Building owners, is your building BS 9999 compliant?

As a commercial building owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your building is BS 9999 compliant.

Building owners, is your building BS 9999 compliant?

As a commercial building owner or manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your building is BS 9999 compliant. BS 9999 is a code of practice for fire safety in the design, management, and use of buildings, and compliance with this standard is crucial to ensure the safety of occupants in case of fire.

BS 9999 provides guidance on fire safety measures that should be taken in buildings to ensure the safety of occupants, including the use of fire-resistant materials, fire detection and alarm systems, and means of escape. The standard also provides guidance on the maintenance of fire safety measures and the management of fire safety risks.

One aspect of fire safety in commercial buildings that often goes overlooked is the maintenance of fire dampers within ventilation systems. Fire dampers are designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke through ductwork, and they play a critical role in ensuring the safety of building occupants. However, if fire dampers are not properly maintained and tested, they may not function properly in the event of a fire, not only endangering life, but also your premises.

To comply with BS 9999, building owners and managers must ensure that fire dampers are installed in accordance with the guidance and that they are maintained and tested annually. This includes ensuring that fire dampers are accessible for inspection, cleaning, and testing and that they are labelled with their location and function.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) provides guidance on the maintenance and testing of fire dampers through its BESA TR19® standard and technical bulletin VH001. BESA TR19® recommends that fire dampers be tested annually and that a record of the testing be kept for at least five years. In addition, BESA TR19® provides guidance on the cleaning of ventilation systems to prevent the build-up of debris that could impair the function of fire dampers.

It’s important to note that as a building owner or manager, you are legally liable for the consequences of not being compliant with BS 9999 and BESA TR19®. The consequences of not being compliant can be severe, both in terms of the safety of building occupants and the legal liability of building owners and managers. In the event of a fire, failure to comply with BS 9999 can result in serious injury or even death to occupants leaving you facing legal action if their building is found to be non-compliant, which can result in fines, legal costs, and irreparable reputational damage.

To ensure that your building is compliant with BS 9999 and BESA TR19®, it’s recommended that you engage a competent contractor with experience in the maintenance and testing of fire dampers along with ventilation systems. Your chosen contractor should be able to provide documentation of the maintenance and testing, including any defects found and the actions taken to address them.

If you’re bogged down with compliance matters, there’s a solution. At System Hygienics, we have introduced our Complete Ventilation Compliance (CVC) package, which helps you to ensure you meet responsibilities for keeping your building compliant whilst maintaining the validity of your insurance.

Our extensive experience means we can offer risk-based analysis for every unique project, in-line with the needs and size of your building. As required, a team of our comprehensively trained engineers complete a full audit of your business to analyse how compliant you are against the standards that apply to you. We will provide a comprehensive report of the audit and, where necessary valuable suggestions for work required to achieve complete compliance. We will also offer a preferential rate for those who choose System Hygienics to carry out any remedial works that are required.

For more information about our CVC package, get in touch at info@systemhygienics.co.uk or call us on 01323 481 170.