UK fire alarm regulations: which fire alarm regulations apply to your type of property?

Property owners and premises managers are responsibly for taking control of the risk of fire – and implementing fire safety regulations – within the building concerned. Depending on the type of property category the building falls in to (corporate, commercial, residential, or open to the public, for example), the regulations on fire safety do vary. So, let’s take a closer look at the standard fire safety requirements according to property type.

Fire safety regulations in private property: who is responsible for ensuring there’s adequate fire protection on the premises?

Fire detection systems – including fire alarms and smoke alarms – are incredibly important fire safety features for private premises.

As a property owner, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that you’ve installed systems to protect the residents in your property in the event of a fire. You’ll also be responsible for ensuring that these systems comply with the latest fire safety regulations, as well as ensuring that you update your fire safety systems as required, to keep pace with revisions to these standard regulations.

To get started, let’s take a closer look at installation of smoke detectors and fire alarms in private property.

Smoke detectors

It’s advisable to install a smoke detector on every floor of the building, to ensure adequate fire safety protection for all areas of the property.

Remember, smoke detectors are primed for detection of more than just fire smoke: many models will also pick up on toxic gases such as carbon monoxide that could leak into your property in the event of boiler failure, for example.

How do smoke detectors work?

Your smoke detectors will link up to your home fire alarm system.

When the smoke detectors pick up on fumes in the building, they’ll automatically sound the alarm, alerting everyone in the property to the potential emergency situation and allowing them to quickly exit the building.

Who takes charge of making sure that there’s a smoke detector on the premises?

As the owner of private property, you’re responsible for ensuring that there are functional smoke detectors within the building.

If you’re purchasing a new build property, smoke detectors are likely to be physically wired into the walls of the building. If you’re moving into a pre-existing property and notice that there are smoke detectors missing – or you’d simply like to add more smoke detectors into your fire protection system, to reduce the risk posed to personal safety – then you could consider installing wireless smoke detectors.

Wireless fire safety devices – which could be smoke detectors or fire alarms – allow you much more flexibility in terms of installation, as you can place them wherever you like around the property.

This could be especially useful if you’re looking to install smoke detectors or fire alarms in areas of the property that may be more vulnerable to risk of fire – for example close to the kitchen, or next to the boiler room – but traditional wall wiring would make that very difficult to do.

Plus, wireless smoke detectors and fire alarms allow you to choose a DIY approach, rather than having to contract a potentially expensive professional to install your fire safety equipment.

What’s more, if you frequently purchase new private property, you’ll be able to move your wireless fire safety systems – including all smoke detectors and fire alarms – to the new building.

Have you considered installing a Netatmo Smart Smoke Detector in your property? Peace of mind is top of Netatmo’s priorities, so we’ve installed a self-checking function in our Smart Smoke Detector. Plus, it’ll even remind you to test your smoke detector and fire alarm system from time to time, to ensure that, as the property owner, you’re staying compliant with standard building fire safety regulations.

Fire safety regulations in business or public property: who is responsible for ensuring there’s adequate fire protection on the premises?

Business premises and buildings that are open to the public are required to comply with more stringent fire safety regulations than those applied to private property.

The reason for this is that these premises are responsible for ensuring the safety of all persons on-site in the event of a fire-related emergency. Given the volume of people likely to be working in or visiting the property, these fire safety regulations involve higher levels of practical and theoretical planning.

You’re likely to find that these fire regulations require business, commercial and public use premises to install:

  • An integrated fire alarm system, including smoke detectors and siren alarms

Although the smoke detectors will be able to trigger the building’s fire alarm systems automatically, these fire alarms should also be accompanied by clear instructions on how they can be set off manually, should someone within the building need to raise the alarm.

  • Smoke extraction devices situated around the premises

High levels of smoke within the building can impede visibility and make it difficult to breathe. Install smoke extraction devices to aid effective evacuation from the premises and to potentially reduce damage to the building itself.

  • Fire extinguisher devices placed in strategic locations around the building

Fire fighting devices, such as extinguishers, fire blankets and fire hoses, should be situated around the building and accompanied by clear instructions for use, often including pictorial diagrams.

  • Emergency evacuation plans including clear escape routes

Pictorial representations of the escape routes and assembly points can aid effective evacuation in the event of a fire-related emergency. Emergency lighting may also be key, especially in public premises where there’s likely to be low levels of light at the time of the emergency evacuation, such as hotels, cinemas or theatres.

  • Clearly displayed fire safety instructions

These should include clear instructions for using the building’s fire extinguishers – and additional fire fighting equipment – as well as how to contact the emergency services.

Failure to comply with these fire safety regulations may result in the closure of the premises.

Fire safety and insurance policies

Whether you’re looking to install fire prevention and protection devices in private or corporate/commercial property, or buildings that are open for public use, you’ll need to make sure that your fire control systems comply with the regulations outlined by your fire insurance policy.

Should you fail to comply with these regulations, your insurance company may well refuse to pay out in the event of a fire within the property