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To a greater or lesser degree almost all commercial buildings or buildings where people work or live/sleep will have a fire alarm detection system which will need to comply to the current British Standards (BS 5839 Part 1 2017) and, now have some semblance of approval from the buildings insurance provider.
Commercial fire alarm/detection systems fall into 3 basis categories M L & P, these being Manual, Life and Property, as shown on the brief guidance notes below:
The systems designations SHOULD come from your Fire Risk Assessment as this gives the general direction of the levels of protection and safety required.
The system should in some circumstances be approved by either insurance provider or building control officer if issues of cover or building regulations may apply.
The system can in some circumstances be wireless and an approved (EN54 Part 25) system can be used subject to a successful propagation test to ascertain signal strength and interference.
Since the introduction of the RRO in 2006, is has been expected that to demonstrate competence ALL fire alarm and life safety systems – design installation and ongoing maintenance are undertaken only by those who can demonstrate a fit and proper approach ie BAFE.
Fire alarm and Life Safety surveys can be provided by Veritas along with certified designs to meet the requirements of your risk assessment – or indeed a risk assessment undertaken by us and then a certified design proposed and drawn up.
Since 2013 it has been a requirement to facilitate the needs of persons within a building where a special needs provision is required, be this staff, visitors or residents of the building, thus EN54 Part 23 makes a direct request on the design and certification for a life safety systems to accommodate any special needs provision outlined in either the risk assessment or the fire strategy.
Issues such as photosensitive epilepsy, vertigo and colour blindness, as well as the more obvious physical disability issues must be addressed to ensure that in the event of a fire condition persons who may be less able to react and/or self evacuate can be aware of the situation around them.
Subsequent to this, additional disability provision maybe required with Refuge and Voice systems, WC areas and also life and escalators, these will usually also require enhanced and improved emergency escape lighting to accommodate any SN provision
To find out more about Fire Alarm Design and requirements download any of the documents below:
Disability Discrimination Act 1985 (DDA) 2010 Disability & Equalities Act
Part 6 residential detectors
Within residential areas and specifically within communal living sites (apartment blocks – high rise and the like) there is a mandatory requirement for detectors under BS 5839 Part 6 with an LD certification.
Principal supplier of the non-commercial product is Aico.
Testing Heat Detectors – TestFire