Fire Alarm

What are the UK legal requirements for fire detection systems?

The UK law requires that all commercial and public buildings have an adequate fire detection system in place. This includes smoke detectors, heat detectors, and manual call points. The specific requirements for the type and placement of these devices are detailed in the BS 5839 code of practice.

Additionally, in certain types of buildings such as HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), a fire detection system may be required by law. The exact requirements depend on the specific building and its intended use, and are often subject to change.

It is important to consult with a qualified electrician or fire safety specialist to ensure that your building meets all legal requirements and is adequately protected from fire.

In the UK, the law on fire detection systems and devices in residential properties is primarily governed by the Building Regulations Part B and the Housing Act 2004.

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Building Regulations Part B requires that all new or materially altered residential properties must have an adequate fire detection and warning system that complies with the applicable standards, such as BS 5839-6:2019 for domestic properties. The regulations specify the type, location, and coverage of fire alarms and smoke detectors, and require that they be interconnected, mains powered with a backup power source, and tested regularly.

The Housing Act 2004 requires that landlords of residential properties must ensure that their properties are safe and free from health hazards. This includes the provision and maintenance of a fire detection and warning system that meets the requirements of the applicable standards, such as BS 5839-6:2019. Landlords must also ensure that the system is in proper working order at the start of a tenancy, and that it is regularly tested and maintained during the tenancy.

In addition to these laws, there are other regulations and guidance documents that provide more detailed requirements and best practices for fire detection systems and devices in residential properties.

Are you ready to get started on your fire alarm project? Conventry Emergency Electrician can help you find the right electrician.

What are the different types of fire detection systems and devices available in the UK?

There are several types of fire detection systems and devices in the UK, including:

Smoke alarms – these are the most common type of fire detection device and use a sensor to detect smoke.

Heat detectors – these detect the temperature in a room and can be more suitable for use in kitchens or other areas where smoke may be present from cooking.

Carbon monoxide detectors – these are designed to detect the presence of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that can be released from gas appliances.

Multi-sensor alarms – these combine smoke and heat detection to provide more comprehensive fire detection.

Sprinkler systems – these can be installed throughout a building and use water to extinguish fires.

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Fire suppression systems – these are designed to detect and suppress fires using chemicals or other extinguishing agents.

Emergency lighting – these are not fire detection systems themselves, but can help people to safely evacuate a building in the event of a fire by providing illumination.

It’s worth noting that the type of fire detection system and device required will depend on factors such as the size and layout of the building, the materials used in its construction, and the type of activities that take place inside.

Are you ready to get started on your fire alarm project? Conventry Emergency Electrician can help you find the right electrician.

What are some common faults and problems that can occur with fire alarm systems?

Some common faults and problems with fire alarm systems include:

False alarms: These can be caused by a variety of factors, such as dust or steam, which can trigger smoke detectors.

Battery failure: If the batteries in a fire alarm system are not replaced regularly, they can fail and the system will not work when it is needed.

Faulty wiring: If the wiring in a fire alarm system is damaged or faulty, the system may not function correctly or at all.

Dirty or damaged detectors: Detectors can become dirty or damaged over time, which can cause them to malfunction or not detect smoke or fire.

Inadequate coverage: If the fire alarm system does not cover all areas of the building, or if detectors are installed in the wrong places, it may not provide adequate warning in the event of a fire.

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Outdated technology: Older fire alarm systems may not be as reliable or effective as newer systems that use advanced technology.

Lack of maintenance: Regular maintenance is important to ensure that a fire alarm system is functioning properly. If maintenance is neglected, the system may not work when it is needed.

Power failure: If a fire alarm system is not connected to a backup power source, it will not function during a power outage.

Are you ready to get started on your fire alarm project? Conventry Emergency Electrician can help you find the right electrician.

How Much Do Fire Alarm Systems Cost?

The below table breaks down the average cost of buying and installing alarms for your home, plus two examples for commercial premises. In residential properties, fire protection is usually provided by smoke alarms and the table gives you the cost of smoke alarms per device and as a total for each home.

PROPERTY TYPE NUMBER/TYPE OF ALARMSESTIMATED SUPPLY COSTLABOUR COSTSTIME REQUIREDTOTAL ESTIMATED COST
1-2 Bed Terraced House 6 Mains Powered£150 to £250 each£200 to £3008 hours£1,100 to £1,800
1-2 Bed Terraced House 6 Battery Powered£25 to £75 each£100 to £1504 hours£250 to £600
3-bed Semi-Detached House 8 Mains Powered£150 to £250 each£250 to £37510 hours£1,575 to £2,375
3-bed Semi-Detached House 8 Battery Powered£25 to £75 each£125 to £1905 hours£325 to £790
4-bed Detached House 10 Mains Powered£150 to £250 each£300 to £45012 hours£1,800 to £2,950
4-bed Detached House 10 Battery Powered£25 to £75 each£150 to £2256 hours£400 to £975
Commercial Premises 15 Mains Powered (6 Zones)£2,000 to £3,000£400 to £6002 days£2,400 to £3,600
Commercial Premises 25 Mains Powered (10 Zones)£3,500 to £4,500£400 to £6002 days£3,900 to £5,100

Prices last reviewed in January 2023.

An average one- to two-bed terraced house with mains-powered fire alarms will cost between £1,100 to £1,800 for supply and installation, while battery-powered fire alarms for the same space will cost between £250 to £600.

Looking next at semi-detached houses with three bedrooms, the total estimated costs for wired fire alarms can cost between £1,575 to £2,375, while battery-powered alarms can cost between £325 to £790.

For larger, four-bed detached homes, the mains-powered fire alarms will cost around £1,800 to £2,950 for supply and installation, while battery-powered alarms will cost between £400 to £975 for supply and installation.

Finally, we’ll look at commercial premises – mains-powered fire alarms for 6 zones can cost between £2,400 to £3,600 for supply and installation, while 25 mains-powered alarms for 10 zones can cost between £3,900 to £5,100 for supply and installation.

Are you ready to get started on your fire alarm project? Conventry Emergency Electrician can help you find the right electrician.