The LWF Blog

Fire Safety Engineering for Design – Fire Detection & Alarm Systems Regulations (UK) – Part 131

May 9, 2023 11:16 am

LWF’s Fire Safety Engineering blog series is written for Architects, building designers and others in the construction industry to highlight and promote discussion on all topics around fire engineering. In part 130, LWF looked at how to establish the need for a fire alarm system and which level of coverage is required. In part 131, we discuss local codes and standards and principal guidance documents for fire alarm systems protection.

Where a local code or standard states that a fire alarm is required (or otherwise) it should be noted that the requirement will be to fulfil basic legal requirements, i.e., for life safety purposes in a compliant building. A local code or standard should be viewed as an additional to other requirements.

For example, if a simple but compliant building would not have needed a fire alarm system but the local codes state that one is required, a basic life safety fire alarm system will be required.

If the building is more complex and a risk assessment has been undertaken as per the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the results show that a fire detection and alarm system is required to supplement other fire safety systems, it may be that this will need to be a more comprehensive installation than the basic life safety fire alarm system stated by the local codes.

It would not be acceptable to ignore other requirements and regulations because the local code was satisfied.

The main guidance documents covering the requirement for fire protection in different types of premises in the UK are as follows:

Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document B

Building Standards Technical Handbook February 2023: non-domestic (until June 2023)

Building Standards Technical Handbook June 2023: non-domestic (from June 2023)

Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012: Technical Booklet E: Fire Safety

Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document B: Fire Safety (Wales)

BS 9999: 2017 Fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Code of practice.

BS 9991: 2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. Code of practice.

Risk assessment guidance provided in support of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (not normally used for fire alarm selection in new buildings)

In part 132 of LWF’s series on fire engineering, we will continue to discuss fire alarm systems and associated regulations, codes and standards. 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 since 1986 to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact the LWF office on 0800 410 1130.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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