Life Safety FAQ's

WHAT IS THE REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER 2005 AND WHY WAS IT IMPLEMENTED?

The UK Government is committed to regulating only where necessary and in a way that is more suited to the needs of modern business. That is why the order was made, under the Regulatory Reform Act 2001.

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WHERE DOES THE REGULATORY REFORM (FIRE SAFETY) ORDER 2005 APPLY AND WHAT ARE THE MAIN RULES UNDER THE ORDER?

The order applies to virtually all premises and covers nearly every type of building, structure and open space. For example, it applies to:

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WHAT STANDARDS SHOULD A FIRE ALARM SYSTEM BE DESIGNED/INSTALLED AGAINST?

In August 2017, the British Standards Institution (BSI) revised the British Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems in commercial buildings. The current version is BS5839-1:2017.

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WHAT IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A FIRE DETECTION AND ALARM SYSTEM?

There is no predetermined or fixed lifetime for a fire detection and alarm system as this will depend on the technology used and the environment at the site. In general control and indication equipment, power supplies, manual call points and heat detectors have a long life expectancy, while other forms of detection will have a limited life expectancy.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NON-ADDRESSABLE AND ADDRESSABLE SYSTEM?

In non-addressable systems, detectors are hard wired into a circuit or zone. They signal fire or fault conditions to a control panel by changing from a high to low impedance (resistance). The panel detects this impedance change by current monitoring and identifies the zone. Individual detectors cannot be identified.

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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DETECTOR AND WHERE ARE THEY BEST USED?

The key to a reliable, robust fire alarm system is having the right detector in the right place. If the system is too sensitive, it will generate unwanted alarms and if it is not sensitive enough, will no protect what it needs to.

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HOW OFTEN SHOULD A FIRE ALARM BE SERVICED?

Regular servicing and maintenance is an important part of limiting the false alarms that may occur on a system.

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