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Can you use innovative products that don’t fully conform with a Standard?

Yes, as stated on the BSI website:

‘Standards aren’t the same as regulations and following a standard doesn’t guarantee that you’re within the relevant laws...there are usually ways of being compliant with legislation without using a standard.’

Yes, Regulation 7 and Approved Document 7 states in Section 1:

1.1 ...Approved documents refer to materials covered by harmonised European product standards, British Standards and other technical specifications. However, there is no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an approved document in order to meet functional requirements; the references are not exclusive and other materials may be suitable in the particular circumstances.

1.7 If the declared performance of a product is suitable for its intended use, the building control body should not prohibit or impede the use of the product.

Yes, as per BS 0:2016, ‘A standard for standards - Principles of standardization’ published by BSi, clause 9:

'British Standards are voluntary in that there is no obligation to apply them or comply with them...They are tools devised for the convenience of those who wish to use them.’

Yes, Approved Document B (Volume 1, 2019 edition, page i) specifically provides for the use of non-standard systems, explaining that:

‘because the approved documents cannot cater for all circumstances, variations and innovations.… Where the guidance in the approved document has not been followed… the person carrying out building works should demonstrate that the requirements of the regulations have been complied with by some other acceptable means or method.’

We have created a document providing further information on using innovative fire products.