fire alarms

UK fire safety legislation requires that 'adequate' means for the detection and warning of fire must be provided in all workplaces and other 'non-domestic' properties.

In small buildings where there are no sub-divisions and exits can be easily seen, it may be appropriate to simply rely on people to 'detect' a fire and give a verbal warning to others. This would also depend on ambient noise levels being low enough to ensure that everyone could hear the verbal warning. Where the building is more complicated, such as where rooms lead off a corridor, or there is more than one floor, then some form of manual or electrical fire alarm would be more appropriate. Even so, it may still be acceptable to rely on people themselves to 'detect' a fire, and activate the fire alarm manually. Apart from a few specific scenarios, or where legislation dictates, it is usually only where people are sleeping that automatic fire detection is necessary.

There are many different types of fire alarms for different scenarios, and it is wise to take professional advice on the type of system required. There are many instances where automatic all singing and dancing systems are installed where it is not necessary and quite often a waste of money, not only on the installation, but on ongoing maintenance and testing.


Designing a fire alarm system is a specialist job and should be carried out by a competent person, with close attention to the prevention of false alarms. Guidance on fire alarms can be found in British Standard 5839-1:2008

Installation can (in theory) be carried by any competent electrical contractor, who should stick strictly to the design specification, however many electrical contractors simply do not understand fire alarms and may well install a system incorrectly.

Following installation, the system should be commissioned by a competent fire alarm engineer.

On completion, the purchaser should be provided with certificates for each of the 3 stages above.

We can provide for design, installation and commissioning of fire alarm systems, along with fire alarm components.

Fire alarm systems should be regularly MAINTAINED & TESTED 

  • A 'periodic inspection and test' should be carried out by a competent fire alarm contractor at periods of no longer than six months; and

  • The user should carry out regular ongoing testing (download free guidance)



Contact us on 0845 644 6515 or 01282 691616 or email





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