CCSS is SSAIB, BAFE SP203-1 and ST104 approved for the installation of fire alarm and detection systems and fire-fighting equipment.
Fire alarms provide automatic or manual detection of fire and emergency events as a consequence of the build-up of smoke, heat or carbon monoxide. The legislation now means that most commercial properties and businesses with more than five employees will be required to undertake a Fire Risk Assessment. Therefore, a fire alarm of some description will normally be required.
CCSS offers full design, installation, servicing and reactive maintenance of systems based on BS5839Pt1 and BS5839Pt6.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 may require you to have a fire alarm system to offer early warning of a fire within your premises. The type of system is determined by your fire risk assessor who will consider several factors before recommending you have a fire alarm system installed or upgraded to his recommendations.
These three main options are either an alarm to BS5839pt1 L1-5. P1 or 2 or M:
- L1 provides for Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) to be installed into all areas of a building.
- L2 provides Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) as defined in L3 as well as high risk or hazardous areas.
- L3 Systems give warning of fire at an early enough stage to enable all occupants to escape safely by protecting the escape route and rooms leading immediately off the escape route before the escape routes are impassable due to the presence of fire, smoke or toxic gases.
- L4 systems cover just the escapes routes within a building with AFD
- L5 fire alarm system is usually a custom localised system where the fire risk cannot be satisfactorily covered by categories L1 to L4.
- P1provides for Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) systems to protect the whole building
- P2 provides for Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) systems to protect defined parts of the building only.
- These defined parts of the building may be areas with an extraordinary high fire risk or hazard.
- M systems are very basic and do not require any Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) and will consist of just manual call points and sounders
Servicing, all categories of fire alarm above must be serviced to comply with the requirements of BS5839.
The recommended period between successive inspection and servicing visits should not exceed six months – failure to implement this recommendation will result in the system not being compliant with BS 5839-1, with no allowance for variation.
Because of the specialist nature of the work, inspections are usually contracted out to a fire alarm servicing company, whose competence can be assured by third-party certification.
Your fire alarm system can be integrated with your access control and door entry systems ensuring that doors either open or closed as required to protect your staff and premises. The fire alarm can also signal off-site to alert the fire and rescue services via a monitored output to an alarm monitoring centre.
CCSS will design a fire alarm system based on the recommendations and the design criteria, our design, installation, commissioning and any subsequent maintenance will be 3rd party accredited to BAFE standards ensuring you get the very best fire safety system.
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The RRO is legislation that passes the responsibility for fire safety to the building owner.
If you are an employer, a building owner or are responsible for a building then you have a duty to comply with the RRO. To do this you would need to employ a specialist Fire Risk Assessor who will produce a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) for you. The FRA will highlight certain areas that need to be adhered to in order to comply with the RRO, the FRA should be reviewed every year and copies kept for inspection when required. The rest of this Q&A deal with the fire alarm element of an FRA
Not in every instance, but It is a legal requirement to obtain a Fire Risk Assessment and to act on the recommendations in a timely manner. If you have a building where people work or shop or eat etc. then there is a strong probability that you will need some type of fire alarm system. Your FRA will determine what type of system is needed to protect your building. Failure to comply can result in your building being closed down and a fine or imprisonment
A fire alarm is a combination of equipment combining a fire alarm panel (Control and Indicating Equipment), alarm devices (manual call points), detection devices (smoke, heat, CO2 or multi detectors) and sounders/bells.
The design and use of these systems are governed by a British Standard BS5839pt1. The installation, commissioning and maintenance of these systems should be done by competent* persons.
*Competent person is a person with the relevant current training and experience, and with access to the requisite tools, equipment and information, and capable of carrying out a defined task.
Your FRA should detail what type of fire alarm system or smoke alarms you need, if any? And a BAFE accredited company such as CCSS will be able to offer a design, installation, commissioning and/or maintenance package.
Under BS5839Pt1, 65dBA is required in quiet areas, or in noisy areas 5dBA above the ambient noise. To wake a sleeping person 75 dBA is required at the bedhead. Bear in mind at typical fire door will reduce sound from a sounder by 30dBA. Note: in public areas VAD’s should be considered.
BS5839Pt1 requires systems be tested every week by the user and are serviced at least twice a year by a competent* person/company. A record of all tests weekly and six monthly should be kept in a fire alarm compliance log book.
If your fire alarm goes into alarm and upon investigation there is no fire, you should make sure you record the location of the activation in your fire alarm log book. This can be either the zone number if you have a conventional system or the device number and description if your fire panel is addressable. This is to ensure that your fire alarm maintenance company can monitor the false alarms and take the appropriate action.
British Standard 5839 Pt1 applies to fire alarm systems and recommends that a fire alarm system be serviced at 6 monthly intervals as a minimum. If you fire alarm system is protecting vulnerable people, in an area where there may be vandalism or a higher than normal risk then intervals of only three months may be more pertinent to ensure the fire alarm performs when needed. Not having your fire alarm serviced in line with the recommendations of BS5839 may bring you into contravention of Health and Safety Legislation.
It is important to call your fire alarm maintenance company to investigate the reason for the fault and rectify it as soon as possible.
CCSS will ensure that your compliance to the standards that are relevant to your system(s) are met. They will be able to offer a reactive service 24 hours a day 365 days of the year, they will have the necessary trained personnel to offer advise on how to improve fire safety in your building. All of these competencies are measured against industry approved standards by a third party accreditation body annually and recognised by leading insurers as being the best route to compliance.
No the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order does not apply to domestic premises or any of the following: Construction Sites, ships and hovercraft, mines and offshore Installations, premises occupied solely for the purposes of the armed forces of the Crown, Fields, woods or other land forming part of an agriculture or forestry undertaking but which is not inside a building and is situated away from the undertakings main buildings.
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