UK Fire Alarm Regulations Guide
December 3rd, 2021
Last updated: October 12th, 2022
If you own or manage a business premises, then it is essential that you take all the necessary steps to ensure fire safety.
There are legal obligations that need to be fulfilled, and in this post, we’re creating a simple guide to UK fire alarm regulations.
It’s important to realise that multiple laws regulate fire safety. They are a part of “The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005”, which is also referred to as the ‘RRO’. It is also recommended that all of your fire alarms and fire detection systems are monitored and maintained in line with British Standard, BS 5839.
Without wanting to scaremonger, not sticking to the standards and fire alarm regulations in the UK can lead to grave consequences. The whole reason that these regulations are in place is to keep people safe. When it comes to fire safety, you really can’t be too careful.
A lot of people are anxious due to the fact that they know they have fire regulations to abide by, but don’t fully understand them. Let’s try to simplify it as much as possible.
Do My Premises Need a Fire Alarm System?
The fire regulations set out what premises need with regards to a fire alarm system. The wording within the regulation says that you need “an appropriate fire detection system”.
Of course, a fire alarm fits the bill. For your own peace of mind, it is a good idea to have a reliable system to detect smoke and fire.
Any businesses where cooking takes place, or there are high-risk chemicals and other substances are stored within, will need a fire alarm system to comply with the law.
You can only decide not to have a fire alarm system if you have a small and simple building, where everyone could hear a shout of “fire” if you need to alert others.
A Fire Risk Assessment
Your risk assessment for fire needs to consider what might happen in the event of a fire. If you don’t already have one, it is strongly recommended that you carry out a risk assessment first.
This can inform whether you need a fire detection system or not. Robinsons Facilities Services can help you to create a fire assessment for your premises in line with regulations.
Fire Alarm Testing Regulations
As well as fire alarm servicing, which is required by law, you also need to perform weekly testing. You don’t need an external company to help you with this. When your system is installed you should receive information regarding how to test the fire alarms properly.
You must do this at least once a week so it makes sense to do it at the same time to help you to keep in routine, and make calendar alerts for your team. Regular testing is needed to ensure you are meeting your responsibilities in line with British Standard BS 5839. Fire officers can investigate this, but more importantly, it means you are helping to keep people safe.
Fire Alarm Installation and Maintenance
UK fire alarm laws and regulations dictate that the system needs to be adequately monitored and maintained. BS 5839 have recommended that this means a minimum of once every six months. Just because this is the “minimum” doesn’t mean you should just stick to the bare minimum. You are more than welcome to get this carried out more frequently for peace of mind.
On top of this, there are other visual inspections and monthly maintenance steps that should be taken with your fire safety systems. For instance, you or your employees can carry out visual inspections of the fire alarm system and ensure that there are no obvious issues. Checking that extinguishers are not obstructed and easily visible in an emergency. You should also check for damage like dents and corrosions, and that the instructions for use are visible and legible.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are sticking to any new fire alarm regulations, but you can get help. Robinsons Facilities Services can install a state-of-the-art fire alarm and detection system, as well as create a risk assessment and schedule to ensure you are legally compliant. You can rest assured that our cost-effective planned maintenance contracts keep your business safe and secure.
If you need any repairs to your fire equipment, we can also supply the parts and perform the necessary repairs to bring your system up to speed. Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out.Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.