The minimum standard of protection recommended for new dwellings in BS 5839-6: 2004 is that smoke fire alarms should be provided within the circulation areas (i.e. hallways and landings) of most single-family dwellings and small houses with multiple occupancy (HMOs). In addition, heat alarms should be provided in the kitchen and the principal habitable room, e.g. lounge.
Furthermore, the Standard recommends that smoke alarms and heat alarms installed within new single-family dwellings and small HMOs are mains powered with, in addition, a standard power supply in the form of a battery or capacitor.
Interconnection should be provided between the alarms so that all devices give a warning if smoke or a fire is detected.
Types of fire alarm systems
There are six grades of fire detection and alarm system within the Standard, which identify the equipment incorporated. Grades A, B and C are systems that include fire detectors, alarm devices and central control equipment. Grades D and E are mains-powered smoke alarm systems, whilst a Grade F system includes a battery-powered smoke alarm.
With regards to fire detection and alarm systems in dwellings, attention is drawn to the relevant requirements of national building regulations and, in the case of small HMOs, to the relevant housing legislation.