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Fire Alarm System Design Guide Page 1 of 5

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The sounder device should give a minimum sound level of
65dB(A) or 5dB(A) above any background noise lasting more
than 30 seconds. It shall operate at 500Hz to 1000Hz.
All systems should have a minimum of 2 sounder circuits

A person searching a zone for a fire should not have to travel


more than 60m to identify the source of a fire. A person should
not have to travel more than 45m to reach a manual call point

For areas where people are sleeping, sounder devices should


produce a minimum of 75dB(A) at the bed-head with all doors
shut. Decibel loss occurs through doors: -20dB(A) through a
normal door, -30dB(A) through a fire door.

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For ceilings that feature an apex: as long as the height of the apex
from the rest of the ceiling is less than 150mm for Heat detectors
or less than 600mm for smoke detectors, then these can be treated
the same as flat ceilings. For higher apexes, a device should be
installed at the highest point. The distance to adjacent devices can
be increased by 1% per 1 degree of the angle of the roof.

Manual Callpoints should be positioned 1.4m (/-200mm) from


floor level (DDA requirements should be taken into account).
Any non-mechanically protected cable medium should have
additional protection up to 2m from floor level.

Heat detector covers 50m2. Should not exceed 3.5m from


any given point. General spacing guidance: 3.5m from a
wall, 7.5m between detectors

Smoke detector covers 100m2. Should not exceed 7.5m


from any point. General spacing guidance: 5m from a wall,
10m between detectors.

Do not site detectors less than 1m from air inlets


or air conditioning units.

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Detectors should not be mounted within 500mm of any


obstruction. If the top of solid partition is less than 300mm
from the ceiling, it should be treated as a wall. Similarly,
ceiling obstructions such as beams should be treated as walls
if they are deeper than 10% of the ceiling height.

Vertical shafts like lifts and stairways should have a detector


mounted within 1.5m of any opening. Enclosed stairways
should have a detector on each main landing.

Voids less than 800mm in height need not have


independent coverage, unless fire or smoke is able to spread
from one area to another through the void or risk
assessment shows an AFP (Automatic Fire Protection) to be
necessary. Obstructions such as beams will lessen coverage.
Beams more than 10% of room height regard as a wall.

Never mount detectors closer than twice


the depth of luminaire.

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The sensing element of a Heat detector (thermistor) should


not be less than 25mm below the ceiling and not greater
than 150mm below the ceiling.

The sensing element of a Smoke detector


should be below 25mm from the ceiling,
but not more than 600mm.

PLEASE NOTE:
All call points must be of the same type to ensure that testing can be
completed.

Approved Document M requires all communal toilets and


bathroom/shower areas to be fitted with flashing beacons.

For more details visit:


www.regulatoryreformorder.org.u

PROPERTY PROTECTION
P1/M Manual call points plus rooms and areas excluding small lobbies and
cupboards plus sounder / strobes outside and Redcare.
P2/M Manual call points plus areas listed on paperwork. When P2/M there is
always a detector sited near the fire panel.

LIFE PROTECTION
L1/M As per P1/M except sounders / strobes outside.
L2/M All escape routes and rooms that lead onto escape route plus specified
areas must be listed. Redcare recommended.
FL3/M All escape routes and rooms that open onto it. Redcare recommended.
L4/M Escape routes plus staircases only.

MANUAL ONLY
TYPE Only call points no detectors
M

These guidelines reflect the main requirements of BS5839.


Channel are pleased to offer a FREE OF CHARGE design
assistance service. Please contact your local sales engineer or
our Petersfield Service Centre for details.

This guide should be read in conjunction with current standards.

DDA - Sounder Strobes in all toilets and communal areas - refer


to part M.

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Building Regulations 2000 Part M should be read in conjunction


with BS.5839. Part 1 2002.

PLEASE NOTE:
All systems that include call points must be suffixed with M, ie
P2/M, P1/M etc.

Any areas which require detection and have a void over 800mm
(height) require detection within this void.

Approved Document M states that in Hotels, Motels, student


accommodation or other buildings offering sleeping
accommodation for a significant number of people, both audible
and visual indication must be given in the bedrooms, communal
toilets and bathrooms/shower rooms.

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