Changes to BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020

What you need to know about the latest revisions

British Standard BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020 covers specific recommendations for fire alarm systems in all domestic premises and covers both new-build and existing properties. The standard contains a large amount of detail on all aspects relating to the design and installation of fire alarm systems, but one area of it covers the type of alarm to install and the areas of the property to protect.

The updated alarm grades

The changes to BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020 include new grades covering the different types of alarm system, with Grade C being redefined, Grade D being replaced by D1 and D2 and Grade F replaced by F1 and F2.

Grade A

Separate detectors, sounders and central control and indicating equipment with back-up power supply. Equipment must conform to other British Standards (BS EN 54).

Grade C

A system of fire detectors and alarm sounders (which may be combined in the form of smoke alarms) connected to a common power supply, comprising the normal mains and a standby supply, with central control equipment.

Grade D1

A system of one or more mains powered detectors, each with a tamper-proof standby supply consisting of a battery or batteries.

Grade D2

A system of one or more mains powered detectors, each with an integral standby supply consisting of a user-replaceable battery or batteries.

Grade F1

A system of one or more battery powered detectors powered by a tamper-proof primary battery or batteries.

Grade F2

A system of one or more battery powered detectors powered by a user-replaceable primary battery or batteries.

The Category of System

What areas should I protect?

The standard states that the level of protection to the occupants needs to be directly related to the fire risk. However it does list three categories of system to describe the level of protection the systems provide. Where and how many alarms are installed will affect how quickly a fire is detected – generally the higher the category of system the higher the level of protection.

LD1 High Protection

All areas where a fire could start, e.g:

  • Hallways
  • Landings
  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • BedroomsAiring Cupboards
  • Meter Cupboards

LD2 Medium Protection

Escape routes and high risk areas, such as:

  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Hallways
  • Landings

LD3 – Minimum Protection

Escape routes, such as:

  • Hallways
  • Landings

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