Smoke Alarms & Fire Detection Systems for Corporate & Public Sectors - London, Middlesex, UK
Smoke Alarms and Fire Detection Systems are designed to protect life and property by giving an early warning of fire to the occupants of a building.
A pre-planned emergency procedure must be initiated including the summoning of a fire-fighting team and/or emergency services, either manually or automatically via an alarm receiving centre.
All commercial, corporate and public sector buildings (except domestic premises) are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Responsible Person, as defined in the order, has to conduct a fire risk assessment which then decides the appropriate British Standards necessary to provide a suitable and sufficient fire solution for the building.
The enforcement body, the Fire and Rescue Service, publishes guidance documents by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLC) for buildings subject to Fire Safety Regulations (The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005). This is especially important as the legislation does not give any detailed information on the type of system required. The guidance usually indicates appropriate British Standards.
The main standard for Fire Detection & Alarm Systems is BS5839 pt.1: 2013.
British Standard BS5839 pt.1: 2013 defines categories of systems to ensure the design and installation of a fire detection & alarm system meet the principal objectives identified in the fire risk assessment.
The preparation of an emergency plan should involve input from emergency services and insurers to identify areas of primary risk, types risk and expected response times. A specification for the Fire Detection & Alarm System can then be created.
What types of Fire Alarm Systems and Smoke Detectors are available?
Many types of fire detection & smoke alarm systems exist on the market, from basic to the most complex:
Conventional Fire Detection & Alarm Systems
This is a cost-effective solution for small and simple building designs:
- Control panel provides hard-wired detection zones to which conventional detection devices are connected
- Layout and size of zones are governed by the building’s fire compartments and search times for any given zone’s area of coverage
- Specific details and requirements are provided in BS5839 pt.1: 2013
- Conventional systems can provide an economical solution to satisfy a simple emergency plan
Analogue Addressable Fire Detection & Alarm Systems
Analogue Addressable Systems enable every device to be identified by type and location. Each device is allocated an alpha-numeric label or ‘address’, directly related to its physical location. The devices connected to an analogue addressable system provide an analogue value directly related to phenomena sensed within its physical environment.
Control panel benefits include:
- Programmable to take action at pre-set thresholds before a full fire alarm condition is reached
- “Cause and effect” programming allowing any group of inputs from monitoring devices to operate any group of outputs, at different times of the day
- Programmable time delays to allow a full investigation before signalling a full evacuation
- Built-in redundancy, as circuits are cabled in loop configurations with both-way monitoring
- Significant reductions in overall cost of larger installations due to less cabling used
Wireless Fire Detection & Alarm System
Wireless fire detection & alarm systems (similar functionality to the analogue addressable range) have obvious benefits where the installation of cables is difficult, undesirable or simply not possible.
When specifying it is important to conduct a radio survey to ensure proposed systems will be operating within acceptable parameters recommended by the system manufacturer.
Wireless systems typically operate with a battery life expectancy of five to seven years. Battery life can be dramatically effected by distance, signal attenuation and temperature fluctuations / extremes. For continued trouble-free detection, a programme of battery replacement can be implemented during selected service visits.
Hybrid systems can provide the best solution where a proportion of the system can be easily hard wired and the difficult areas served by wireless devices.
Fire Detection & Smoke Alarm System Installations
PEL Services specialise in working with customers to fulfill stringent legal requirements, including fire alarm and smoke detection installations, fire telephone systems and fire extinguishing equipment.
PEL are BAFE and LPCB compliant and hold a 'Certificate of Conformity' to undertake single point responsibility fro services and commissioning of Fire Detection & Alarm Systems, meeting the requirements of LPS1014: Requirements for Certificated Fire Detection and Alarm System Firms, the highest accreditation in the industry.
A really good system will be carefully designed to put safety first, but also minimise potential for false alarms, best-practice we demonstrated when PEL was selected to design and install the Fire Detection and Alarm system at the Building Research Establishment.
The BRE has produced this useful white paper on 'Causes of false alarms in buildings'.
Our FIA trained engineers ensure requirements are met by assigning a qualified technician to be the customer’s first point of contact, guiding them through the design, installation and commissioning stages. Upon project completion our dedicated service department will provide ongoing support for the lifetime of the system.
PEL are BAFE and LPCB compliant and hold a ‘Certificate of Conformity’ to undertake single point responsibility for services and commissioning of Fire Detection & Alarm Systems, meeting the requirements of LPS 1014: Requirements for Certificated Fire Detection and Alarm System Firms, the highest accreditation in the industry.
PEL have helped many customers fulfill their fire protection responsibilities, including: City Academy, Harrow Civic Centre, Oxford Health NHS Trust, NHS Hertfordshire, Housing & Care 21, Cotswold Leisure Centre, Access Self Storage, WH Smith, Hugo Boss, Early Learning Centre, Debenhams, Cranbury College and Lombok.