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What should my FRA cover?


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Hi all. Quick question if I may. How deep should an FRA go?

Basically, I have had an FRA carried out on my two storey office (mainly admin with a kitchen and canteen). The report seems fairly comprehensive.

I also have a separate company who service my alarm system which includes advice on detectors etc. The company who service my alarm have picked up that I require a 'fire alarm fused spur' to provide a safe method for safely isolating the mains voltage supply to the fire alarm. They also picked up that one or two detectors should be smoke rather than heat, which is presently installed.

Should my Fire Risk Assessment have picked this up or were they only assessing the risk of a fire and the adequacy of the system install, so far as is reasonably practicable. At the time of the inspection, I did not provide the Fire Risk Assessor any information on the means of detection available (no fault of the assessors as he did request this).

Thanks for your help in advance.

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The fire risk assessor bible is The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and article 13 (1) partly says,

Where necessary (whether due to the features of the premises, the activity carried on there, any hazard present or any other relevant circumstances) in order to safeguard the safety of relevant persons, the responsible person must ensure that,

a) the premises are, to the extent that it is appropriate, equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment and with fire detectors and alarms.

So if a fire alarm is necessary the FR assessor would recommend one and if you as the Responsible Person accepted, it would be up to the fire alarm company to design and install it.

A good FR assessor would be also familiar with the appropriate guidance, Offices and shops in your case, which goes a little deeper into fire alarms and installation. He/she would also have a working knowledge of the appropriate British Standard, but not a full technical knowledge that’s up to the fire alarm engineers.

In conclusion I would say as the Responsible Person (RP) you have ultimate responsibility to accept or not the requirements of your competent persons and to select a competent FR assessor and fire alarm engineers. In this case it looks like the original fire alarm engineers have failed in their brief but it could be the BS 5839 has changed since the original installation, without a lot more information and research it is not possible to give a more definitive answer.

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fire-risk-assessment/ .

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