There is currently a wide disparity in the provision of fire detection in high rise buildings.
Legislations in the UK places a responsibly upon the building owner/landlord of high rise buildings to carry out (or have carried out for them by specialists) a Fire safety risk self assessment. This risk assessment will identify any requirement for a fire detection system and , if required, go on to identify its nature.
The vast majority of High rises in the UK were build long before the concept of the Fire safety RA and, as such have a hotchpotch of Fire alarm solutions, ranging from nothing... to simple call points, through to complex addressable BS5839:L1 Systems.
A recent guidance document ( The LGG's Fire Safety in purpose-blocks) of flats would appear to cast some doubt on the usefulness and efficacy of installing Automatic fire detection in High Rise buildings.
- Correctly used modern addressable AFD systems can be a useful source of information, potentially displaying initial detection times, development rate and areas affected
- Pt 6 systems should enable the occupants of individual flats to safely evacuate and reduce the ‘saveable life’ element in and FRS dynamic risk assessment.
- Many firefighters and Junior officers do not know how to correctly and safely read and interpret the information given, often confusing the ‘initial trigger event’ and the ‘most recent event’ in the log.
- Pt. 6 systems do not warn other occupants of a developing fire in the building
- Pt 6 systems do not provide warning should any communal area be involved in fire.
Under developement Aug 2013