Author Topic: Confusion re alarms  (Read 397 times)

Offline PGtips

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Confusion re alarms
« on: June 05, 2019, 10:14:09 AM »
Hi guys - I've been given an FRA for a property converted to flats (no info provided as to when it was converted but its ). One of the questions on the assessment asks " does the installed alarm appear to meet BS5839, to which they've answered "no".

Then there's a comment that says - install new modern system as it was informed on inspection that the alarm has been faulty for some time.

Then they ask - is automatic detection installed into the building and is it sufficient for the design and use to which the building is being put? They again answer "No".   The comments says - the auto detection system should be upgraded or installed to make it appropriate to the layout and use of the building. Install fire detection to BS5839-1 L4 standard.  This seems vague to me and indicates he wants an alarm in common areas (escape route only) which I know to be wrong. No mention of linking into the flats which I would expect if he'd determined that it should be simultaneous evac? and, come to think of it no mention of suitability or otherwise for Stay Put. If anyone could let me know what I'm missing here, that would be great as feeling dim now!

Offline lancsfirepro

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 11:33:32 AM »
The FRA should detail what the fire strategy should be - stay put, immediate evacuation etc.  Assuming the property is of an age/condition that would require immediate evacuation, then a communal alarm system would be required but would be additionally linked into flats.  This would never be to category L4; that's not satisfactory for sleeping accommodation.
If you want guidance for fire safety in various housing scenarios then google "lacors" and have a look through that document.  That would show you what would be expected.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 04:26:25 PM by lancsfirepro »

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 06:58:10 PM »
You aren't missing anything, it's just another worthless FRA!

If it's a not to standard conversion and technically a s257 HMO then as per LACORS it should be a mixed system with the common system including some cover in the flats.

LACORS allows smaller conversions to use Part 6 equipment for the common system so what the assessor may have said was not acceptable actually may be, it's not clear what's actually in there and why it doesn't comply.
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Offline Fraudley

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 10:11:31 AM »
I'm assuming all the flats are leasehold.

Offline PGtips

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 10:49:24 AM »
Hi thanks for the info - yes all flats are leasehold. Separate basement flat and flats on G. 1 and 2. Part of substantial Georgian terrace (would have been an amazing house back in the day!)

Offline lyledunn

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2019, 10:29:11 AM »
I wonder if fire risk assessors should be proffering design solutions whilst in assessment mode. His comment seems fair enough in that he has reported a faulty system and has advised that a suitable system is installed for the current use of the premises. Thereafter the fire alarm specialist will be better placed to offer design solutions which, of course, can be done in consultation with the assessor.

Offline AnthonyB

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2019, 10:24:52 PM »
They should if they are any use, they should be familiar with the benchmark requirements for the premises assessed and have the skill to determine if a situation requires additional/different cover.

Leaving it to the installer (who could be of any competency from nothing to excellent) leads to premises with systems that are either inadequately covered or excessively (neither of which are good for the RP).

The designer of the system needs a starting point and that should be the FRA. The fact that the contents of FRA have been dumbed down to a few ticks or generic statements doesn't make it right, it's as if an old fire certificate had no plans or anything just a sheet of paper saying "Acme towers has something that rings, something that squirts and some doors out"
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Offline PGtips

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Re: Confusion re alarms
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 04:18:50 PM »
Thanks all - seems I have just another "sitting on the fence" type assessment....what a way to make a living as they say!