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Fire detection system in pre-1991 converted flat communal hall

Guest Simon J

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Guest Simon J

Hi, I've read lots of the regulations and forums about this kind of thing but as my situation is very specific I thought I'd post here.  Thank you in advance for any advice.

Firstly, let me describe the situation and the current fire detection:

I own a ground floor flat converted from a classic 2 storey terraced Victorian house - literally split in two horizontally to make two flats.  The first floor flat owner and I both own a share of the freehold between us. Both flats are now rented on assured shorthold tenancies.   The conversion was done in 1987 - so before the significant date of 1991.

There is a small communal hallway inside the original exterior front door and that has two internal front doors, one for each flat.  Current fire protection is a battery powered individual smoke alarm inside each flat - so what is called Grade F1 or F2 - and there is also a grade F1 smoke alarm in the communal hallway.

Please note that there is no landlord electricity supply at present in the building, just two individual electricity supplies for each flat.


Having had a fire risk assessment carried out by an external company, I have been informed that under LACORS guidance I need to install:

"Grade D 1: LD2 coverage in the common area and a heat detector in each flat in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route (interlinked); AND Grade D LD3 coverage in each flat (non-interlinked smoke alarm in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route) to protect the sleeping occupants of the flat. Any installations to be completed in accordance with BS 5839:6"

ALSO the independent fire risk assessment states:

"No  landlord electricity supply present. Recommendation/s: In order to provide continuous, uninterrupted power to life safe systems it is recommended to provide a separate landlords electrical supply in order to accommodate such systems as fire alarms and emergency lighting and guarantee adequate power supplies."


Firstly, as the building in question was converted pre-1991 can I consider LACORS just guidance and choose not to follow it?  Likewise, I understand that the BS5839:6 standard doesn't have to be applied retrospectively.

Secondly, if I choose to install a Grade D mains powered fire detection system, is it acceptable to power this off of one of the existing flat electricity supplies? I can't find any reference to this online or in the BS5839:6 guidelines.

What I would like to do is upgrade the existing fire detection system by installing radio interlinked F1 heat detectors and smoke alarms across the two flats and in the communal hallway.

Any thoughts would be welcomed,

Many thanks




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You do not need a dedicated landlord supply as long as pre payment meters aren't used, Part 6 does allow this.

A small building like yours may have sufficient fire resistance to not require a strategy change to evacuate and thus require a common alarm - a small hallway wouldn't require smoke control for stay put either.

Whilst a converted house pre 1991 is likely to require an evacuation strategy and common alarm (including devices into each flat) it's not automatic ,just as it isn't automatic that a post 1991 conversion will always be stay put & no alarm - it depends on the premises and there are both older conversions that can be stay put and newer ones that can't.

Was there any attempt to determine the level of compartmentation in the FRA or was it an automatic assumption it needed the change?

The guidance is applicable to buildings of all ages and has a statutory status where not following it tends to prove a breach of the legislation so it's wise to follow it - if it is being correctly applied to your situation.

Grade F devices would be acceptable as a short term solution with a view to installing the more robust Grade D in due course.


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