The role of the regulator.(Fire Safety)

Anybody involved with fire detection and alarms in the UK is only too aware of the importance of BS 5839. In recognising the possibility that the publication of the 2002 edition of the standard presents an opportunity to remove some of the inherent problems, the author outlines ways in which the confusion regarding compliance can be eradicated and illustrates the vital role that regulators will play in the process.

The publication of BS 5839-1:2002 saw the first major revision of this important code of practice since 1988. It is the prime source of guidance for those involved with the provision and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems within the UK and its importance is confirmed by the fact that it is one of the best selling BSI publications.

While many specifications require a new fire detection and alarm system to meet the requirements of BS 5839-1, there have historically been many instances where the delivered system has not been to this specification or there has been no effective evidence of compliance. Contractually, this is not a satisfactory situation but what is far more important is that these systems may well have been installed for life protection purposes and may, in some cases, not provide the level of safety that was envisaged. …

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