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Help Required - FRA results


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Evening All,

I have just had an FRA for the communal area in our converted house. Its a 4 storey house with 3 flats each sharing an entrance way through the main front door. 

Most of the recommendations are easy to understand but im struggling with the following parts - can anyone offer advice?

Secondly - are these requirements something that has to be done or advisories? Obviously we bought the flat about 10 years ago and none of this ever came up - is it that new or is it just advice?


The electrics cupboard in the hallway requires upgrading to be 30-minutes fire
resisting. It must also be fitted with a lock to lock it shut. It must have combined
intumescent strips / cold smoke seals fitted to any openings / doors. Any gaps / holes
must be fire stopped with fire rated filler / foam. It must comply with BS 476.

The current cupboard is just a wooden box - so I assume we need to buy something else - what do we buy? 


It is unclear if the premises comply fully with the requirements of Building Regulations
1991 or later; it is however unlikely that they do. A certificate must be obtained from the
Local Council Building Control Department if it has not been obtained already. If a
certificate cannot be obtained or the building is found not to comply then a fire alarm
system will be required as stated below. In the Assessors opinion the premises are
unlikely to comply.
• No suitable fire alarm (Domestic single point smoke alarms do not comply with the
requirements) system is installed in the common area. This is not compliant with the
law and a full fire alarm and detection system is required to be installed.
• It must be a Grade A (part 1): M/LD2 system with a manual call point by the final exit,
smoke detection coverage in the common areas and a heat detector / sounder in each
flat in the room / lobby opening on to the escape route (Interlinked).

So given the flats were converted in the 1970's, I would also imagine there is no building regs certificate - but how would I know?

If I need to install a fire alarm - which one? The communal area is a staircase and a front door - nothing else - a full panel based fire alarm with detectors in the flats seems hugely overkill - is there a cut down version for converted flats?


Thanks all

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Pre 1991 conversions from houses (and many done under the radar after then) don't usually have the required upgrade in fire resistance of walls and floors to be safe to stay put and not need a building wide system. Some of course do and the assessor is basically saying you need to prove that the conversion meets at least the 1991 Building Regs guidance (the oldest archive copy for reference is 2000, but it's essentially the same for what you need https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20141202115155/http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_ADB_2000.pdf)

The electrical cupboard can be upgraded or replaced with a simpler solution rather than building a traditional cupboard - suitable products are here:



The official Government guidance (https://www.rla.org.uk/docs/LACORSFSguideApril62009.PDF) states for your size of conversion you need:
Fire detection and alarm system

A mixed system of :

Grade A LD2 coverage in the common areas and a heat alarm in each flat in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route (interlinked); and

Grade D LD3 coverage in each flat (non interlinked smoke alarm in the room/lobby opening onto the escape route) to protect the sleeping occupants of the flat

Grade A systems are the 'commercial' grade with control panel like you see in office and shops; Grade D systems are mains powered domestic smoke alarms with either D1: Sealed cell 10 year life tamperproof back up battery or D2: Standard removable battery back up. D1 is normally required for rental flats and homes, D2 for owner occupied.

Are they requirements? More or less as the common parts are subject to the Fire Safety Order and the whole building subject to the Housing Act and the guidance document referenced would be used by the fire service or the council environmental health housing officers in any audit and enforcement action under either legislation.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi, this is a similar property to mine, Converted building pre 1991 - 3 flats over 3 floors.

Can we install a Grade D Mains wired Smoke Alarm in the communal hallway and then battery powered (non wired) heat alarms in each flat - all 4 devices interlinked ?

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On 16/11/2023 at 13:01, Guest Tom said:

Hi, this is a similar property to mine, Converted building pre 1991 - 3 flats over 3 floors.

Can we install a Grade D Mains wired Smoke Alarm in the communal hallway and then battery powered (non wired) heat alarms in each flat - all 4 devices interlinked ?

No. Grade F (battery only) devices would not be suitable as part of a communal fire alarm system, they are only really acceptable for single dwellings that predate the Building Regs requirement for mains alarms. The system should be a commercial grade system (depending on which Government guide you use either a BS5839-6 Grade A or BS5839-1 system, however from an equipment point of view they are identical, just some design differences) 

There is scope in the outgoing LACORS guide for a communal grade D system (domestic mains powered) but this is usually only for ground and first floor buildings.

None of these requirements are new, they have simply been ignored until Grenfell brought block fire safety to the forefront.

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