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Topic Title: Fire Alarm systems
Topic Summary: Determining the choice of fire alarm system
Created On: 30 April 2013 11:44 AM
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 30 April 2013 11:44 AM
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adammid

Posts: 66
Joined: 02 November 2010

Can anyone help me with what considerations would determine the choice of a fire alarm system for a university building?

I am not designing the system but would like an idea of what aspects must be considered by the designer/ installer. Many thanks
 30 April 2013 12:00 PM
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rocknroll

Posts: 8837
Joined: 03 October 2005

Originally posted by: adammid

Can anyone help me with what considerations would determine the choice of a fire alarm system for a university building?

I am not designing the system but would like an idea of what aspects must be considered by the designer/ installer. Many thanks


The choice of fire alarm system depends on the building structure, the purpose and use of the building and current legislation. In new or altered buildings the enforcement body is the local building control, and the relevant guidance is explained in section new or altered buildings below **. All existing buildings except domestic premises are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Responsible Person, as defined in the order, has to conduct a fire risk assessment. This FRA will decided the appropriate British standard necessary to provide a suitable and sufficient solution for the premises. The enforcement body is the Fire and Rescue Service and the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have published a number of guidance documents for premises subject to the RR(FS)O. This is particularly important since none of the legislation gives any detailed information on the type of system required but the guidance usually indicates appropriate British standards.

Hope this helps.

Further information;
http://www.gov.uk/government/o...ocuments-for-business


and; **

http://www.firesafe.org.uk/fir...or-altered-buildings/



regards

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"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
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"Oh! The drama of it all."
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"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
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Edited: 30 April 2013 at 12:09 PM by rocknroll
 30 April 2013 12:07 PM
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adammid

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Many thanks for the info. Much appreciated
 30 April 2013 12:08 PM
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adammid

Posts: 66
Joined: 02 November 2010

Many thanks for the info. Much appreciated

Where part does BS5839 play?
 30 April 2013 12:17 PM
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Parsley

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The designer will need to understand what the FA system is trying to protect (life or property or both).

Enforcing authorties and the insurance company will need to be liaised with to ensure the system meets their requirements.

The buildings fire strategy will need to be understood, how does evacuation work is a two stage alarm required etc?

Do any other building services need to be interlinked?

L2 category is what I see on most performance specs for this sort of job.

Regards
 30 April 2013 01:31 PM
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OMS

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Joined: 23 March 2004

BS 5839, Part 1:2013 states:

BS 5839 provides recommendations for the planning, design, installation,commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in and around buildings, other than domestic premises. It does not recommend whether or not a fire detection and fire alarm system should be installed in any given premises.


and:

The need for a fire detection and fire alarm system in any specific building will normally be determined by the authority responsible for enforcing fire safety legislation in that building and/or by a fire risk assessment carried out by the owner, landlord, occupier(s) or employer(s), as appropriate. In general, it is appropriate to install some form of fire detection and fire alarm system in virtually all buildings, other than very small premises that are relatively open-planned so that any fire will be quickly detected by occupants, who will be able to warn others by word of mouth or simple mechanical devices such as hand-operated bells.
Manual fire detection and fire alarm systems are often sufficient to satisfy legislation in workplaces in which no one sleeps. Automatic fire detection is usually required by legislation to supplement the manual system in premises in which people sleep.
Automatic fire detection might also be necessary to satisfy legislation under the following circumstances:
a) where the automatic fire detection forms part of a fire engineering solution;
b) where fire protection systems, such as door closing facilities or smoke control systems, are to be operated automatically in the event of fire;
c) where the low level of occupancy of a building, or part of a building, is such as to create the potential for fire to prejudice means of escape by occupants before they are aware of the fire.

Automatic fire detection is also commonly used to protect property by ensuring the early attendance of the fire and rescue service, in response to summoning by occupants of the building or by transmission of fire alarm signals to an alarm receiving centre
from where the fire and rescue service will be summoned. Automatic fire detection and fire alarm systems might, therefore, be required or recommended by the property insurers.


So - that's the part that BS 5839 play - it's up to the fire risk assesment determinded as a duty under the RRO to determine if a system is needed and what risks need to be addressed.

Universities (in general) are low risk places with alert persons present and no sleeping risk - except for student accomodation which is a sleeping risk.

There are also processes in most universities that are higher than normal risk.

So, a university will almost certainly need a fire alarm system (and will absolutely need one in sleeping accomodation). The grade of system, life and/or property protection, stage or stages of evacuation etc will be defined in BS 5839 as a response to the requirements of the RA - generally on a building by building basis influenced by the fire management strategy and maintenance regime

regards

OMS

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 19 June 2013 01:40 AM
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BenjaminMashman

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Most often, it will depend on the building structure. Anyway, is the problem solved? Feel free to tell us should you have other problems.
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