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Fire risk Assessments and Fire systems

Guest JScott

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Guest JScott


id just like some advise and opinions on FRA in relation the Fire systems installed on already existing sites not new build etc.


When carrying out a FRA on an existing site/building with a fire system installed should the FRA make reference to the category or grade of system required even as a minimum requirement? or that the current system/ setup is acceptable?


So if i arranged for a FRA to be conducted at a property say a fairly typical 2-3 story commercial office what range of information should be present in the document? ....i have seen some FRA that it might state the system meets BS5839, but that is all no category or any additional information to prove that it does indeed meet BS5839.

Ive had cases where a Fire alarm service company are stating on Maintenance certificates that the category of system is "unknown" as they don't know to which category the system is required to meet so in effect is my certificate valid to BS5839? Is it down to me to inform the maintenance service company of the grade of system that "should" be currently installed at the point of them serving so they can "service" to the Bs5839 category and inform me of any areas of non conformance it terms of coverage etc  or recommendations?

Who should i seek to be advising me on the grade of system that is required on existing buildings that over years have changed owners and most likely changed in use.







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A lot of lazy or under-trained fire risk assessors will just take a yes/no approach to if there is a fire alarm system, despite the mere presence of one not ensuring it is suitable or sufficient.

If the layout of a system meets a category it should be described as such, however some existing systems expanded piecemeal over the years don't meet any (although many fall in between two categories a common one being L4 plus specified additional detector heads) in which case guessing or pushing it into a category is wrong and a simple summary of areas covered is more appropriate.

Plenty of guidance out there on minimum categories for various types of premises, BS5839-1 itself gives a good summary, it's often less than people expect with many places still only requiring manual call points

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