there would be a whole lot of misery and expense caused by sprinkler systems leaking, going off, or otherwise being a nuisance.


That's were my thoughts were heading Jema.
Insurance claims galore to repair the damage caused by dodgy systems ... oh, no, silly me, there's be a list of certified providers that we have to use to get a system fitted too.

EVno smilies
jema

How about figuring what in houses burns and regulate materials better?

And as I say I have little objection to decent smoke alarms systems being compulsory as that would be in my view only a few quid on the cost of a new home build.

Extensive water systems are a scary prospect, who here has not suffered water damage from poor or old plumbing?no smilies
Colin & Jan

Sorry but there is much misinformation about sprinklers. They don't leak and don't go off by accident, Domestic sprinkler heads are recessed and covered by a thin plastic or metal cover therefore accidental damage is unlikely.

It is likely that insurance premiums will be reduced by fitting a system.

I take your point about 'certified' installers although it is my understanding that plumbers can fir the systems provided they issue a test certificate upon completion. I hope to God there's nothing looming like the solar MCS scheme as I have had a succession of snake oil salesmen visit (at my behest). A bigger bunch of crooks I have yet to meet (with the exception of estate agents). You could generally write what they knew on the back of a very small fag packet.

Regards
Colinno smilies
jema

A plumbing system that will never leak :o

That is something I'd like to hear about!no smilies
JohnB

What about low-impact One Plant Development, and other off grid homes? I can see the safety benefits, but it's adding more complexity to buildings.no smilies vegplot

domestic sprinkler system working from the incoming mains supply is i believe remarkably cheap.

It isn't if you've planned not to have mains water in your new build. It appears that rules and regulations are forcing people to build conventionally to be connected to mains systems and it leaves those who wish to be different, albeit slightly, out on a limb. To me it's just another centralised nanny state limiting peoples right, if there is such a thing, to be different.

As most house fires are caused by forgetfulness and ineptitude of the home owner I question the need to bring in legislation to protect the ignorant from themselves.no smilies
gil

As most house fires are caused by forgetfulness and ineptitude of the home owner I question the need to bring in legislation to protect the ignorant from themselves.

Here in Scotland, there is a strong link between house fires and drinking + cigarettes / chip pans. Especially over the Xmas and Hogmanay period.

If the sprinklers were triggered by smoke rather than heat, it would cause a lot of problems in houses with open fires or woodburners, where you can easily fill the room with smoke if the fire fails to light through lack of updraught.no smilies
RichardW



It isn't if you've planned not to have mains water in your new build. It appears that rules and regulations are forcing people to build conventionally to be connected to mains systems and it leaves those who wish to be different, albeit slightly, out on a limb. To me it's just another centralised nanny state limiting peoples right, if there is such a thing, to be different.



The same applies for mains powered smoke alarms & off griders. Most systems use more power per day than we would ourselves (mainly due to having to run the inverter 24/7). Plus they cant cope with long periods of no power.


We did consider a cheapo sprinkler system. Just run a water pipe in the celling, fit a tee joint & run a small pipe into each room. Squish pipe to give a good spray pattern. Fill end of pipe with some "goo" that will melt at a temperature that you just cant get without a real fire.

In the end I figured that all the plastic domestic plumbing & radiator plumbing would melt & flood the place any way. Unless the PLASTIC main water supply pipe melted first or the electric fails so we have no water pressure any way.no smilies
Shane

As most house fires are caused by forgetfulness and ineptitude of the home owner I question the need to bring in legislation to protect the ignorant from themselves. I thought most were caused by dodgy wiring, actually (closely followed by chip pans, of course)no smilies Shane

Sorry but there is much misinformation about sprinklers. They don't leak and don't go off by accident Hmm - given that part of what I've been doing for the last few months is trying to get a sprinkler system to work properly, I'm strongly inclined to disagree, I'm afraid. There's going to be a lot of wet houses in Wales, in my opinion.no smilies JB

Sorry but there is much misinformation about sprinklers. They don't leak and don't go off by accident

http://www.heraldscotland.com/one-thousand-library-books-damaged-in-flood-caused-by-faulty-sprinkler-system-1.903914no smilies
RichardW

There's going to be a lot of wet houses in Wales, in my opinion.


Which will raise insurance costs not reduce them.no smilies
Shan

Aside from the sprinkler thing no doubt being a nuisance because it would be... I'm really peeved by our har wired smoke alarms. Some bright spark placed one of them right next to the door of our ownstairs shower and the alarm has a propensity for going off when water vapour billows out the room when the door is opened...oh and did I mention that, it is also near the kitchen door, so God forbid you make toast with the kitchen door open... now can you imagine that coupled with a sprinkler? :twisted:no smilies RichardW

VP check THIS out.

It might help.no smilies
earthyvirgo

VP check THIS out.

It might help.

Thanks for squirreling that out Richard.
I'll make sure VP sees it.

EVno smilies
jema

It did occur to me that if a sprinkler system was dry e.g. only air in the pipes until it went off, then maybe as long as there was not a major fault at source, then it would be pretty leak safe, who would care about a leak else where if it activated!
But of course that also implies the system would be all or nothing, your entire house trashed by water.
I have actually had a localised house fire, and the insurance damage would have been a hell of a lot worse if sprinklers had gone off, as it was the fire brigade were able to deal with it, with little more than smoke damage being done... which leads me on to the other point really, smoke would have been the killer, and smoke alarms would have raised the alarm long before sprinklers could have come into play.no smilies
dpack

good kit sprinklers

hard wired smoke/heat detectors well fitted only go off if there is a problemno smilies
RichardW

As quite a lot of domestic fires are still chip pan related (and a lot electric related). Is spraying uncontrolled water on them a good idea?

Having a kitted up fireman deal with it is way different to an automatic sprinkler going off spraying water on the hot oil just as you go past the open kitchen door to get out.

Does a sprinkler system turn off the mains before activating?no smilies
Colin & Jan

The majority of fires are caused by human negligence with a smaller percentage by equipment failure. One of the biggest causes (particularly commercial/industrial) being 'hot works', including cutting, grinding welding etc.

These days the fire & rescue service will seldom enter a property unless there are persons unaccounted for; even then the safety of firefighters takes precedence. One of the reasons the F&RS is reluctant to enter is that modern construction standards and materials make it difficult to predict fire development and travel. With little air flow in a modern building the fire develops, consumes the oxygen and if there is no air flow will die down. The opening of a door or window and the reintroduction of air can produce devastating results.

If 'properly' installed it is rare for a sprinkler system to be activated accidently although there are exceptions to the rule:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS-lgj0jPac

Regards
Colinno smilies
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