BSI, the business standards company, has revised its standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems.

The standard, BS 5839-1:2017, covers the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in and around commercial buildings.

BS 5839-1:2017 Fire detection and fire alarm system for buildings. Code of practice for design, installation and commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises is referred to in both volumes of the government’s statuary guidance for fire safety, Approved Document B, which concerns building regulations in England covering fire safety matters within and around buildings.


The National Security Inspectorate is among organizations which consider the recommendations given in BS 5839-1 mandatory, and thus essential for contractors to follow.

The revised standard is relevant to anyone involved in the commissioning, installation, design and planning of fire alarm and detection systems for non-residential dwellings.

Some of the key changes over the standard it replaces include:

  • Improved definition of the L2 fire alarm system. L2 Fire Alarm Systems are designed to offer automatic detection on all escape routes within a building
  • Modified guidance for use of multi-sector detectors, with distinct sections dedicated to both the application and testing of these
  • Clauses 17 and 18 require clarification as to the use of Voice Alarm Detectors (VADs) and Visual Indicator Devices (VID)
  • Inclusion of a section in the standard concerning the testing of the power supply, and how long any batteries or contingency power supply should last for
  • Guidance for persons who work at night so they can recognize the alarm.


By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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