The LWF Blog
Fire Engineering Design and Risk Assessment – Fire Alarm Systems in Domestic Premises – Part 9July 29, 2016 9:25 am
In the recent fire engineering design and risk assessment blogs in this series, for those working in the field of architecture and building planning, we have been looking at fire and smoke alarms. In part 8, we moved on from fire alarm systems in commercial premises to those in domestic premises and laid out the various grades of fire alarm system as given in BS 5839-6.
The most suitable grade of fire alarm system for a domestic building can be determined by the level of risk ascertained and discussions with relevant parties – authorities and clients – to establish needs. Once the grade is decided upon, the category must be chosen too and they are laid out as follows:
LD1 A system which is installed in all areas of the property, except bathrooms and toilets.
LD2 A system installed only in the escape routes from the building and in any high-risk areas.
LD3 A system installed only in the escape routes from the building.
PD1 A system installed in all areas, except bathrooms and toilets.
PD2 A system only installed in defined areas or rooms.
The decision upon category should also be made on the basis of a risk assessment which is carried out or requested by the Client. Some of the issues which need consideration include:
1 The requirements of the building’s insurer
2 Whether the property is a single dwelling or multi-use
3 How large or small the property is
4 Are there common escape routes, such as in a block of flats?
5 What type of occupancy is expected? Owner-occupied? Tenancies? Long or Short Term?
While BS 5839 gives plenty of information on fire alarm systems for domestic premises, it is not the only source. NFPA 72 also addresses the protection of domestic premises and it breaks down the categories differently. It talks about the same levels of cover as BS 5839, but the solutions given are more prescriptive and each section relates to a different type of building and occupation, rather than into grades and categories, as in the British Standard.
Some useful links to the mentioned documents follow:
Details of categories of fire alarm system for domestic premises – BS 5839-1:2013 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises
Details of grades of fire alarm system for domestic premises – BS 5839-6:2013 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises
The protection of domestic premises from the point of view of the National Fire Protection Association – NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, 2016 Edition
In part 10 of this series, we will discuss Zoning. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.
Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 020 8668 8663.