BS 9999 Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings revised by BSI

BS 9999:2017 Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings – Code of Practice has been updated by the British Standards Institution. The revised standard is intended to outline good practice in order to safeguard the lives of building occupants and firefighters alike.

BS 9999 provides recommendations and guidance on the provision of measures designed to control or otherwise mitigate the effects of fire, including information on business continuity and environmental matters.

The primary objective of the document is to ensure that a reasonable standard of life-safety can be achieved in the event of fire in a given building. The revised standard is applicable to the design of new buildings as well as material alterations, extensions and material change of use involving existing buildings.

BS 9999 has been revised to align the standard with current good practice and new technology and achieve consistency with other recently revised fire safety standards, namely BS 9990 and BS 9991.

The main changes in BS 9999 over the standard it replaces are as follows:

*an inclusion of a flowchart showing the sequential steps in the design process to assist users in the application of the standard

*a revised clause on fire safety management with references to PAS 7

*the inclusion of watermist fire suppression systems

*expansion of the guidance on voice alarms

*expansion of the fire growth rates table to provide more information

The revised standard also features updated recommendations for smoke and heat control, fire curtain barrier assemblies, mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems, shopping complexes and ducting.

Users of this British Standard are likely to work within the design environment associated with a particular construction project governed by legislation, processes, constraints, programmes and deliverables that might vary dependent on premises type and location as well as client and regulatory requirements.

BS 9999 will be of key use to architects, building managers, fire safety engineers, fire risk assessors, building control personnel, Fire and Rescue Service personnel, the installers of fire and smoke alarms, sprinklers and smoke and heat control systems and inspectorates focused on certification and installation schemes.

BS 9999 isn’t applicable to the following types of buildings (which are covered in BS 9991): dwellings (single-family dwelling houses, self-contained flats or maisonettes) and residential accommodation blocks (eg for students or hospital staff) with individual bedrooms and the provision of kitchen/sanitary facilities constructed within a dedicated fire compartment.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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