Fire Alarms regulations and standards
Manufacturing Standards for Smoke Alarm Devices
Part 1: Fire detection and fire alarm devices for dwellings
Part 2: Specification for heat alarms
|Fire Detection and Alarm Systems or Buildings - System Design, Installation, Commissioning, Servicing and Maintenance|
|Technical Guidance - document B||Fire Safety Vol.2 (Dwelling houses)|
Fire Safety-Volume 2 – Dwelling Houses Building Regulations- The Requirement
Part B- The Requirement
Part B6-B11 of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations, 2017 provides for Dwelling Houses as follows:
Means of warning and escape in case of fire - B6
A dwelling house shall be so designed and constructed that there are appropriate provisions for the early warning of fire and there are adequate means of escape in case of fire from the dwelling house to a place of safety outside the building, capable of being safely and effectively used.
- From 1997 A Grade D smoke alarm was required in the Hallway, Landing and Kitchen
- From 2006 A Grade D smoke alarm was required in Hallway, Landing, Kitchen and principal living room
- From 2017IS3218:2017 Part 10 for all New build, Refurbishments and Rewires. (Refer to paragraph 10.2.1.1 of the current standard)
IS3218:2017 Part 10
Summary of Key Points
Minimum Requirements for FDAS (Fire Detection Alarm System)
The minimum level of protection for dwelling houses up to three storeys or for any individual apartments/flat or maisonette is Category LD2.
This level of protection is applicable to individual dwellings with no unusual risks, with no floor greater than 200m2. If dwellings of this kind are shared (i.e. not a single family dwelling) it cannot be shared by more than 6 people.
For dwellings larger 200m2, or higher than three storeys, or where the fire risk so warrants, then a Category LD1 installation must be installed in each individual dwelling.
Where the Fire Risk Assessment determines that detectors are to be installed in roof voids/attics or other areas difficult to access for testing or monitoring purposes, then all detectors should have remote control functionality to allow Alarm Testing, Alarm location and Alarm Silence functions to be controlled from one remote control location. Alternatively, a fully monitored Grade A, B or C system must be installed as appropriate (Refer to paragraph 10.2.1.1 of the current standard).
Audibility of Smoke and Heat alarms
Audibility of smoke/heat alarms shall be such that the sound pressure level of a fire alarm signal, if measured at the doorway of each bedroom (with the door open), shall be at least 85dB(A), irrespective of where fire is detected in the dwelling.
The recommendations apply to many dwellings of limited size and with straightforward means of escape. A higher level of sound pressure may be necessary if occupants have hearing impairments or other disabilities. Provision of Visual, Tactile or other alarm signals may be necessary.
Consideration should be given to achieving appropriate sound levels on any external terrace on which persons might become trapped by fire or smoke.
Cables for interconnecting smoke/heat alarms
Any cables suitable for domestic mains wiring are acceptable for interconnecting Grade D devices in dwellings but should be readily distinguishable from other mains cables e.g. by colour coding.
Interconnection may be by radio frequency (RF) or physical cable (H/W)
Routine testing and servicing of smoke and heat alarm systems
Smoke and heat alarms should be tested every week by the user in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. Detection devices should be cleaned periodically in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions. Where the user employs a Service/Maintenance provider to carry out routine testing and servicing, that provider should provide the User a Certificate in accordance with Annex L of the current IS3218:2017 standard.
Existing Multiple-Occupancy Residential Buildings
For existing multiple-occupancy residential buildings where inadequate or no Fire detection and alarm system has been provided then, subject to an adequate risk assessment by a competent person (written communication/consultation with the relevant Local Authoritys’ Fire Authority) radio interconnected smoke and heat alarms each incorporating a ten year battery may be employed in the individual dwellings only.
The location an operational performance of such devices shall comply with all other requirements of Clause 10 of the current IS3218:2017 standard.
In the communal areas an L3X system is required under the IS3218:2017 standard.
Existing dwelling housesFor existing dwelling houses (built prior to the Introduction of Building Regulations which required mains powered interconnected smoke and heat alarms in all new dwellings) where inadequate or no detection and alarm has been provided, radio interconnected smoke and heat alarms, each incorporating a ten year battery may be employed.