- What is a Fire Alarm System?
A fire alarm system is a set of electric/electronic devices/equipment working together to detect and alert people through visual and audio appliances when smoke/fire is present. These alarms may be activated from smoke detectors, heat detectors, water flow sensors, which are automatic or from a manual fire alarm pull station.
- Is there a legal requirement to install smoke detectors in flats?
It is a requirement of Approved Document B to the Building Regulations that smoke detectors be installed in new flats but there is no legal requirement that is retrospective to existing accommodation.
- In general, when are blocks of flats or converted houses recommended to install a fire alarm?
Automatic fire detection should be installed as indicated in the LACORS guidance and BS 5839-6 in accordance with the findings of the fire risk assessment conducted in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005>
- What issues surround the use of CCTV?
All usage of CCTV other than in a purely domestic context must be undertaken in compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts. In summary all uses of CCTV must be proportionate and for a specific purpose. As CCTV infringes the privacy of the persons captured in the images there must be a genuine reason for installing such a system. If installing such a system, it is required that the purpose for its use be displayed in a prominent position. In a shop or store context this would normally be at the entrance.
- What are the best alarm systems?
Burglar alarms fall into two broad categories: ‘wired’ and ‘wireless’ systems. Provided your house is already pre-wired for an alarm, wired alarm systems tend to be less expensive than wireless systems. However, this may not hold true if your home requires wiring. Most new houses will be already set up with the appropriate wiring in place for a burglar alarm. On the other hand, most wireless systems operate using batteries which need to be changed every few years and transmit signals via a radio frequency. Generally speaking, if your house is wired for an alarm then it is best to opt for a wired system.