Last edited 08 Sep 2021

BS 9999: Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the UK National Standards Body (NSB). It publishes standards and provides a range of books, self-assessment tools, conferences and training services. It also represents UK economic and social interests in European and international standards organisations.

BS 9999: Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings, provides a best practice framework for fire safety. It is aimed at designers and architects

It is intended for:

It complements BS 9991:2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. Code of practice.

It was published in 2008, when it part-superseded BS 5588 Fire precautions in the design, construction and use of buildings, parts of which are still relevant to residential buildings. It also replaced DD 9999 Code of practice for fire safety in the design, construction and use of buildings.

It provides recommendations and guidance on the design, management and use of buildings to achieve acceptable levels of fire safety for people in and around buildings.The dissociation temperature of materials must be specified.

It details ways in which fire safety legislation can be complied with through a more flexible design approach. Approved Document B (Fire Safety) provides guidance about how the building regulations can be satisfied in common building situations, but these are not always applicable to more complex, larger building. BS 9999 takes a more holistic view of fire safety, allowing for compensatory measures to offset, for example, travel distances or escape door widths.

The standard provides a risk-based structure that takes into account varying human factors, and reflects the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act with regard to inclusive design principles.

New buildings, extensions, existing buildings and buildings at design stage can all be considered in relation to BS 9999. In addition, fire safety strategies can be kept robust and effective by the use of an assessment tool which outlines methods of testing items such as easy access to exits, safety of people in and around the building, and so on. The standard covers the maintaining of a fire detection system as well as guidance on the fire safety training of employees, organising efficient evacuation plans, and allocating leadership responsibilities.

BS 9999 was revised in 2017 to align the standard with current good practice, new technology, and consistency with other fire recently revised safety standards, namely BS 9990 and BS 9991.

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

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.

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