British Standards in Fire Alarm Installation

British standards in Fire Alarm installation

British standards in Fire Alarm installation – In order to ensure all tradesmen are working to one industry agreed standard, the government introduced British Standards in 1903. These are a set of detailed technical instructions on how to carry out a particular process and there are currently 31,000 standards in many different industry sectors. They are designed to ensure there is a simple, safe and effective process in place that people can repeat in the same way time and time again. The British Standards are not legally binding in themselves, but if a law refers to certain British Standards, they may become compulsory within that sector.

One area where they have several British Standards is the fire alarm installation process.  Installing a fire alarm can prevent deaths by ensuring early detection which allows the occupants to have time to escape the building.  However the fire alarms need to be installed correctly otherwise poor workmanship could cause fatalities. The BSI has guidelines for fire alarm installation in new buildings and existing properties from domestic to large corporations. The type of people who would refer to the British Standards would be:

  • Designers
  • Architects
  • Fire brigades
  • Local government
  • Housing association
  • Electrical contractors
  • Surveyors
  • Builders
  • Fire alarm installers

The common British Standards most fire alarm installation companies will use are detailed below. There is a brief overview – click on any BS to get more information.

BS 5839-1:2002+Amendment 2:2008

British Standards in Fire Alarm Installation

This British Standard is from 2002 and had an amendment added in 2008. This standard is around £250 and is for the ‘Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings’. This code of practice is for the system design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire alarm systems in non-residential buildings.  It covers:

  • fire extinguishing equipment
  • smoke control
  • automated door release
  • other critical safety measures.

BS 5839-6:2004
This 2004 British Standard is just under £220 and is the residential version of the ‘Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings’. This is the code of practice for the design, installation and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in dwellings and it specifies:

  • How to do an accurate fire risk assessment
  • Alarm system components
  • Circuit monitoring
  • Different types of fire detector
  • How to position them
  • How to use fire alarms for the hard of hearing and deaf
  • Electric wiring of systems
  • Power supplies
  • Maintenance

BS 5839-8:2008
This British Standard is just over £200 and was introduced as new technology changed the way fire alarms could be used. This still covers ‘Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings’. However, the code of practice is slightly different as it is for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of voice alarm systems. These voice alarm systems give out speech or warning tones for the hard of hearing and deaf.  The syllabus covers the types of voice alarm systems on the market, recommendations on the use of them and a new rewritten section that reflects the new European standards.

BS EN 54-20:2006
This British Standard is just over £200 and details the technical information for aspirating smoke detectors and their requirements, test methods and performance criteria for use in fire detection and fire alarm systems.  This is a very specific British Standard for how aspirating smoke detectors are used in a very specific way.

If you would like to know more, why not join our Fire Alarm Installation course?  Our course covers all the key points you need for fire alarm installation and explores the British Standards for our industry. For more information on our comprehensive fire alarm installation course, contact us for details or to book a place on our next available course.