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what type of fire alarm

Guest Ricky

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Guest Ricky

Hi All,

I manage an estate agents which is in a building comprising of 3 floors. On the ground floor is one large open office area and on the 2nd and 3rd floors are 3 offices on each floor, leading from a landing area. At present I just have smoke detectors on each landing in the stairwell area and one in the bottom office, is this sufficient, or should I have a full fire alarm system installed? the office is occupied 9-5 mon-sat if this helps.


thanks in advance for any information

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In commercial premises there should be an appropriate electrical fire alarm system complying with BS5839-1 installed unless it is so small alternatives like shouting or a manual gong can be heard throughout the premises.

Being over three floors an electrical system would be required.

As human senses are generally more sensitive than smoke detectors the minimum standard for a fire alarm system is one consisting of manual call points (break glass units) and electronic sounders powered from a central control & indicating panel (A Category 'M' system). This is the legal minimum and is sufficient for most single occupancy premises.

Automatic detection is only required if there is a risk of a fire growing undetected long enough so as to prejudice escape - so all sleeping risk premises will require it, most multi occupancies and others depending on layout and risk. This detection must be part of the main system and not separate (e..g by using domestic smoke alarms). A system with detection for life safety is categorised L1 to L5 depending on the location of the devices.

A fire risk assessment by a competent person would indicate your exact requirements, but in general you don't require much detection, just the manual system.

Should you wish to protect property, this is not covered by fire safety legislation & is a business decision and would involve far more extensive detection coverage and the provision of remote monitoring of the system, far more costly of course!

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