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Fire/Heat Alarms in 2-Storey Flats with Separate Entrances


John Lucas
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Note to Admin: I am not sure if my guest topic was submitted successfully so I have re-posted as a registered user.

Hi

I have 2 flats converted from a converted corner terrace house. As such each flat has a separate entrance and there is no common space between the flats. The property was converted in the early eighties.

The ground floor has it's own entrance to a small hall area, leading to a lounge which access a corridor to the rear of the flat. The corridor leads to the bedroom and kitchen. The kitchen access the rear yard and the bathroom.

The upper flat has it's own entrance, a stairs leads to a landing area from where the two bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen are accessed.

From what I understand I need a heat alarm in each hallway of the flats which must be interlinked and then a smoke alarm in each flat. I have looked at Lacors and the only guidance for a house converted to two flats (D10) is that of one with a common access. In my case of course I have two separate entrances.

I am looking for guidance as to where I should place fire and heat alarms in the properties. Please refer to the attached diagram. Your help is very much appreciated.

Many Thanks

John

flats.png

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Assuming it's not in Scotland then if it's a conversion that would have been in accordance with the Building Regulations as if it was done post 1991 and thus has adequate fire resistance between the two flats then as an absolute minimum they would require what is called an LD3 system where the hallway and any upper/lower landings if on multiple levels require a smoke alarm.

Whilst the alarms should ideally be what is called Grade D i.e. mains powered with a back up power supply (now split into D1 & D2 based on what source the secondary power is) if this is a retrospective upgrade not subject to Building Regulations Grade F i.e. battery only, no back up (again split this year into F1 & F2) would be acceptable but not as robust (there have been fire deaths in houses with Grade F devices due to flat or removed batteries). If more than one is installed they should be interlinked by cable or radio signal

The British Standard for residential fire alarm systems (BS5839-6:2019) recommends a higher level of protection, using Grade D equipment to category LD2 - where in addition to the hallways and landings you have a heat alarm in the kitchen and a smoke alarm in the Living Room, all interlinked

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  • 2 years later...

Hello - fantastic and informative advice.

Just wanted to know as a live in landlord with a self contained flat in my loft conversion what fire safety /alarms do I need - do these have to be mains interlinked or can they be separate battery operated to comply lawfully ?

mank Thanks

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  • 3 weeks later...

It depends which country you are in as different parts of the UK have subtly different requirements.

If your loft conversion into a flat was done legitimately after 1991 then as part of the Building Regulations process it should have had to install the required provision, which is usually Grade D (mains) unless a very old 90's conversion.

If there was nothing at all, then as a landlord in England there would need to be a smoke alarm on each landing/hallway which could (currently) be Grade F (battery only)

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  • 6 months later...
Guest Guest Vee

I'm also a little confused on this issue. A house converted to two flats with a small common entrance leading to two private flats (one up one down). Am I right in thinking, that with an interlinked system when my neighbour burns the toast my alarm will sound too! (Of course his alarm shouldn't go off with burnt toast, but it could)

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7 hours ago, Guest Guest Vee said:

I'm also a little confused on this issue. A house converted to two flats with a small common entrance leading to two private flats (one up one down). Am I right in thinking, that with an interlinked system when my neighbour burns the toast my alarm will sound too! (Of course his alarm shouldn't go off with burnt toast, but it could)

With one system, yes. However there should be two systems, a communal one & an individual flat one.

The common system only needs heat detectors in the flat as it's there to detect fire before it breaks out of the flat and not to save the occupiers of the flat of fire origin, the heat detector will not false alarm from cooking, etc. This avoids every flat being disrupted by false alarms, only genuine ones. (the detectors in this system to any internal common areas would be smoke)

The flats then still need a system to safeguard the occupiers, using smoke alarms - but these aren't linked outside the flat so the only people disturbed by false alarms are in one flat

 

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