If you are responsible for Fire safety or are a resident of a high-rise, multi-occupancy property you will be only too aware of the increased awareness of the need for enhanced fire detection and evacuation processes.
The former ‘stay put’ guidance is now regarded as unsafe and has been replaced by a ‘simultaneous evacuation’ strategy.
Many properties have deployed a waking watch service; this is a fire protection service and involves marshals patrolling to lookout for potential signs of a fire. They are also responsible for raising the alarm.
These services are costing property owners and residents thousands of pounds. A Waking Watch service can be replaced by a wireless Fire Detection System. This meets all the required standards and is quickly and easily installed. The total one-off cost of a Fire Detection System can be less than 10 weeks of a Waking Watch service.
Fire alarm systems are designed with one of three considerations at their core, Category M, Category L and Category P.
Category M systems are manual systems that incorporate no automatic fire detectors.
Category L systems are automatic fire detection systems designed for the protection of life; these are normally specified as a result of a fire risk assessment and specific building regulations.
L1Systems installed throughout all areas of the building
L2Systems installed only in defined parts of the building, including all parts necessary to satisfy the recommendations of the code for a Category L3 system. The additional areas protected, over and above those protected in a Category L3 system, are those in which there is either a high likelihood of fire starting or a high risk to life if a fire does start.
L3Systems designed to give warning of fire at an early enough stage to enable all occupants other than, possibly those in the room of fire origin, to escape safely before the escape routes are impassable due to the presence of fire, smoke or toxic gasses. To satisfy this objective, other than in the case of very short corridors, fire detectors need to be installed in all rooms or areas that open into the escape routes.
L4Systems installed within those parts of the escape routes comprising circulation areas and circulation spaces, such as corridors and stairways.
L5Systems in which the protected area(s) and/or the location of detectors is designed to satisfy a specific fire safety objective (other than that of a Category L1, L2, L3 or L4 systems).
Category P systems are automatic fire detection systems intended for the protection of property.
P1Systems installed throughout all areas of the building
P2Systems installed only in defined parts of the building.