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Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings: draft for public comment now open

12 July 2018

The British Standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings, BS 5839-6, is being fully revised. The draft Standard is now open for public comment, and the FSA and ECA encourage members to contribute.

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You can access the draft online here. The draft will close on 4 September.

Prinicpal changes

Many of us apply BS 5839-6 when planning, designing, installing, commissioning and maintaining fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises such as those designed to accommodate a single family; houses in multiple occupation and sheltered housing, including both the dwelling units and the common areas.

This is a full revision of the standard, and introduces the following principal changes:

·         Removal of Grade B and Grade E;

·         Subdivision of Grade D and Grade F into Grade D1/Grade D2 and Grade F1/Grade F2, respectively;

·         Revision of Table 1 reflecting the minimum grade and category of fire detection and fire alarm system for protection of life in typical premises;

·         Updating of guidance to take into account the publication of BS 5839-1:2017 and other standards published since the last full revision of BS 5839-6;

·         New table on testing and servicing by grade;

·         New recommendation to prevent blocking or delaying of fire alarm signals transmitted via social alarm systems in sheltered housing to an alarm receiving centre;

·         Increase in the recommended standard of protection in sheltered housing flats from Category LD2 to Category LD1;

·         New recommendations for fire detection in supported housing;

·         New recommendation that communal fire alarm systems should not normally be installed in purpose-built blocks of flats;

·         Revised and expanded recommendations for Grade C.


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