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We answer your frequently asked fire safety questions
Understanding fire alarm regulations can be a real headache. Our guide to The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 helps to answer key questions.
Fire Alarms Milton Keynes Do I need a new fire alarm?
Fire Alarms Milton Keynes How do I carry out weekly fire alarm tests?
Fire Alarms Milton Keynes How often should I be having my alarm serviced?
Security Maintenance Oxford
 
 
Our simple guide to the latest UK fire alarm legislation
UK fire alarm regulations form part of The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 - which unless you're a fire safety professional, can be a daunting process. In addition, the UK government recommends that all fire alarm and detection systems should be installed and maintained in accordance with British Standard BS 5839-1.

Securing a property from fire risk can be a daunting process for business owners - whilst the government provides literature on fire alarm regulations and The Regulatory Reform Order 2005, we know that there is often confusion around the exact requirements for businesses.
  "We understand the challenges faced by businesses to comply to fire regulations - with our help you can avoid the pitfalls."
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KNOWLEDGE BASE
What's covered in a fire risk assessment?
If you are responsible for any business premises, warehouse or apartment building, you have a legal obligation to carry out or commission a proper fire risk assessment carried out by a “competent person”.
YOUR LEGAL OBLIGATION
 
Our experts will ensure your security systems are in working order all year round.
 
  • Do I need a fire alarm?
  • Alarm Installation & Servicing
  • Testing & Faults
Do I need a fire system for my business?
Despite the regulatory literature, as a fire safety company of many years’ standing, we know that there is often confusion around the exact requirements of UK fire alarm legislation.
 
STEP 1
Do I need a Fire Alarm?
Fire safety legislation outlines that if an outbreak of fire occurs, it should be easily detected and all occupants of the building can be easily warned. UK fire alarm regulations back-up this statement, stating that all business premises must have 'an appropriate fire detection system'.

However, this does not necessarily apply to all businesses. Not all business require a fire alarm system, but this is only the case if all of the following statements are true.
Your premises are small, simple and single-storey or open-plan
You don't store any high-risk substances, such as chemicals
You don't undertake any high-risk activities, such as cooking
You don't have any vulnerable occupants, such as the very young, elderly or disabled
A fire would be easily spotted if it broke out anywhere in the premises
A shout of 'Fire!' would be easily heard by all occupants
If any of the statements above are false and they do not apply to you business, then you will require a fire alarm system. If you are unsure on the statements above, or have doubts, the decision will be made by your Fire Risk Assessment. The end result of completing such a document should state whether you should or shouldn't install automatic fire detection (conventional or addressable fire alarm).
SPEAK TO OUR TEAM ABOUT A FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT
 
 
 
STEP 2
What type of fire alarm system do I need?
When it comes to fire alarms there are 3 main types of fire alarms known as : conventional, addressable and wireless systems.

Conventional fire alarm
- This will divide your premises into broad zones
- If the alarm is activated the panel will identify the zone where the fire is but not precise
- Most suitable for smaller or in lower risk environments

Addressable fire alarm
- Each device has its own unique address
- If one device is activated then you are told exact where the
fire is
- Suitable fir more larger environments
Wireless fire alarm
- Uses a secure wireless link between each of the sensors
- Works how an addressable fire alarm works
- Suitable for premises which don't want to use a lot of cables
 
 
 
STEP 3
What are fire alarm 'grades' and 'categories'?
Grades
Fire
alarm grades run from A to F with A being the highest grade possible and F being the lowest.

Your more typical residential building can usually meet fire alarm regulations with a system between D-F. A business will need to have a system that complies with UK fire alarm legislation which will require a system from A to F.

Categories
There are 2 different types of categories with category P systems for protecting property and category L systems protecting life.

Which grade and category of a fire alarm will differ depending of the nature of your business. The grade and category of your fire system will be determined during a fire risk assessment.
 
How do I go about installing a fire alarm system?
Despite the regulatory literature, as a fire safety company of many years’ standing, we know that there is often confusion around the exact requirements of UK fire alarm legislation.
 
STEP 1
Who can install a fire alarm?
There are no regulations to say who can install a fire alarm other than the fact that they must be 'competent'. This here means that the person who will be installing the system must:

- understand the different types of fire systems
- be familiar with main manufacturers and models of alarms
- be able to identify which grade & category you will need
- be able to design your fire alarm to meet the legal requirements
- have an understanding of BS 5839
- have knowledge on electrical aspects
 
 
 
STEP 3
Why is fire alarm servicing important?
There are many reasons to suggest why it is important to have you fire alarm serviced and ensure that it is in working order. If the fire alarm is not working then occupants will not be alerted in the event of a fire which could result in loss of life.

The second reason your fire alarm should be serviced is to ensure that false alarms are reduced. Local fire brigades have imposed charges to premises which have a higher number of false alarms.
 
 
 
STEP 2
How often should a fire alarm be serviced?
It is recommended by BS 5839 that a fire alarm system should be services by a competent person every 6 months. This recommendation is all recommended by the government.

It is also recommended that more larger properties have their fire alarms services every 3 months.
 
 
 
 
How do I test a fire alarm system?
Despite the regulatory literature, as a fire safety company of many years’ standing, we know that there is often confusion around the exact requirements of UK fire alarm legislation.
 
STEP 1
What is weekly fire alarm testing and do I have to do it?
Weekly testing is much different to fire alarm servicing as weekly testing is more of a spot check rather than a full check of the system which you would get in a 6 month fire alarm servicing.

A quick spot check will involve you quickly testing that the fire alarm system is working and that there are no issues with the system.
 
 
 
STEP 2
How do you carry out a weekly fire alarm test?
Within a business there will be one or multiple people responsible for carrying out your weekly fire alarm test.

In your weekly test you should activate at least one alarm call poin
t and check that the alarm sounds and the panel receives signal from it.

It is recommended that each week you test a different call point just incase one part of the system has failed.
 
 
 
STEP 3
What should I do if something goes wrong with my fire alarm?
If you happen to notice something wrong with your fire alarm system such as a light saying there is a fault, the you must report with the fire company that installed it (That may be us). This here is because the fire system cannot be considered adequately maintained if there is a fault.

Your fire company should attend your premises within 24 hours at the very latest and should be there within 4 hours should a major fault occur.
 
 
 
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