BS 5839-1:2013 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises

BS 5839-1:2013 provides recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in and around non-domestic buildings. It does not recommend whether or not a fire detection and fire alarm system should be installed in any given premises.

The term fire detection and fire alarm systems, in the context of BS 5839-1:2013, includes systems that range from those comprising only one or two manual call points and sounders to complex networked systems that incorporate a large number of automatic fire detectors, manual call points and sounders, connected to numerous inter-communicating control and indicating panels.

The term also includes systems that are capable of providing signals to initiate the operation of other fire protection systems and equipment (such as fire extinguishing systems, smoke control systems or automatic door release equipment) or safety measures (such as shutdown of air handling systems, closing of oil or gas valves or grounding of lifts).

Contents for BS 5839-1:2013 includes:

Section 1: General

  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Need for a fire detection and fire alarm system and type of system
  • Categories of system
  • Exchange of information and definition of responsibilities
  • Variations from the recommendations of this standard

Section 2: Design considerations

  • Relationship between system Category and areas protected
  • Actuation of other fire protection systems or safety facilities
  • Systems in explosive gas or dust atmospheres
  • System components
  • Monitoring, integrity and reliability of circuits external to control equipment
  • Detection zones
  • Alarm zones
  • Communication with the fire and rescue service
  • Audible alarm signals
  • Visual alarm signals
  • Fire alarm warnings for people with impaired hearing
  • Staged fire alarms
  • Manual call points
  • Types of fire detector and their selection
  • Spacing and siting of automatic fire detectors
  • Control and indicating equipment
  • Networked systems
  • Power supplies
  • Cables, wiring and other interconnections
  • Radio-linked systems
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Electrical safety

Section 3: Limitation of false alarms

  • Responsibility for limitation of false alarms
  • Categories of false alarms
  • Acceptable rate of false alarms
  • Causes of false alarms
  • Design process for limitation of false alarms
  • Measures to limit false alarms

Section 4: Installation

  • Responsibility of installer
  • Installation practices and workmanship
  • Inspection and testing of wiring

Section 5: Commissioning and handover

  • Commissioning
  • Documentation
  • Certification
  • Acceptance
  • Verification

Section 6: Maintenance

  • Routine testing
  • Inspection and servicing
  • Non-routine attention

Section 7: User’s responsibilities

  • Premises management
  • Logbook


BS 5839-1:2013 supersedes BS 5839-1:2002+A2:2008, which is withdrawn.

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