Following the growing debate around fire safety within Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), Hochiki Europe, leading manufacturer of life safety systems, has published a new whitepaper exploring current British standards and guidance.
The report – available to download for free via Hochiki Europe’s website – examines issues around the installation of fire detection systems in HMOs and the guidance outlined in British Standard BS 5389. In recent years, there has been a perceived change in the advice given to landlords and building owners on the design, specification and installation of life safety technology within housing schemes, student accommodation and sheltered housing projects.
This focuses on whether building owners should install BS 5839 Part 1 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises) devices in the whole HMO building, or just in communal areas, with BS 5839 Part 6 (Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in domestic premises) devices in the actual living accommodation.
Reducing false alarms is a key concern for duty holders in HMOs, and there is an industry perception that having self-contained Part 6 domestic detection devices and connected audio/visual devices in individual flats or rooms, helps reduce the risk of a total building evacuation in the event of a non-life-threatening incident. However, there are also potential safety implications in certain scenarios when these types of devices are selected over their Part 1 counterparts.
Hochiki Europe’s new whitepaper, which includes a number of example scenarios and visual aids, is ideal for installers to refer to when explaining the different life safety options and making recommendations to building owners.
Richard Wharram, Regional Sales Manager, Hochiki Europe, commented: “Given recent, tragic events, it is not surprising that fire safety in HMOs and tall buildings is being closely scrutinised. With this in mind Hochiki Europe has created an extremely helpful whitepaper to explore the topic further, supporting those responsible for installing systems, and increase safety for occupants.
“Our conclusion is that, although a mixed Part 1 and Part 6 system is currently a perfectly acceptable and cost-effective solution for HMOs, a full Part 1 system can avoid unnecessary risks to both the property and the residents in some circumstances, as well as future-proofing buildings and their fire detections systems for their owners/operators if fire regulations were to become more stringent.”
To read and download the full document, click here.