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Aico TV: Episode 22

28th October 2021 | 2.00 - 3.00 pm

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Changes to BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020

What you need to know about the latest revisions

British Standard BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020 covers specific recommendations for fire alarm systems in all domestic premises and covers both new-build and existing properties. The standard contains a large amount of detail on all aspects relating to the design and installation of fire alarm systems, but one area of it covers the type of alarm to install and the areas of the property to protect.

The Updated Alarm Grades

The changes to BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020 include new grades covering the different types of alarm system, with Grade C being redefined, Grade D being replaced by D1 and D2 and Grade F replaced by F1 and F2.

Grade A

Separate detectors, sounders and central control and indicating equipment with back-up power supply. Equipment must conform to other British Standards (BS EN 54).

Grade C

A system of fire detectors and alarm sounders (which may be combined in the form of smoke alarms) connected to a common power supply, comprising the normal mains and a standby supply, with central control equipment.

Grade D1

A system of one or more mains powered detectors, each with a tamper-proof standby supply consisting of a battery or batteries.

Grade D2

A system of one or more mains powered detectors, each with an integral standby supply consisting of a user-replaceable battery or batteries.

Grade F1

A system of one or more battery powered detectors powered by a tamper-proof primary battery or batteries.

Grade F2

A system of one or more battery powered detectors powered by a user-replaceable primary battery or batteries.

The Category of System

What areas should I protect?

The standard states that the level of protection to the occupants needs to be directly related to the fire risk. However it does list three categories of system to describe the level of protection the systems provide. Where and how many alarms are installed will affect how quickly a fire is detected – generally the higher the category of system the higher the level of protection.

LD1 High Protection

All areas where a fire could start, e.g:

  • Hallways
  • Landings
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Bedrooms
  • Airing Cupboards
  • Meter Cupboards

LD2 - Medium Protection

Escape routes and high risk areas, such as:

  • Hallways
  • Landings
  • Kitchen
  • Living room

LD3 - Minimum Protection

Escape routes, such as:

  • Hallways
  • Landings

Across all Categories, alarms should not be installed within toilets, bathrooms or shower rooms.

Changes to Table 1

Rented

New Build / Existing

Grade D1, LD2D

Grade D1

A system of one or more mains powered detectors, each with a tamper-proof standby supply consisting of a battery or batteries.

Note D:

Heat detectors should be installed in every kitchen. A smoke detector should be installed in the principal habitable room. Where more than one room might be used as the principal habitable room, a smoke detector should be installed in each of these rooms.

Sheltered Housing

Existing

Individual Dwellings – Grade D2 Category  LD2Q

Communal Area – Grade A Category L4/L5

Note Q:

Where sheltered housing is upgraded, electrical work such as a rewire is undertaken, or smoke alarms are replaced a Grade D (D1 or D2), Category LD1 system should be installed.

Sheltered Housing

New / Materially Altered

Individual Dwellings – Grade D2 Category LD1J

Communal Area – Grade A Category L4/L5

Note J:

Detectors may normally be omitted from roof voids unless there are specific significant fire hazards such as gas boilers or electrical equipment for photovoltaic systems.

Self-catering premises or premises with short-term paying guest

New Build/Existing

Grade D1, LD1J

Note J:

Detectors may normally be omitted from roof voids unless there are specific significant fire hazards such as gas boilers or electrical equipment for photovoltaic systems.

House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

Existing (1-2 Storey)

Grade D1, LD2D

Note D:

Heat detectors should be installed in every kitchen. A smoke detector should be installed in the principal habitable room (see 3.28). Where more than one room might be used as the principal habitable room, a smoke detector should be installed in each of these rooms.

Owner Occupied

New Build (2-3 Storey)

Grade D2, LD2D

Grade D2

A system of one or more mains-powered detectors, each with an integral standby supply consisting of a user-replacable battery or batteries.

Note D:

Heat detectors should be installed in every kitchen. A smoke detector should be installed in the principal habitable room. Where more than one room might be used as the principal habitable room, a smoke detector should be installed in each of these rooms.

Testing and Maintenance

There is the addition of new Table 3 for testing and servicing by Grade. The aim of this is to bring clarity and simplicity.

Update Testing Schedule

All systems, other than Grade A systems, should be tested at least every month.
In the case of smoke alarms and any heat alarms, this test may be carried out by use of a test button on each of the smoke alarms, heat alarms and multi-sensor alarms installed in the premises.
If a fire alarm has no test button, assistance with testing should be a sought from a fire service company. In case of linked alarms, the "one alarm, all alarm" feature must be verified. The alarm should be visually inspected, and any defects should be noted for action.

Additional Updates

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Interconnection

Mains powered Carbon Monoxide alarms conforming to BS EN 50291 and installed in compliance with BS EN 50292 may also be interlinked with the fire detection and alarm system if the manufacturer of all the components makes such a recommendation.

Did you know that Aico make Fire and Carbon Monoxide alarm interconnection straight forward?

If you interconnect Aico fire and Carbon Monoxide alarms with an Ei450 Alarm Controller, the Ei450 will tell tenants whether the incident is fire or Carbon Monoxide.

If you interconnect an Aico 3000 Series Carbon Monoxide alarm, the Ei3018, with Aico 3000 Series Fire Alarms using SmartLINK, the whole system will mimic either the fire or Carbon Monoxide sound depending on what incident has occurred.

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