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Is Your Fire Alarm Meeting Current BS5839-1:2013?

Published 23/06/2017 16:06

Fire Alarm Standards BS5839-1:2013

Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings – Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises.


The above revision to British Standards came into force back in March 2013, and where the result of advances in technology and the outcome of various fire investigations, from care homes in particular. 

What is different and how does this affect you?


A -          The term “Responsible Person” has been replaced with “Premises Management” (to avoid confusion with the meaning of “responsible person” as used in the regulation reform (fire safety) order 2005.

B -          The term “Care Home” has been replaced with “Residential Care Premises”.

C -          The term “Fire Services” has been replaced with “Fire and Rescue Service”.


24 Hour Monitoring and Signalling to an Alarm Receiving Centre.

In residential care premises, facilities should be provided for automatic transmission of alarm signals to an alarm receiving centre.

“Where occupants of a building are going to need assistance from staff to evacuate the building (e.g. in residential care premises and hospitals) the Fire Detection Alarm System should be addressable if the building has facilities for more than ten people to sleep.”


Delay in Signalling and Fire Alarm Signal

The fire alarm should be transmitted to an alarm receiving centre and the fire and rescue service should be summoned to any suspected fire without delay.

“In residential care premises where early extinguishing action by the fire and rescue services is critical to life safety, it is not appropriate to delay the summoning of the fire and rescue services when the fire alarm system operates.”


Zone Plans

A suitable Zone Plan should be provided adjacent to all control indicating equipment. (Unless the control indicating equipment incorporates a suitable display) e.g. an illuminated mimic display.

“Accordingly, it is important that a suitable Zone Plan is provided adjacent to all control indicating equipment (including any repeat control and/or indicating equipment), unless the control indicating equipment incorporates a suitable display (e.g. an illuminated mimic diagram)”.


How Does This Affect You?

As a manager of a residential care home, the changes to legislation affect you more than other types of premises;

          i.          Check you are fully complying

          ii.          Ensure your Maintenance Contractor follows the new Standard

          iii.          Ensure your system is Signalled and Monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre

          iv.          Ensure your Zone Plan is up to date and clearly annotated


What To Do Next?

At CDS our products and services comply with and exceed Bristish Standards.  For a free and no obligation review of your systems, contact our senior surveyors Ken Owens or Brian Hope on 0191 384 0079

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