Fire Safety

Fire safety requirements for new build properties

Across the UK there are different fire building regulations which draw from different documents and require varying levels of protection. All of the regulations cover a wide range of safety fire safety requirements as detailed in this blog.

Fire safety is one of the key sections within building regulations, which outline the requirements needed to provide an early warning of fire, escape routes, preventing the spread of fire, and providing access to firefighting facilities for the Fire and Rescue Services.

New build sites face numerous challenges during the construction phase of build. This blog will discuss the  common challenges faced and how the FireAngel range offers a solution to the needs of all types of installations.

Smoke alarm positioning to meet building regulations

Building regulations vary throughout the UK, and so when specifying and installing the different levels of fire safety should always be considered. Please refer to:

Leading by example, Scotland has implemented a change in the law for fire and smoke alarms following the Grenfell tragedy in June 2017. This aims to instate a high standard of protection for all Scottish homes, not just the private rental sector. Further details about the change to Scottish legislation can be found here. The rest of the UK is expected to follow in Scotland’s footsteps and increase fire safety in rented and owner occupied homes.

Currently all building regulations recommend:

  1.  Fire detection systems should be provided in accordance with the relevant recommendations of BS 5839-6.
  2.  All alarms should be interlinked to ensure audibility throughout property.
  3.  As outlined in BS 5839-6, smoke alarms positioned in circulation areas should be of optical type or multi-sensor type incorporating an optical sensor.

BS 5839-6:2019

The British Standards Institution updated Part 6 of BS 5839-6 in 2019 – this applies to architects, building professionals, installers and enforcing authorities to ensure constant compliance when specifying, installing and maintaining fire detection systems in domestic properties.

bs 5839-6:2019

Minimum grade and category of fire detection and fire alarm systems

Latest revisions include new minimum grades and categories of systems split by new build or existing property. Updates from 2019 reflect current types of living conditions, see summary table below*

* This information should be considered as guidance only, for further advice please refer to the BS 5839:6-2019 standard.

Mains powered alarms

Building regulations stipulate that mains alarms are fitted. The FireAngel product range offers a complete choice of mains smoke, heat and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms with either 9V battery back-up or 10 year lithium battery back-up to suit all types of installation projects. FireAngel’s optical and multi-sensor smoke alarms both meet the required standards of the building regulations. FireAngel’s multi-sensor Thermoptek technology has been the trusted choice of the UK’s Fire and Rescue Services since 2007 and offers a faster reaction to all fire types.

By using FireAngel, contractors for new build properties are able to cost-effectively fit high-quality fire safety solutions to meet the required standards.

Mains range with 9v battery backup

We understand that cost can be a huge factor for new build projects, our competitively priced mains range with a 9V battery back-up offers a cost effective solution without compromising on quality. A Push2Fit base is included with every mains alarm to ensure secure and speedy connection of the alarm to the base unit saving time and money on installations.

These alarms can also be wirelessly interlinked using an RF interlink base. Ideal when refurbishing or extending an existing property as there is no messy chasing or trunking to worry about.

Common challenges faced by new build sites:

  • Reliable performance – Some new build properties can be prone to power surges when located on sites where there is an inconsistent power supply. Our FireAngel mains range with 9V battery back-up has a greater resistance to these power surges offering reliable performance.
  • Easy fitting and simple installation – Each alarm from the FireAngel mains range with 9V battery backup includes a Push2Fit base. Push2Fit has been specifically designed to ensure a quick and easy method of fitting in 3 steps – saving contractors time and money on installations.
  • Modern look – Not only do our range of alarms perform well whilst remaining cost-effective, we offer up-to-date sleek designs which are aesthetically pleasing designs to complement contemporary building interiors.

The price of fitting recommended technology

Although the UK Fire and Rescue Service no longer advocate fitting ionisation technology due to its high potential for false alarms, along with storage and disposal issues relating to radioactive materials, ionisation alarms are the cheapest alarms available to contractors and are often installed in new build projects.

We are supporting Fire and Rescue Service recommendations and have now phased out all ionisation alarms from the FireAngel range. As outlined by Mark Hazelton, National Fire Chiefs Council Lead:

“We’ve moved away from ionisation detectors (normally the cheapest detectors sold). Whilst these alarms are still sensitive to smoke and will detect fires, they can be over-sensitive, causing spurious (false) alarms when toast is burnt”

You can read more of Mark’s interview here.

FireAngel’s range of mains with 9V battery back-up powered alarms, offers optical sensing technology as recommended in the British Standard BS 5839-6 for installation in circulation areas such as hallways and landings.

Ultimate protection for new builds with multi-sensor alarms (Grade D1)

The FireAngel Specification range of mains alarms offers smoke and heat alarms with 10 year lithium battery back-up. The SM-SN-1 smoke alarm has a multi-sensor as standard, the sensing technology of choice for many local Fire and Rescue Services across the UK.

Whilst offering enhanced protection, multi-sensor alarms provide a quicker, more reliable, response to all types of fire – giving occupants more time to escape – and also reduce the risks of false alarms. You can find out more about Thermoptek technology in our blog ‘What Is FireAngel Multi-Sensor Technology?’.

FireAngel Specification alarms can also be interlinked wirelessly by fitting a Smart RF wireless module into the head of the smoke or heat alarm. FireAngel Specification alarms are also compatible with FireAngel Connected for remote monitoring.

Interlinking alarms and mixed system capabilities

Smart RF Technology

FireAngel Smart RF technology provides flexible wireless solutions for both hard-wired and battery systems. Up to 50 Smart RF devices including smoke, heat or carbon monoxide alarms can be interlinked in a network for maximum coverage.

There are 3 main ways to interlink smoke alarms:

  • Hardwired interlinked
  • Interlinked via wireless Smart RF radio-frequency 
  • Mixed systems – a hybrid system of hardwired and Smart RF. This provides contractors with system flexibility. Additional smoke, heat, CO and specialised products such as wireless alarm control units and/or strobes and pads designed for the deaf and hard of hearing can easily be wirelessly added or removed.

Read more about interlinking alarms and the different ways to interlink, including flexible solutions for mixed system installations.

With a complete choice of sensor and battery back-up types, the FireAngel range of mains alarms offers a fire safety solution to suit all types of installation projects and budgets and can tackle many of the common challenges faced by new build sites.

To find out more about the FireAngel range of mains alarms contact your local specification manager.


*Please note: British Standard 5839‑6 takes the form of guidance and recommendations. It should not be quoted as if it were a specification and particular care should be taken to ensure that claims of compliance are not misleading. Any user claiming compliance with this British Standard is expected to be able to justify any course of action that deviates from its recommendations. For more information or to read the standard in full, please visit the British Standards website.