Building Standards technical handbook 2017: domestic buildings

The Building Standards technical handbooks provide guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and are available in two volumes, domestic buildings and non-domestic buildings. This publication is available in html and also in PDF format (in 'supporting documents' ).

2.13 Fire and rescue service water supply

Mandatory Standard

Standard 2.13

Every building must be provided with a water supply for use by the fire and rescue service.

2.13.0 Introduction

The fire and rescue service should be provided with a water supply to assist with their fire-fighting and rescue operations. This is normally provided from public water mains through fire hydrants or alternative water supplies such as tanks or reservoirs may be provided.

In some cases, the existing water supply may be sufficient and there is no need to provide additional water supplies. Therefore, it is important to consult the fire and rescue service and water authority early in the design process to establish what water supply, if any, should be provided in order to carry out their statutory duties under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 as amended.

Conversions - in the case of conversions, as specified in regulation 4, the building as converted shall meet the requirement of this standard (regulation 12, schedule 6).

2.13.1 Fire and rescue service water supply

Fires in domestic buildings are generally smaller than fires in non-domestic buildings. Domestic building fires are usually contained within the dwelling or other ancillary room or space of fire origin. There may be sufficient water stored in the pumping appliance to fight the fire and carry out rescue operations without the need to connect to a fire hydrant. However there are occasions where the fire has spread or is difficult to contain such as fires in concealed spaces, and additional water supplies will be necessary to replenish the water storage tank on the appliance.

Every domestic building should, where agreed with the fire and rescue service, be provided with a water supply to assist fire-fighting and rescue operations from:

  • a public water supply, or

  • an alternative water supply.

2.13.2 Public water supply

A domestic building should be erected no more than 100m from a fire hydrant. An existing hydrant may be used in agreement with the fire and rescue service. Additional hydrants may be required in those cases where the building has fire mains (see Standard 2.14).

Where a domestic building is being erected more than 100m from an existing fire hydrant, the fire and rescue service should be consulted to establish whether additional fire hydrants are necessary to assist fire-fighting and rescue operations.

Where a new fire hydrant is required, it should be connected to a water service pipe capable of delivering water at a flow rate of 1500 litres per minute, provided by a water main vested in a public water authority or a water supply provided under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, as amended.

A fire hydrant should be clearly indicated by a plate, affixed nearby in a conspicuous position, in accordance with BS 3251:1976.

2.13.3 Alternative water supply

Where no piped water supply is available, or there is insufficient pressure and flow in the water main, or an alternative arrangement is proposed, the alternative source of supply should be considered as appropriate by the fire and rescue service.

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