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Do we need such a comprehensive fire alarm system?

Guest Kelly

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We are a small office with just 8 employees. We are in a one room open plan office (1232 sq ft) where in the centre along one wall there is a toilet a separate toilet/shower and a small kitchenette. There are 2 fire exits. There is also a self contained flat above (converted house).

We have recently had an assessment done, and they have stated that we need a fire alarm and emergency lighting fitted. They have quoted BS 5839-1:2013 and BS 5266-1:2011.

The quotes that we have received are very expensive, and as a small company, we just cannot afford it at this present time and to be honest we feel that this is a little bit of over the top for our needs!

We have been advised that we can install smoke/heat detectors and have torches for emergency lighting as a temporary measure which we are more than happy to do.

Our question is therefore, do we really need a full alarm? or will the smoke detectors etc suffice. The RRFSO 2005 is a bit woolly and does not state categorically and the standards I cannot access without paying for them!

Any help will be gratefully received.

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Check out the guide for offices, at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-risk-assessment-offices-and-shops page 20 item 3.4.1 Fire-detection and warning systems. You will need to consider the self-contained flat above you because at night when your premises will be empty, a fire could jeopardise their escape and they may need to be warned. Also check out 3.4.4 Emergency escape lighting page 26 you may not need emergency escape lighting.

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