What are the Building Regulations (NI)?

View more information on the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) and the Building (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 which came into operation on 1st April 2022.

The Building Regulations (NI) are intended to ensure the safety, health, welfare and convenience of people in and around buildings. They are also designed to further the conservation of fuel and energy.

The Building Regulations (NI) came into operation on 31st October 2012 and have since had several subsequent amendments, including the latest 2022 version.

Fire safety in the Building Regulations (NI)

As part of the Building Regulations guidance is Technical Booklet E which sets out the requirements of fire safety in domestic properties.

In section 2, it states “dwellings and certain other buildings an automatic fire detection and alarm system can significantly increase the level of safety by automatically giving an early warning of fire. In other buildings an appropriate fire alarm system should provide adequate warning to occupants.”

An ‘automatic fire detection and alarm system’ is defined in the booklet as a system incorporating smoke detectors, sounders, control equipment, protected wiring and a back-up power supply which is capable of automatically detecting smoke and thereupon giving an audible alarm.

Carbon monoxide safety in the Building Regulations (NI)

Also included in the Building Regulations guidance in Technical Booklet L which sets out the requirements for installation of carbon monoxide alarms.

In section 2, it states “where a new or replacement combustion appliance, not designed solely for cooking purposes, is installed in a dwelling, a carbon monoxide detector/alarm should be provided in the room where the appliance is located.”

However, if the combustion appliance is installed in a room or space not normally used e.g. a boiler room/cupboard, the detector/alarm should be located just outside the room or space. This should allow the alarm to be heard more easily.

Carbon monoxide alarms should:

  • comply with BS EN 50291
  • be powered by a battery designed to operate for the working life of the alarm
  • incorporate a warning device to alert users when the working life of the alarm is due to pass
  • be mains-powered BS EN 50291

Type A carbon monoxide alarms with fixed wiring (not plug-in types) may be used as alternative applications provided they are fitted with a sensor failure warning device.

The carbon monoxide alarm should be located:

  • (a) on the ceiling at least 300 mm from any wall or, if it is located on a wall, as high up as possible (and above the height of any doors or windows) but not within 150 mm of the ceiling; and
  • (b) between 1000 mm and 3000 mm horizontally from the appliance. Further guidance on the installation of carbon monoxide alarms is available in BS EN 50292 and from manufacturers’ instructions

For more information, view guidance on the Government website or review other UK standards and regulations.


*Please note: The above summary is based on FireAngel’s interpretation of Building Regulations (NI), always refer to the standard for specific guidance.