FQA - Fire Questions Answered

Fire Alarm and Detection Systems

There are no sounders in the communal TV room and lounge in our supported housing premises. Is this against regulations?

Fire detection requirements - I am looking for guidance for small buildings about the need for a fire alarm, as I am involved with small shops and offices in many locations and our fire alarm contractors seem to be giving expensive advice. I have been recommended a radio system for a two storey shop employing four people (cost £2500 plus VAT) and a hard wired system for another similar building. Do you know of a book, leaflet or similar guidance document?

Is there a legal requirement to install smoke detectors in flats? Fire Risk Assessments relate to the common areas, but within the property, where do we stand with regards to having to install smoke detectors – is it a legal requirement or best practice?

End user weekly testing - I manage a mixed new build residential/commercial estate with 300 residential units, car park and few offices. My enquiry is related to fire alarm testing best practice. Can we test the fire alarm on the same day and same time each week or is it recommended to carry out the testing on different days and times each week? Thank you.

Must all premises have an electric fire alarm system?

Can you please help clarify a couple of points to me.

In general, when are blocks of flats or converted houses recommended to install a fire alarm?

And what about smoke detection?

In general I'm assessing buildings with small common parts with 3-6 flats per block. Your advise is appreciated.

I would like to know whether it is compulsory for an office premises to have a fire alarm or smoke alarms.

I work for a company offering facilities management consultancy, but are not fire safety experts. Please can you tell me if there's a recommended operational life of a standard optical smoke head? I have a client with a number of 10 year old smoke heads, but I don't know enough to say they should or shouldn't replace them, even though I feel they should.

Could you shed some definitive light on the following matter with regard to fire risk assessment in the common/communal areas of purpose built flats please?

Is the requirement for a fire detection and alarm system in the common/communal area of purpose built blocks of flats removed if sufficient passive compartmentation can be achieved throughout the building and how would any maintenance or cleaning operatives be warned of a fire if they were working in those areas?

Could you shed some definitive light on the following matter with regard to fire risk assessment in the common/communal areas of purpose built flats please?

Is there requirement for smoke/heat detection in a basement below flats which has solid concrete floors and walls with no service penetrations through floors, walls or ceilings and if there is a requirement would it need hard wiring and sounders fitted across the property?

Would a sprinkler system in a large single storey warehouse eliminate the need for automatic detection? Factory work being carried out including a wood shop, metal shop, plastics, spray booth, assembly area. Work carried out 24/7, only call points and sounders at present.

Fire alarms in joint industrial units

I work in an industrial unit which forms part of larger industrial unit i.e. One building two separate users with totally separate entrances /exits and fire alarm systems. The building is divided by a fire wall, separating the two industrial units.

Hitherto, when the fire alarm sounded in one building it also sounded in the other. Recent renovations have cut the link between each building and now if the fire alarm sounds in one building it does not sound in the other. I am guessing that this is the same for most industrial units.

I believe it is perfectly acceptable to have this arrangement .i.e. each building to be treated as individual buildings with no links in their fire alarms. Can you advise?

Please could you advise if a Landlord of a Commercial Building is responsible for Fire Detection and Alarms in the building and if so to what standard?