New guidance on fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings

Press release - 14 October 2008

BSI British Standards has published a new standard that gives recommendations and guidance on the design, management and use of buildings to achieve an acceptable level of fire safety for all people in and around buildings. BS 9999 Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings.

The standard builds on government guidance to legislative requirements, providing an advanced approach to fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. It promotes a more flexible approach to fire safety design through use of structured risk-based design where designers can take account of varying human factors. The guidance on means of escape for disabled people (in respect of both design and management) is greatly expanded within BS 9999 from that in DD 9999 to reflect the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act and the principles of inclusive design.

BS 9999 is applicable in the design of new buildings, and to alterations, extensions and changes to the use of an existing building, with the exception of individual homes and with limited applicability in the case of certain specialist buildings The standard provides guidance on fire safety throughout the entire lifecycle of the building, including guidance for designers to ensure that the overall building design enhances the management of fire safety.

BS 9999 is presented as a coordinated package covering the four main areas that influence fire safety measures:

  • Fire safety management
  • The provisions of means of escape
  • The structural protection of escape facilities and the structural stability of the building in the event of a fire
  • The provision of access and facilities for fire-fighting

BS 9999 will supersede DD 9999, and the entire BS 5588 series (with the exception of
BS 5588-1), which will be withdrawn on 6 April 2009.

David Smith, Chairman of the BSI committee that drafted BS 9999, said, “BS 9999 is a major step forward in the provisions for fire safety in buildings. This single consolidated and consistent document replaces a series of standards and makes use of recent research and fire engineering principles in establishing the parameters for fire life safety. It will be of great value to all involved in the design, construction and management of buildings, including architects and engineers, fire safety managers, building managers and those who approve buildings, such as the fire and rescue service, health and safety inspectors and specifiers.”

Speakers from fire and rescue services, construction bodies, disability and accessibility organizations and standards bodies will outline how BS9999 can help improve the effective management of fire safety. The conference workshop, led by David Smith, Chairman of the BSI committee that developed the standard, will offer delegates a hands-on introduction to BS9999.

Attending this conference will benefit anyone responsible for the design, management and use of buildings, including architects and surveyors, facilities managers, building owners, fire and rescue service professionals, building control officers, risk consultants and safety inspectors.