British Standard BS5839 – how can FireClass technology help you comply to recent changes


As a world-leading manufacturer of fire detection solutions, it is important for FireClass to ensure all partners and customers understand significant changes in codes and standards that could affect installations of our systems.
There has been a number of changes to the British Standard BS5839 –following the release of the 2017 update.  The changes are outlined below:
1.      Manual Call Points
All manual call points must have some variety of protective cover to help prevent accidental activation from impact and will force users of the fire alarm system to lift the cover before activation, thereby adding an extra action to the process of pressing the alarm.
This should help to reduce the number of times the button is pressed accidentally and make anyone who intends to push the manual call point (whether maliciously or not) think twice about whether the alarm should be triggered.
Although, covers have been around for a while, it is now a mandatory requirement of the BS standard and any new installation of a fire detection system must use a call point with a cover.
It is not necessary to retrofit covers within existing installations as the standard only covers new work undertaken since the publication of the standard.
Within our device, accessory range we offer hinges which are designed to connect to call points to prove the necessary coverage and compliance to this standard. Click here to learn more.
2.      Place of ultimate safety
Change to point 20.1 the ‘place of ultimate safety.’ Manual call points should be located on escape routes and in particular, at all storey exits and all exits to open air that lead to an ultimate place of safety –regardless of whether these exits are specifically designed as fire exits.
3.      Multi sensor detectors
Detectors that have fire sensitivity of BS EN 54 7 are now acknowledged as suitable for fire escape routes but their configuration must include smoke detector mode.
4.      Testing Multi Sensing Detectors
The standards now recommend an inspection and test of an entire fire detection system must take place once a year.  In the first instance ‘Multi-sensor detectors should be operated by a method that confirms that products of combustion in the vicinity of the detector can reach the sensors and that a fire signal can be produced as appropriate.’  In addition, ‘the guidance of the manufacturer on the manner in which the detector can be functionally tested effectively should be followed’, and ‘multi-sensor fire detectors should be physically tested by a method that confirms that products of combustion in the vicinity of the detector can reach the sensors and that the appropriate response is confirmed at the CIE’. (Clause45.4)
5.      Testing Sensor technology
Where the detector or system design permits, each sensor that a fire detection decision depends (e.g. smoke, heat, CO) should be physically tested individually. Alternatively, individual sensors may be physically tested together if the detection system design allows simultaneous stimuli and individual sensor responses to be verified either individually or collectively.  On completion of tests, the system should be returned to its normal configuration.
We offer a 3 in 1 tool which represents the next generation of detector testing enabling smoke, heat and CO testing from one device.
6.      Protecting Stairways
Fire detectors should be sited at the top of stairways and on each main landing. This is to ensure that there is adequate coverage at every level of the building as plumes of smoke are unpredictable and there is no exact way of knowing where the smoke will go.  If detectors are not sited correctly, there could be a delay in the amount of time between the fire starting the system activating an alarm. 
7.      Updating the term ‘False Alarms’ to include ‘Unwanted Alarms’.
Not all false alarms result in the fire and rescue service being called out. For example, in some large premises with sufficiently trained staff, alarm signals are investigated for a short period prior to contacting the fire and rescue services. False alarms that result in FRS responses are described as Unwanted Fire Alarm Signals (UFAS).
To take part in a CPD about the changes in BS5839 please click here.
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