Property Developers can install Fire Alarms without proper reference to building and fire regulations. If the building is a purpose built block of flats and is built to current fire regulations, including fire compartmentation then alarms in the common areas of the building are usually not recommended. Sometimes there may be a legitimate reason to amend the Fire Strategy for a building for example there could be an issue with Fire Alarms being activated improperly resulting in unnecessary fire service call outs and costs. This can often lead to fines or the threat of Deficiency Notices or Enforcement Notices being issued against the responsible person.
Regular occurrences of this can encourage residents to ignore the alarm in the event of a real fire situation to evacuate the building when the best course of action is to stay put (assuming that’s the preferred strategy). Therefore removal of unnecessary fire alarms from communal areas might be the best course of action subject to other safety measures being in place.
VO’s are important documents and contain an abundance of information that explains which type of Fire Alarm system should be fitted in a block of flats and any changes that should be made to ensure the best possible management. We would send the VO to all interested stakeholders such as the Fire Service, Local Authority Building Control and the Freeholder providing due diligence supporting the justification for the recommended actions.