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Author Topic: To sound of not to sound - that is my question  (Read 1477 times)
PGtips
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« on: July 19, 2017, 02:23:35 PM »

Hi all - hopefully this is me being dim. But, in a block with a stay put policy - standalone alarms in each flat - what is the point of a fire alarm with sounders in the common areas? If the argument is complex layout, you want people in those areas to start moving early, I sort of get that, but am confused as to why would you have sounders in the residential common corridors as well? no fire risk in these areas (sterile and they are not there to operate any SVs) Surely you risk the residents hearing and trying to leave when, all things being equal they would be safe in their flat? Unless of course its their alarm that is going.

Is there any sort of convention in this area that says, the sounders stay but they are "turned down" so you'd hear in the corridors and stairs, but not through the flat doors thus avoiding confusion?

Any clarity much appreciated!  Grin


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nearlythere
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 06:20:09 PM »

Hi all - hopefully this is me being dim. But, in a block with a stay put policy - standalone alarms in each flat - what is the point of a fire alarm with sounders in the common areas? If the argument is complex layout, you want people in those areas to start moving early, I sort of get that, but am confused as to why would you have sounders in the residential common corridors as well? no fire risk in these areas (sterile and they are not there to operate any SVs) Surely you risk the residents hearing and trying to leave when, all things being equal they would be safe in their flat? Unless of course its their alarm that is going.

Is there any sort of convention in this area that says, the sounders stay but they are "turned down" so you'd hear in the corridors and stairs, but not through the flat doors thus avoiding confusion?

Any clarity much appreciated!  Grin

PG. One thing to consider is just because something is there, for example a category of fire warning system, doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be there or that there is a specific reason for it other than a BC officer thinks its a good idea because of he likes to see one provided. That's what I find anyway.
You perhaps have to make the call or investigate the reason for the installation.

I have indeed just seen nearly such a system yesterday in a block of purpose built (2010) flats. The only difference is my block had also a heat detector in the hallway of each dwelling linked to the common system which I consider a good idea in this type of building, provided it was built to Building Regs which it wasn't really because of some compartmentalization issues which I know for sure wasn't the reason for the category of fire warning installation installed in the first place.



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AnthonyB
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 08:23:43 PM »

It's often because the build has specified smoke control (as per ADB and stay put) and the installer is told to put in a fire alarm system to link to the vents/shafts and automatically assumes because they are installing smokes and a panel they need to put the sounders and call points as well, or the designer has put it on the plans because they assume it's needed.

Time and time again you see it even where the build and fire strategy doesn't warrant it. It's neither fish not fowl not being loud enough to wake sleeping (or loud TV watching) residents if you need full evac and has sometimes caused people who would be safer staying put to venture into danger.

If you do really need a common alarm purely to get people to not stay in the common parts without causing confusion to those safe inside their flats then the design should be such you can't hear it at all in the flats (e.g. sheltered housing) A similar example is in Care Homes have a low sound pressure level option (45dB) where you aren't expecting service users to self evacuate to prevent distress and confusion.

We often ask spurious sounders and call points to be withdrawn (as our BAFE SP205 auditors require) - of course there is the opposite, where conditions are such that the only viable option left is to extend the common area system to include a heat and sounder in flat lobbies or the full extreme of all rooms too
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Anthony Buck
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PGtips
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2017, 12:08:21 PM »

Thanks guys - as always - great info. The phrase Fish nor Fowl sums it up nicely - I know my next steps now...

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