Fire alarm regulations form part of ‘The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005’, known as the ‘RRO’.
In addition, the UK government recommends that all fire alarm and detection systems should be installed and maintained in accordance with the relevant British Standard, BS 5839.
Despite the regulatory literature, as a fire safety company of many years’ standing, we know that there is often confusion around the exact requirements of UK fire alarm legislation.
UK fire alarm regulations only state that your fire alarm system must be ‘adequately maintained’, however BS 5839 recommends that a fire alarm system should be inspected by a competent person at least every 6 months and the government recommends following this standard.
In fact, if you work out of large premises, we would recommend a quarterly service, as there are many more components to your fire alarm system, and therefore more opportunities for something to go wrong.
There are 2 main reasons to keep your fire alarm in working order:
1. To alert occupants in the event of fire and so prevent loss of life
2. To prevent false alarms
Whilst the 1st reason may seem obvious, the 2nd reason is less well known.
The fact is that false alarms account for a huge number of fire brigade call-outs. This incurs a lot of expense and, more importantly, could mean that the fire brigade is otherwise occupied when a real emergency arises.
The fire brigade has now imposed charges for call-outs at premises which have a high number of false alarms, as an incentive for businesses to keep their fire alarms better maintained.