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Steveo

BS5839-6 in commercial premises

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I notice some commercial premises fitted with domestic type (BS5839-6) smoke alarms, surely this is not acceptable from an insurance prospective? 

I can understand if a FRA deems it low risk, say in a small open plan shop and deemed an early warning device such as the above would be acceptable or can they simply not be used in a commercial premises.

Thank you for your advice.

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In theory anything is possible with risk assessment, but it goes against all the various guidance and standards.

The problem is that if a premises is big enough to need an electrical fire alarm it must start off as a manual system, a principle going back well over 60 years, so you need manual call points - after all, humans make very good detectors which is why today in many types of building there is still no requirement for any detection (it's mostly there for property).

If you have only the pt6 detectors and you find a fire in it's early stages before they sound (not improbable) you have no way of raising the alarm other than waiting until it grows enough to trigger the detector. And even then you will only alert the room that already knows there is a fire unless you have interlinked all the alarms - you see plenty of buildings with single station grade F smoke alarms (which are outright illegal in workplaces as they only have one power supply).

If a shout or similar cannot be heard throughout the whole workplace then you need an electrical fire alarm system to BS5839-1 with manual call points and sounders and then layer on detection if required.

I'll accept a grade D smoke alarm in a building (with an adequate part 1 system) if it's purely for an inner room situation or in buildings too small to need call points, but will still prefer a proper system in time.

They often get put in by electricians and fit out teams that don't do much commercial stuff and don't really understand the rules & rationales and by responsible persons who also don't understand... 

 

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