Building/fire regs; location of fire alarm button & proximity to light switch..?
Today I managed to evacuate the school at which I teach by setting of the fire alarm – something I’m sure many of us have dreamt of doing as pupils!
We had an extension built to house our behemoth table saw as previous location didn’t meet regulations in terms of space around it. This extension has no natural light and and the light switch is on the wall to the left as you open the door and enter – inches away from the fire alarm button…
So guess which switch I pressed first this afternoon…
School were fine and several people agreed that having the alarm in such close proximity to the light switch is pretty stupid.
Does anyone know if this is covered by any building or fire regulations? Would be grateful if anyone could advise if it is, and perhaps even guide me toward anything relevant.
Posted 4 years agonickjbSubscriber
I would doubt there is anything in the regs to stop you doing that but a risk assessment should show it as a problem.
Personally I’d put a flip top lid on the alarm or a bit of wood sticking out between the two switches so your have to reach around it to hit the alarm from the door side.Posted 4 years agoLummoxSubscriber
Phone your local fire and rescue service and ask to speak to their technical fire safety department. They will tellPosted 4 years ago
You exactly what is and what isn’t permissible. Don’t second guess with this as if something were to happen someone’s coming for you with a liability/compensation claim.
The Rector (Headmistress) was fine about it and there’s no question of me being in any trouble; I think I’ve just highlighted an issue – the janitor herself said that council building control should be made aware. It wasn’t a glass fronted switch, nor does it have a flip lid on it.Posted 4 years agorwamartinMember
Not a fire expert but with my “a little knowledge is dangerous” hat on, the callpoint requirements are covered by BS5839-1. This says that they should be no more than 1.4m from floor level (+-200mm) and no-one needs to travel more than 45m (25m if disabled) to reach one. They should be sited at “all stairwells AND EXITS FROM BUILDING”.
There doesn’t appear to be anything more specific than that. If I remember correctly there is a clause somewhere in BS5839 about minimizing false alarms. I would say that if you locate it to the other side of the firedoors it would be fine as it is reachable at the exit but minimises the false alarm possibility by being away from the switch.
Rich.Posted 4 years ago
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