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[ Technical: FAQs ]

not allowed. With the introduction of the 17th Edition of BS 7671 IEE Wiring Regulations, all new dwellings may be required to have RCD protection. Where Grade D smoke alarms are supplied from a frequently used lighting circuit, it is likely that, by default, this will be provided with an RCD unit. Grade E systems cannot be connection via an RCD. Now new and altered domestic installations, which include fire systems, will be required to have 30mA RCD protection throughout.

Q|Do the supporting clips and fixings have to be fire-resistant?

A|Fire-resistant clips and fixings are only required for Grades A and B systems.

All other systems, Grades C, D and F, do not require fire-resistant cables, clips or fixings. Equipment, cables and clips should under

no circumstances be simply stuck to the surfaces on which they are mounted or run.

Q|Does a dwelling come under the Fire Safety Order (FSO)?

A|The only dwellings that are covered by the Fire Safety Order 2005 are HMOs

(see above) and flats. These are houses that could be occupied by persons who do not form a single household. Therefore, single- family dwellings are exempt.

Q|Which room is the ‘principal room of kitchen, utility room, bathroom, dressing


A|Any room in a dwelling other than a Q|Which grades of system require the

circuits to be monitored?

A|Only Grades A, B and C systems, which are those that use a control

and indication panel, can have their circuits monitored.

Q|Can I use a lighting circuit to power a Grade D system?

A|Yes, BS 5839-6 recommends that either a dedicated circuit or a regularly

used light circuit be used to power Grade D. Q|When should remote transmission of signals be considered?

A|Where occupants are at risk due to impaired mobility, or where occupants

have speech impairment, which would stop them communicating by phone. Insurers will normally require remote transmission connections for category P systems.

room or WC. It is normally the most frequently used room for general daytime living.

assess their fire risk and to judge if they need additional protection over and above what is recommended in the standard.

Control requires a smoke detector

A|BS 5839-6 does not require this. It is therefore a question for the occupiers to

Q|Do I need smoke alarms in bedrooms? Q|Do we need to install a heat detector in an integral garage of a dwelling? Q|I have a loft conversion where Building

in the extension. The smoke alarms on the ground and first floors are not interlinked. Do we need to interlink all the smoke alarms?

all the integral sounders and warning devices operate at the same time.

A|It is important that smoke alarms are linked together so that, in a fire situation,

However, a fire risk assessment would normally recommend that, since the category of system is an LD1 or LD2, then a heat detector should be installed in the garage, particularly if there is an internal door opening into the dwelling. If the recommended category is defined as LD3 and there is no internal door, then the installation of a heat detector in the garage would not normally be required. However, the client should be consulted regarding the wisdom of installing a heat detector in these areas.

A|Integrated garages should be fire compartments in their own right.

May 2011 ECA Today 65

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