Is a Fire Alarm Zone Plan a Legal Requirement?
If a fire breaks out on your business premises, it’s important to act fast. As part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it’s a legal requirement for all businesses to have an ‘appropriate fire detection system’ in place. Usually, this will take the form of fire alarms, and the UK government recommends all alarms are installed and maintained in accordance with the British standard of BS 5839.
As well as the fire alarms themselves, fire alarm zone plans also play a fundamental role in your building’s fire safety protocol.
What is a fire alarm zone plan?
When a fire breaks out, it’s important to evacuate the building and identify where it is coming from. If you own or work in a large property, it can be difficult to know exactly where the fire has started. This is where a fire alarm zone plan comes in. For both you and the fire brigade, a fire alarm zone plan will provide a quick and easy way to identify where the fire alarm has been triggered, and possibly where the fire is.
Essentially, a fire alarm zone plan acts as a map showing the plan of your building and breaking it down into zones. If a fire occurs, people will then be able to consult the plan and see what part of the building it is in.
Fire alarm zone plans should include:
- The building’s levels
- Fire exits and escape routes
- Circulation areas – places where people can move throughout the building such as staircases, lifts and corridors
- A ‘you’re here’ sign – allowing people to easily understand where they’re located in relation to the fire
The more detailed the fire alarm zone plan the better, but it should be uncluttered and easy to understand.
Do I need a fire alarm zone plan?
In short, yes. All buildings that have fire alarms should also have a fire alarm zone plan in place according to the British standard of BS5839-1:2017. And BS5839-1:2013 regulations state that systems of all sizes require a comprehensive plan if you’re to comply with fire alarm regulations.
Each zone should be clearly distinguishable from the rest, usually they are depicted with different colours. Ideally, your fire alarm zone plan will be located close to your building’s fire alarm panel.
When should your fire alarm zone plan be updated?
It’s important that when it’s needed, your fire alarm zone plan is accurate and easy to navigate – which is why it’s imperative that it’s kept regularly up to date. You should be frequently checking that nothing has changed on your fire alarm zone plan, paying particular attention to any changes to the building’s layout.
Additionally, make sure things like room numbers and locations of fire alarms are still marked correctly on the plan. It might also be worthwhile to print off paper copies of the fire alarm zone plan to hand to firefighters. If this is something you decide to do, remember to keep these updated, too.
As an NSI Fire Gold and BAFE accredited company, at A.T. Alarms we’re experts in the installation and maintenance of a whole host of products, all of which comply with the relevant fire alarm regulations. Whether you’re looking to install new alarms to keep your property protected or would like a team of professionals to provide ongoing maintenance, get in touch with us today.