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Fire Safety / Re: Retrospective fitting of Evac Alert Systems
« Last post by AnthonyB on July 29, 2021, 08:17:37 PM »
It sounds worryingly like some assessors are mixing up BS8629 evacuation alert systems for fire service use with BS 5839-1 Fire detection & warning systems which are both very different things and shouldn't be combined.

If somewhere if in such a poor state that it needs an evacuate policy then it needs a system capable of detection/activation & warning well before the fire service arrive to manually use an EAS.

It's true that you can reuse parts of a no longer needed BS5839 fire alarm system and reduce the costs of an EAS installation & at least one major manufacturer is marketing this option.

Consultation with the fire service is important - at one HRRB renovation strategy meeting the option of an EAS (albeit pre BS8629 and so based around a BS5839 system and components) was posed as an option - the FRS stated they didn't deem it necessary and wouldn't use it even if it was there (they made some disparaging remarks about a crews ability to know how to use it!). If I get chance to chat with the same team I'll ask if their opinion has changed now the standardised more user friendly EAS kit is around.

The only EAS I've ever come across is very pre-Grenfell in the Cube where a wall full of numbered buttons in the fire control room allows individual flat evacuation. All the new stuff I visit, including stuff still being built hasn't got one.
Fire Safety / Re: Retrospective fitting of Evac Alert Systems
« Last post by PGtips on July 29, 2021, 01:35:29 PM »
Hmm I get the feeling that the recommendation is being put in as an arse covering (excuse my language) exercise.....every building these chaps looked at was recommended to have one without there being any major issues. Even if there were major issues, surely the right approach would be, fix the issues rather than put this in?  Do we know when there is expected to be definitive guidance around this - I dont want to give a bum steer.
Fire Safety / Re: Manual Override
« Last post by Bill J on July 29, 2021, 10:36:13 AM »
I generally recommend one.

The PTE button will be used thousands and thousands of times, and its all good...... until it isn't.

Green BGU, minimum cost, win-win (unless the residents are scroats).

Fire Safety / Re: Retrospective fitting of Evac Alert Systems
« Last post by Bill J on July 29, 2021, 10:32:13 AM »
I am getting requests to design BS8629 systems all over the place at the moment - normally with the caveat that they are to be a temporary fire alarm system to reduce waking watch and then repurposed to an Evacuation system to BS8629 afterwards, leaving the detection in to benefit the occupants.

That is easy, and is instantly fodder for the wastepaper bin, as it is clearly a waste of time and a knee jerk reaction from people who are unaware of the requirements.

However In regards to recommending them as part of a FRA, I would refer to 4.2b of the standard, which states:

....any proposal to install an evacuation alert system for use by the fire and rescue service should be subject to consultation with the fire and rescue service before proceeding with the design of the system. 

As I say, I am getting requests to design them, but truth be known, I rarely do. I wish I could charge for not doing stuff!

Fire Safety / Re: Retrospective fitting of Evac Alert Systems
« Last post by AnthonyB on July 28, 2021, 08:44:26 PM »
Hopefully the new guidance on the way will help clarify this!

What reasons are they giving for the requirement - very few things are automatically retrospective and whilst there is no statutory bar to improving/modernising fire precautions any more it should be based on risk on a case by case basis.

The RP is the RP so it's ultimately up to them as they carry the can. Whilst in a perfect world every FRA would be spot on so that not complying with an action (as oppose to a best practice recommendation) would clearly leave a breach, but in reality it's not always the case - some things can be technically a legal requirement based on guidance but the risk from non compliance so low that no one would be harmed and it would never be prosecuted; other things can be correct, but the solution offered only one of many and maybe not the most appropriate; somethings completely excessive to the point the benefit added tails off considerably;  of course the opposite applies with some things that should be mentioned.

It's dangerous to generalise, so don't take this any other than as a discussion point but in an existing legacy stay put that has no outstanding major issues affecting that policy and thus retains no alarm (or detection without sounders for smoke control) what is the likelihood of an occurrence requiring evacuation beyond the flat/floor of origin and what are the consequences of it not being there and the fire service having to doorknock?

Fire Safety / Re: Retrospective fitting of Evac Alert Systems
« Last post by colin todd on July 28, 2021, 06:57:02 PM »
How long have you got?
Fire Safety / Manual Override
« Last post by DanHenry on July 28, 2021, 06:00:33 PM »
Hi all,

OK so small block of flats, stay put policy, single stair, single exit. The exit door has recently been upgraded to a 'intercom' system. Residents leaving the building press a 'press to exit' button. The door fails safe if electricity goes down. No communal alarm system.

My question is does this need a 'green box' manual override?

Purpose built guidance states "In some situations (including mixed commercial and residential buildings), it might be necessary to consider the provision of suitable override controls in accordance with BS 7273-4".

Fire Safety / Retrospective fitting of Evac Alert Systems
« Last post by PGtips on July 28, 2021, 04:56:40 PM »
Hi all - I was wondering if anyone else is getting FRA recommendations to retro fit Evac Alert systems in purpose built flats with no significant issues. The cost to retro fit is eye watering (and of course the residents will end up paying) wondering is there's a common view or stance out there?  Also - what about new builds, I've seen quite a few over the last few months that haven't got this system so planners and building control clearly are not bothered. My concern is, if they are not specified at the beginning, and then a fire risk assessor recommends putting one in - where would the RP stand if he ignored it as unnecessary. Do F&RS want these in all tall residentials now?  Appreciate there are a lot of questions here chaps! ;D
Fire Safety / Re: Retrospective Fire Strategy for High Risk Block of Flats
« Last post by AnthonyB on July 16, 2021, 08:16:32 PM »
True, but it's a weird way of doing it - if the passive people didn't want it their quote would have been crazy (seen this before) if they did their consultant is doing themselves any favours by pricing out the strategy side as it risks the client simply cutting them both out and finding a less picky passive firm.

Trying to overprice work you don't work does sometimes backfire & whilst is ultimately a nice earner when it does the job is usually such a pain you wish you'd simply declined to tender!
Have you considered that that don?t actually want the work. They quote a ridiculous price thinking that you won?t ask them to do the work. If you do?. Well. 
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