Installing home sprinkler systems

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Installing home sprinkler systems

Home sprinkler systems can be installed by a qualified plumber once the design work has been completed and approved.

Sprinkler system design

  • Home sprinkler systems need to be designed by someone who’s completed a BRANZ, Unitec or an equivalent course in home sprinkler design.
  • Most councils need to see the sprinkler system design before granting building consent for it.
  • Sprinkler heads can be worked into the interior design of a home. They come in a wide range of styles and can also be concealed.

Location

  • Sprinkler heads can be ceiling or wall-mounted.
  • At a minimum, you need to put sprinkler heads in living areas and bedrooms.
  • Check 4517:2010 Fire Sprinkler Systems for Houses to make sure any work done meets national installation standards.   

Water pressure and supply

  • Home sprinklers use ordinary domestic plumbing.
  • Install limiting valves to control high mains water pressure.
  • For homes with low mains pressure, you may need to:
    • install a pump
    • increase the diameter of the water meter
    • increase the diameter of the water pipes from the street mains
    • try a different sprinkler head in order to raise the water pressure to an appropriate level.
  • In rural areas check there is a sufficient guaranteed water supply.
  • Sprinkler systems must be pressure tested upon installation at 1500kPA for 15 minutes. This checks the durability of the pipes, especially if they’re placed in the ceiling.

Keeping the home owner informed

  • Plumbers performing a home sprinkler installation need to inform the home owner of any additional costs or maintenance required.
  • Make sure to give the home owner two spare sprinkler heads for each type of head used. Then if one is damaged in the event of a fire, they can be quickly replaced.

Sprinkler guidelines for other building types