BS 9999 and BS 9991

Some may refer to BS 9999 and BS 9991 pointing to BS 8524-1 without taking into account that they were published seven and nine years ago respectively.

A lot has changed since they were published, including Grenfell. Both BS 9999 and BS 9991 are examples of the dangerously out of date guidance that Richard Millet, KC to the Grenfell Inquiry, said was contributory to the Grenfell tragedy.

To blindly follow them in regard to fire curtains could mean getting a product that:

  • Does not comply legally with the requirements of the Construction Products Regulations (for vertical fire curtains, 85% of the market). This is dangerous.
  • Does not have valid third-party certification from a Notified Body (or CAB). This is a significant and unnecessary risk (read, “How valid third-party certification reduces your risk to close to zero”

These two factors in which BS 9999:2017 is dangerously out of date are seen in the first image.

We understand why people refer to the guidance, but it is the overreliance on it – even when dangerously outdated, and sometimes ahead of legal obligations – that is dangerous. This is especially so in the fire curtains industry where some of the poorest products on the market have passed BS 8524-1 (when it was available) and the outdated guidance still ‘guides’ you to it.

The current product standards to use for fire curtains are:
BS EN 16034 for verticals and concertinas
ISO 21524 for horizontal fire curtains

NB. An insightful read, “BS 8524: The old fire curtain standard… that doesn’t do what it says on the tin“,