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Smoke alarms in self-contained flats

Guest FergTren

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Guest 2 flat house

Hello , I'm currently upgrading the smoke detection system in a house converted into 2 flats ( both separate levels ) into a hard wired system , the flats share a front door entrance with the light in the entrance ( hallway ) being supplied from the downstairs flat , so i am initially taking the supply from there for the system . Do both flats need to be interlinked in this situation ? Andy 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Richard

I am a leaseholder of a flat in a 3 storey house in England converted to 7 flats in 1983, 5 of which are let to short term tenants.  We are a Section 257 HMO.  4 flats have their own entrances from outside, the other 3 being entered via a communal staircase.  We have an integrated fire alarm system but only the 3 flats on the staircase have heat detectors and alarm sounders.

I am told that new fire regs in 2019 require us to install integrated heat detectors in the kitchens of all 7 flats.

If this be so, should the 4 flats currently outside the central alarm system not also have integrated heat detectors and alarm sounders? How else will they know if there is a fire in one of the other flats?

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Are you in Scotland?

That's the only area where there has been a change to the law. 

In the rest of the UK the law hasn't changed, only the British Standard for Residential Fire Alarms (BS5839-6:2019), which is not law and not retrospective. The let out flats still only need a Grade F LD3 system (battery only smoke alarm to the hall) although it would be best practice to be Grade D LD2 (mains & battery interlinked, hall, kitchen and principle habitable room) and if you have a rewire you will be upgraded to this standard. Owner occupied can do what they want (including having nothing)

As for your specific situation, the system covering the flats with the common areas as required under s257 remains legal as there is no retrospective requirement to extend. The flats not on the common system should not need including if never on before as the assumption is they are suitably fire separated from the other part of the building so as not to have needed inclusion - they therefore only need self contained detection if let out and strongly advise self contained detection if owner occupied.

Sounds like someone is  trying to make a few quid!

I can't be definitive without seeing the site, but even if (Unlikely) something needs adding it doesn't sound right the way they've said.


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