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Guest Anthony

Fire alarm system Retail Unit who's responsibility?

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Guest Anthony

Hi all, 

Recently purchased a building with 3 retail units on the ground floor and 2 flats above spread over the 1st floor. All are accessed by their individual entrances with no communal area/stairwell. 

One of the retail units the hairdressers does not have any fire detection (she said the hairdryers and steam used to set off the smoke/heat alarms she used to put up in the past).

  1. Is the fire/smoke alarm system the landlord or the commercial tenants responsibility by law in this case?
  2. Do I need to install an interlinked fire alarm system to all the units or will individual unit grade D battery/electrical mains systems suffice (with there being no communal stairwell/area there would be nowhere for the control panel of say a grade a ld2 system to be accessed)

Thanks Anthony

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If there are no common areas then the obligation for legal compliance rests solely with the tenants. Each has to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment (which needs to be recorded if they have a business requiring any sort of license or if part of a company with 5 or more employees even if not all based at that site, or if an Alterations Notice is in force for the premises from the Fire Service) and provide/maintain adequate general fire precautions. Their assessment would have to account for the effects of fire on Relevant Persons including those in the flat above - if there is adequate fire compartmentation between the shop & flat then their obligations are met, otherwise there may be a need for a fire detection system in the shop linked to alarm sounders or work to upgrade the compartmentation.

Again, if there are suitable party walls between each unit then they don't need a linked alarm and just need to consider matters in their individual units. Any fire alarm system in the units (if needed, small units don't always need one) would need to be to BS5839-1 and at least Category M (manual call points) as Graded fire alarms to BS5839-6 are only for domestic premises

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