30 Aug 2019

Smoke alarm requirements to meet Building Regulations

BS 5839 is the key code of practice for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection. BS 5839-6:2019 is the latest standard and categorises different grades and categories of fire detection systems for different types of building. Here, Lumi-Plugin provides an overview for specifying a fire alarm system.


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Fire detection systems are divided into categories that specify the level of protection required.

The categories of protection in sheltered housing flats has under BS; 5839-part 6 :2019 been increased from Category LD2 to Category LD1. The three categories for fire detection and fire alarm systems are listed below and outline where fire detection systems should be installed:

LD1 Maximum Protection – all areas where a fire could start

Alarms in all circulation spaces that form part of escape routes and all areas where a fire might start, but not bathrooms, shower rooms or toilets, such as hallway, landing, living room, kitchen, bedroom, airing/meter cupboards, loft and garage.

LD2 Additional Protection – circulation spaces and high-risk rooms

Alarms in all circulation spaces that form part of escape routes and rooms or areas that present a high fire risk such as hallway, landing, living room and kitchen.

LD3 Minimum Protection – escape routes only

Alarms in all circulation spaces that form part of escape routes such as hallway and landing.

Additional guidance

• Latest recommendations are that optical smoke alarms, or multi-sensor fire alarms featuring an optical sensor, are used in circulation areas

• Heat alarms should be installed in kitchens

• Interconnected alarms to be installed throughout a property, through hard-wiring or wireless connections

There are six grades of system:

Grade A – Separate detectors, sounders and central control indicating equipment with back-up power supply that conforms to BS EN 54.

Grade C – Separate detectors and sounders that are mains powered with back-up power supply and central control equipment.

Grade D1 – System of one or more mains powered detectors, each with a tamper proof standby supply battery.

Grade D2 – System of one or more mains-powered detectors, each with an integral standby supply of a replaceable battery.

Grade F1 – System of one or more battery-powered detectors powered by a tamper proof primary battery.

Grade F2 – A system of one or more battery-powered detectors powered by a replaceable primary battery.

Use these grades when designing fire alarm systems in domestic properties. Smoke alarm positioning to meet Building Regulations vary throughout the UK.

Please refer to:

• England and Wales – Building Regulations Document B

• Scotland – Fire Technical Handbook – Domestic

• Northern Ireland – Technical Handbook E

Lumi-Plugin is a revolutionary lighting system that combines LED lighting with various plugins such as concealed sprinkler systems, smoke alarms, heat alarms, CO alarms, PIR sensors and/or emergency lighting. This unique product is designed to not only save lives but simplify and streamline your interior design.

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