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Fire Alarm requirements


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Hi there,

I've had an FRA completed for a residential premises - 4 storey 'townhouse' dwelling converted dwelling into 4 flats. The building has a fully operational fire alarm system, but the assessor has stated:


The fitted alarm system is out of date for the premises.

• There is only 1 SD head in the common parts.

• The premises requires a Grade A LD2 fire alarms system (mixed) compliant with BS5389 pt. 6

• Flats should be fitted with Grade D L3 detection in compliance with BS5389 pt.6


Would this be a legal requirement as I can't see why the existing alarm system is not fit for purpose? Seems like an unneccesary expense for the residents.

Any help welcome!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the response.  The property is a converted townhouse over 4 floors, one of which is a basement flat. Each floor contains a separate flat, and all are served (excl the basement) by a singe internal stairway. A photo of the current fire alarm system is below. Sounders are positioned in the stairway and can be clearly heard in each of the flats. The basement flat has its own sounder. In terms of detection, smoke detection is fitted in all flats (living rooms and bedrooms), but there is nothing in the communal staircase. 


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Guest Petersteaf

Electrically powered locks should return to the unlocked position in all of the following situations.

a. If the fire detection and alarm system operates.
b. If there is loss of power or system error.
c. If the security mechanism override is activated.

b - I presume this means loss of power or system errors on the access control system? And by system error do they mean any fault? loss of communication?
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The assessor is correct in principle, however it may be adequate instead to expand the existing system to provide the correct cover.

Regardless of whether it's done by one system or two separate systems the minimum cover would be (as has been for decades including when this would have been fitted.
- Common system has detection to common stairs and hallway of each flat 

- 85dB at the bedroom doors from a common sounder (usually this means a sounder in each flat but you could always do an audibility test from the existing sounder location to see how loud it is when the  sound gets to the bedroom doors)

- If the common detector in each flat hallway is a heat (usually is but not always) then each flat would need a standalone smoke alarm in the hall.

I'd extend the existing system with a couple of detectors (& if needed sounders) to achieve the physical cover above, which should be cheaper than ripping it all out and starting again. Whilst it isn't then a mixed system it provides the required level of protection - the only difference being an increased false alarm risk due to the common system having smokes in the flats.

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