BS5839-1 under review in Europe

November 2001 News & Events

A revision to BS5839 Part 1 (Code of practice for system design, installation and maintenance) is now under consideration. This review is certainly due as the last edition was from 1988.

Consultants C.S. Todd have prepared the draft. The consultants' draft has, of necessity, a number of explanatory notes and poses several questions requiring resolution. It also contains radical proposals for significant departures from established practice.

It is important to recognise that this is a draft for public comment and not a ratified standard as suggested by some. The following are highlighted proposal changes to the standard:

* The structure of the standard is to change.

* A 'false alarm" clause is to be added.

* Fire-resistant cables are to be more clearly specified.

* A specified delay time between operation of a manual call point and sounding of the fire alarms is proposed to be added.

* Certain terminology changes are proposed, ie 'types' of systems to 'categories' of systems.

* Two new categories, ie L4 and L5 are proposed for inclusion.

* Frequency of servicing is under debate.

* Call point spacing distances are proposed to be extended as well as call point positioning.

* Short-circuit isolator positioning is under review.

* Search distances of zones may increase.

* Coffered ceiling detector placing is clarified.

* Standby battery capacity is being reviewed.

This substantial revision has become necessary due to the rate of advancement of fire detection systems over the last decade as well as the evolution of customs and practice and industry needs.

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