Fire Alarm Part 6
Servicing of Fire Detection Systems for Domestic Dwellings – Our responsibilities to you
Servicing is in accordance with the ‘British Standards BS5839 – 6:2019+A1:2020 – Fire Detection and fire alarm systems for domestic premises’
In accordance with BS5839-6:2019+A1:2020 clause 23.3p), and to allow TIS to provide a professional & informed service & maintenance of your Fire Safety System, we will need to inspect the original compliance certificate to ascertain the existing grade and category of protection. If the original category of protection is not available TIS will endeavour to identify the original grade & category of system.
Grades of System (BS5839 – 6:2019+A1:2020 Clause 7)
|A fire detection & alarm system in accordance with BS5839-1:2017 with some exceptions.
|Not currently defined.
|A system of fire detectors and alarm sounders (which may be combined in the form of smoke alarms) connected to a common power supply, comprising the normal mains and a standby supply, with central control equipment.|
|A system of one or more mains-powered smoke alarms, each with an integral tamper proof standby supply. (The system may, in addition, incorporate one or more mains-powered heat alarms, each with an integral tamper prrof standby supply).
A system of one or more mains-powered smoke alarms, each with an integral user replaceable standby supply. (The system may, in addition, incorporate one or more mains-powered heat alarms, each with an integral user replaceable standby supply.)
|Grade E||Not currently defined.|
|A system of one or more battery-powered smoke alarms. (The system may, in addition, also incorporate one or more battery-powered heat alarms.) All batteries are tamper proof.
A system of one or more battery-powered smoke alarms. (The system may, in addition, also incorporate one or more battery-powered heat alarms.) All batteries are user replaceable.
Category of System (BS5839 – 6:2019+A1:2020 Clause 8)
|Category LD||(subdivided into 3 systems) – Automatic fire detection & alarm systems intended for the protection of life.|
|A system installed throughout the premises, incorporating detectors in all circulation spaces that form part of the escape routes from the premises, and in all rooms and areas in which fire might start, other than toilets, bathrooms and shower rooms
|A system incorporating detectors in all circulation spaces that form part of the escape routes from the premises, and in all specified rooms or areas that present a high fire risk to occupants
|A system incorporating detectors in all circulation spaces that form part of the escape routes from the premises
|(subdivided into 2 systems) Automatic fire detection systems intended for the protection of property.
|A system installed throughout the premises, incorporating detectors in all rooms and areas in which fire might start, other than toilets, bathrooms and shower rooms
|A system incorporating detectors only in defined rooms or areas of the premises in which the risk of fire to property is judged to warrant their provision|
Routine Testing (BS5839-6:2019+A1:2020 Clause 25)
Routine testing by the user
All Grades of system need to be tested periodically to ensure that there has not been any major failure. This does not require any specialist knowledge, and can normally be carried out, quite easily, by the occupier of the premises, who will, however, need simple instructions in how to do so. These instructions SHOULD have been left with the user upon completion of the installation.
25.2 Recommendations for weekly testing by the user
Grade A systems should be tested every week in accordance with the recommendations of 44.2 & 44.3 of BS5839-1:2017, as identified below.
- 44.2 a) Every week, a manual call point should be operated during normal working hours. It should be confirmed that the control equipment is capable of processing a fire alarm signal and providing an output to fire alarm sounders, and to ensure that the fire alarm signal is correctly received at any ARC to which fire alarm signals are transmitted. It is not necessary to confirm that all fire alarm sounder circuits operate correctly at the time of this test.
- 44.2 b) The weekly test should be carried out at approximately the same time each week; occupants should then be instructed that they should report any instance of poor audibility of the fire alarm signal. In systems with staged alarms incorporating an “Alert” and an “Evacuate” signal, the two signals should be operated, where practicable, sequentially in the order they would occur at the time of a fire (i.e. “Alert” and then “Evacuate”).
- 44.2 c) In premises in which some employees only work during hours other than that at which the fire detection and fire alarm system is normally tested, an additional test(s) should be carried out at least once a month to ensure familiarity of these employees with the fire alarm signal(s).
- 44.2 d) A different manual call point should be used at the time of every weekly test, so that all manual call points in the building are tested in rotation over a prolonged period. There is no maximum limit for this period (e.g. in a system with 150 manual call points, the user will test each manual call point every 150 weeks). The result of the weekly test and the identity of the manual call point used should be recorded in the system logbook.
- 44.2 e) The duration for which any fire alarm signal is given (other than solely at CIE) at the time of the weekly test by the user should be at least 5 s, but should not normally exceed 60 s, so that, in the event of a fire at the time of the weekly test, occupants are warned by the prolonged operation of the fire alarm devices.
- 44.2 f) Voice alarm systems should be tested weekly in accordance with BS 5839-8.
44.3 a) If an automatically started generator is utilised as part of the standby supply then it should be started up once per month by a simulated power failure. An onload test should be completed for a minimum of 1 hour and following the test the fuels levels checked and filled along with the coolant levels.
44.3 b) If vented batteries are used then they should undergo a visual inspection and their connections checked to ensure they are in good condition. Any remedial works should be actioned.
- 44.3 c) All systems, other than Grade A systems, should be tested at least every month. In the case of smoke alarms, heat alarms and multi-sensor fire alarms, this test may be carried out by use of a test button on every alarm installed in the premises. If an alarm has no test button, assistance with testing should be sought from a competent person. In the case of interlinked alarms, the “one alarm, all alarm” feature should be verified. The alarm should be visually inspected and any defects should be noted for action.
- 44.3 d) The occupier should be advised that if the premises have been unoccupied for a period during which the normal and standby supply (if provided) could have failed, they should check immediately on reoccupying the premises that the system has not undergone total power failure.
Inspection and Servicing by Total Integrated Solutions Ltd
BS5839-6:2019+A1:2020 states It is essential that the system is subject to periodic inspection and servicing so that faults are identified, preventive measures can be taken to ensure the continued reliability of the system, false alarm problems are identified and suitably addressed, and the user is made aware of any changes to the building that affect the protection afforded by the system.
Periodic inspection and servicing needs to be carried out by a competent person with specialist knowledge of fire detection and fire alarm systems, including knowledge of the causes of false alarms, sufficient information regarding the system, and adequate access to spares. Competence of a fire alarm servicing organisation can be assured by the use of third party certified organisations, such as BAFE.
The following are required by BS5839-6:2019+A1:2020.
26.2 a) Recommendations for inspection of Grade A systems
Grade A systems should be inspected and serviced at periods not exceeding six months in accordance with the recommendations of Clause 45 of BS 5839-1:2017. A compliant inspection and servicing certificate should be issued.
In houses in multiple occupation, batteries in any radio-linked devices (such as manual call points, automatic detectors and fire alarm devices) should be changed by the servicing organization before the low battery warning condition recommended by 27.2b)3) of BS 5839-1 is likely to be given.
26.2 b) Recommendations for inspection of Grade B & C, D and F systems
These systems should be serviced & maintained in accordance with Table 3 of BS5839-6 and in accordance with the supplier’s instructions. (A copy of BS5839-6 table 3 can be supplied upon request.)
During our visits, the recommendations detailed in section 26.2 b) will be carried out with a percentage of the devices tested. Over our periodic inspection visits, the requirements detailed in section 26.2 will be achieved. Details of the section tested, and percentage of devices will be recorded on the certificate.
26.2 c) Recommendations for inspection of Grade D, E & F systems
The smoke alarms that form Grade D, E & F systems should be cleaned periodically in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
26.2 d) Performance of detectors
Where experience shows that undue deposits of dust or dirt are likely to accumulate, so affecting the performance of the system before detectors are cleaned or changed at the intervals necessary for compliance with the recommendations of 26.2a), 26.2b), or 26.2c), more frequent cleaning or changing of detectors should be carried out.
During our visits, the recommendations detailed in section 26.2 b) to d) will be carried out with a percentage of the devices tested. Over our periodic inspection visits, the requirements detailed in section 26.2 will be achieved. Details of the section tested, and percentage of devices will be recorded on the certificate.
Limitation of false alarms
A system, or device, that continues to false alarms will undoubtedly become annoying to the resident of the property and lead to possible disconnection/removal. To ensure continued satisfactory operation of the alarms TIS recommend that annual inspection, as above, is maintained. TIS will also provide recommendations should we believe the device need replacing due to either end of life or due to repeated false activations.