Fire Detection Systems

The choice of fire detection system depends on the building structure, the purpose and use of the building and also current legislation. In new or altered buildings the enforcement body is the local building control.

All existing buildings, except domestic premises, are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Responsible Person, as defined in the order, has to conduct a fire risk assessment. This FRA will decide the appropriate British standard necessary to provide a suitable and sufficient solution for the premises.

The enforcement body is the Fire and Rescue Service and the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLC) have published a number of guidance documents for premises subject to the RR(FS)O. This is particularly important since none of the legislation gives any detailed information on the type of system required but the guidance usually indicates appropriate British standards.

Before starting, the designer will need to ensure that certain information is available. This may be given in the specification or it may have to be obtained by consultation. As well as the purchaser, there may be a requirement to consult with other interested parties.

Points to consider:

• The type of system required i.e. L1, L2, L3 etc and where appropriate, parts of the premises to be covered.
• The action to be taken in the event of fire.
• Whether other occupants of a multi occupancy building will be affected.
• Whether other work is to be done at the same time. If so then consultation with other contractors may be required.
• A Method of calling the Fire Brigade.
• Whether the type of occupants or activity in the building will require a greater provision of Manual Call Points than normal.
• A likely attendance time of the Fire Brigade.