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Fire detector locations in retail outlets

Guest KennyW

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Guest KennyW

Hi I wonder if you could tell me the regulations for the positioning of smoke detection in retail outlets in the UK.
I am currently working on a well known retail company who at present have only call points in the shop floor area, they have absolutely no automatic facilities on the ceilings or voids, which in some cases can be as much as 2 metres between the ceiling grids and the roof.
They only have smoke detectors in the office and warehouse areas.
Should they have smoke detectors in the public shop floor area?. If so where can I find legislation to prove this law

Thanks for your help


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Hello Kenny, you can not find such legislation you seek because it does not exist.

You have been miss-informed about fire alarms.

Fire alarms are put in categories, depending on the use of the area of the building in question determines which category the fire alarm should be installed to comply with.

The most basic is to have manual call points which as you say, the premises you work at has.

Automatic fire alarms (Ones with smoke detectors) are only mandatory if there are or likely to be people sleeping in the building.

That said there is no regulation that says you can not have smoke detectors as well as manual call points. But this then becomes a different category of fire alarm.

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As green-foam has said there is no legislation that tells you how to install a fire alarm system it just says, "the extent that the premises is appropriate, equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment with fire detectors and alarms". It is the fire risk assessment that will decide what is required, the guidance is Offices and shops and BS 5839-1:2013.

Fire safety order http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1541/contents/made check out article 13.

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  • 5 years later...
Guest Guest Tracey

Hi I’m just enquiring wether we need a fire alarm in our retail shop?The building is currently spilt into three .Theres two business on the ground flour and one business that covers both shops . Upstairs has only one exit by stairs .We sublet from next door on the ground floor but the owner of all property is upstairs! Is it our responsibility or the law to fit one ? Many thanks Tracey 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It would all depend on the compartmentation between premises I would suggest you employ a fire risk assessor to conduct a FRA, with the need of a fire alarm top of the list, you would certainly need a fire alarm but which type would depend on the size of the premises.

Your last FRA what did it say about the need of a fire alarm.

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