Where to site your Fire Detection
When designing a fire alarm system, there are grades and categories to consider. The grade is the type of fire alarm, and the category is the level of protection. The category is chosen based on the risk and the level of fire detection required. The British Standard BS 5839 part 6:2013 recommends a Grade D, category LD2 system for the majority of properties, where as a Part 1 is for commercial buildings.
For a residential application, this means mains-powered fire detection with a battery backup covering escape routes in high-risk areas. Commonly, this would be hallways, landings, kitchens and living rooms. All smoke and heat alarms must be interconnected. Building regulations refer to all new build and materially-altered dwellings, but the regulations vary throughout the UK. In England and Wales, all dwellings must be fitted to Grade D, category LD3 as a minimum, which again would be mains-powered fire detection with a battery backup covering escape routes. Commonly, this would be hallways and landings. It also requires a heat alarm in any kitchens that are not separated from the hallway by a door. In Scotland and Ireland, dwellings must be fitted to Grade D, category LD2.
The correct positioning of both the smoke and heat detectors throughout a property is vital to ensure they provide life-saving fire detection and respond as quickly as possible. detectors should be sited on the ceiling as centrally as possible. They should be 300 millimetres from walls and light fittings. There should be an smoke alarm within 3 meters of every bedroom door and between high-risk rooms and bedrooms. Detectors should not be installed within bathrooms or too close to steam and moisture. With stairs, site alarms on flat ceilings at the top and bottom, not on the slope ceiling above the stairs. For smoke alarms on a sloped or peak ceiling, site a maximum of 600 millimetres vertically down from the apex. For heat alarms, site within a maximum of 150 millimetres vertically down from the apex. Beams that are less than 10% of the room height, site twice the depth of beam or 500 millimetres, whichever is less away from the beam. Where the beam is more than 10% of the room height, site on both sides of the beam. If it is less than 600 millimetres deep, site on the underside of the beam.
If sited in a room with a fuel-burning appliance, site on the ceiling between 1 and 3 meters horizontally from the appliance. And 300 millimetres away from the walls and light fittings. If the appliance is in a confined space, then site the alarm on the ceiling just outside of the enclosure. In a room without a fuel-burning appliance, alarms should be sited at breathing height, or if being installed within a bedroom, at bed-head height. Did you know certain sensor types are actually more suited to specific rooms? For information on which sensor type to fit where watch our “Choosing a Sensor Type” video.