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Fire Alarm

Guest Paul

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We have rented a building on a temporary contract, 12 months at a time with the option to take a new 12 months at the end of each term.

The building is two story and does not have a fire alarm.

There are normally four staff and at times two visitors only on site.

Two of the staff have been fire warden trained.


We did a fire risk assessment and identified that we could have a single point manually operated siren on the ground floor, we only use the ground floor.


Last week we had an audit by the landlords insurance company.

They have stated that an alarm system must be installed "without an automatic fire alarm system a fire condition would spread if not detected quickly"


Do we need to have an alarm system?

If yes, is it the landlords responsibility to fit the system?



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Most probably your FRA is acceptable but if the insurance company will not insure without a full fire alarm then they have you by the S & C. Who pays will be up to the your tenancy agreement I think it should be the landlord because you cannot take it with you when you leave and it will remain in his/her ownership. However as the Responsible Person (RP) it is you who have a duty to ensure a means of alerting all the employees/relevant persons is available which leaves you between a rock and a hard place. 

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If you are not using the upper floor and the ground floor area isn't massive such that you can clearly hear the manual alarm throughout it then it would meet the life safety requirements of the Fire Safety Order. Automatic detection would only be needed if a fire could spread unnoticed such that it compromises escape (e.g. an inner room) and an electrical fire alarm system of linked call points, sounders and control panel would only likely be needed if you use both floors.

An insurer is concerned with property protection and loss prevention, which are outside the scope of fire safety legislation (which doesn't care that much if a premises burns down as long as there are no deaths & Injuries) and their requirements have no legal force and are a contractual matter - i.e. they may decline to cover fire loss or may require excess premiums if precautions not to their requirement are not present.

As it's the landlord's insurer and not yours then they should be providing any fixed installation upgrades as you are unlikely to have a lease making you responsible if you aren't also responsible for insurance.

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