Smoke Alarms & Fire Systems

Smoke alarms and Fire systems in domestic properties is not covered by BS7671 for electrical regulations as such although ANY electrical wiring in a property is.  So if your smoke alarms are mains supplied then technically they are still part of BS7671 and thus need to be included within any Testing & Inspections or Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs).

Smoke alarms and Fire systems are in fact included within BS5839.  This is a fairly complex set of regulations of which part 6 is for domestic properties which is summarized below;

Types of System

A domestic property most have some level of fire protection – but what types of detectors and system should different types of property have.  Essentially the property is defined by how it is used.  It is a rented property or does the home owner live there or is it an HMO (House in Multiple Occupancy).

The latest version of BS5839(6) states;

Grade A            

Separate detectors, sounders and central control and indicating equipment with back-up power supply that conforms to British Standards BS EN 54.

Grade C           

Separate detectors and sounders that are mains powered with back-up power supply and central control equipment.

Grade D1         

A system of one or more mains powered detectors, each with a tamper‑proof standby supply consisting of a battery or batteries.

Grade D2         

A system of one or more mains-powered detectors, each with an integral standby supply consisting of a user‑replaceable battery or batteries.

Grade F1          

A system of one or more battery-powered detectors powered by a tamper‑proof primary battery or batteries.

Grade F2          

A system of one or more battery-powered detectors powered by a user‑replaceable primary battery or batteries

Grades B and E are no longer defined in BS 5839-6:2019.

Most domestic properties will therefore have Grade D or Grade F systems. 

Categories for fire detection and fire alarm systems : 

With regard to categories, the standard of protection in sheltered housing flats has been increased from Category LD2 to Category LD1, positioning it as a higher potential risk.  To meet LD1 requirements, the installation of a fire detection system is required throughout the premises – this includes all rooms (and circulation areas that form part of the escape routes) except toilets, bathrooms and shower rooms.

The three categories for fire detection and fire alarm systems are listed below and outline where fire detection systems should be installed:

Category LD1 Maximum Protection:

Escape routes, high risk rooms plus all areas where a fire might start

The highest level of protection of all occupants who might occupy the dwelling over the lifetime of the fire detection and fire alarm system. A system installed throughout the premises, incorporating detectors in all circulation areas that form part of the escape routes from the premises, and in all rooms and areas, other than those with negligible sources of ignition, such as toilets, bathrooms and shower rooms.


• Hallway

• Landing

• Living Room

• Kitchen (Heat alarm)

• Bedroom

• Airing / Meter Cupboards

• Loft

• Garage

 

 

 

Category LD2 Additional Protection:

 

Escape routes plus high risk rooms

A system incorporating detectors in all circulation areas that form part of the escape routes from the premises, and in all specified rooms or areas that present a high fire risk to occupants, including any kitchen and the principal habitable room.


• Hallway

• Landing

• Living Room

• Kitchen (Heat alarm)

 

 

Category LD3 Minimum Protection:

 

Escape routes only

A system incorporating detectors in all circulation areas that form part of the escape routes from the premises.


• Hallway

• Landing


Note: This minimum category now only applies to owner occupied bungalow, flat, single-storey unit or maisonette with no floor level above 4.5m from ground level or owner-occupied two-storey house.