Automatic fire sprinkler systems review of Standard


19 August 2011

Regular reviews of fire protection Standards are required to ensure they remain appropriate and fit for purpose. It is intended that fire protection Standards remain dynamic documents reflecting the challenges and changes experienced by the fire protection industry. Standards New Zealand has started a review of the Standard for Automatic fire sprinkler systems NZS 4541:2007. It is estimated the draft Standard will be released to public comment in mid-2012, with publication of the final Standard in March 2013.

NZS 4541 provides rules for the design, installation, and maintenance of sprinkler systems so that such systems reliably achieve their fire control function. That function is twofold: first, the fire must be controlled within a specified area and secondly, control should be achieved before levels of toxic or irrespirable products of combustion become life threatening.

The last revision to NZS 4541 was published in late 2007 – it is referenced in the Fire Safety and Evacuation of Buildings Regulations 2006 and in Acceptable Solution C/AS1 Fire Safety and F7/AS1 Warning Systems of the Compliance Documents to the New Zealand Building Code, and is used extensively across the fire protection industry.

Standards New Zealand sought feedback from current users in June 2008 on suggestions for improvements to NZS 4541. This feedback was collated and sorted into two types: editorial and technical. The editorial corrections have been addressed through a project to produce Amendment 1 to NZS 4541:2007. Amendment 1 was published in June 2009.

The technical enhancements were kept on file for the next amendment or revision to NZS 4541 along with other public comments that were unable to be addressed during the previous projects. Standards New Zealand's Fire Protection Industry Advisory Group have prioritised a review of NZS 4541 to cover the technical enhancements on file, and the other necessary updates as outlined below.

  • Addressing public and user comments on file.
  • Incorporating provisions for community asset buildings like churches, maraes, and community halls (new normative appendix, approximately 4 pages in length).
  • Review of the seismic requirements using learnings from the Canterbury earthquakes.
  • Updating the provisions for town mains in Part 6 (Water supply).
  • Including a replacement of Part 9 (Extra high hazard system design data).
  • Changes resulting from the formal interpretation requests received on NZS 4541:2007.

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