Frankham M&E Engineers appointed by L&Q in the design of new Radio fire alarm system

Frankham has been appointed by L&Q to prepare designs for the installation of a new ‘Radio’ fire alarm system to the common areas of the Bowes Close Residential Home. Frankham has also been appointed to prepare designs for the ‘domestic’ areas which are the individual residential flats where additional fire detection is to be provided and linked to the Warden Call System.

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The fire alarm system to the common areas is to be designed to BS 5839 Part 1 and give coverage to category L2, which is defined as the coverage of all escape routes plus some defined areas. In practice L2 provides quite a comprehensive cover of all the common areas and escape routes. The fire alarm systems to the flats is to be designed to BS 5839 Part 6 and give coverage LD2 which again is a good standard of cover. Both the common areas system and the individual domestic systems for the flats are to use state of the art radio technology which avoids the need for extensive wiring cables and associated containment. This lack of a need for cabling simplifies the installation and completely avoids the considerable disruption, noise and dust that installing a conventional wired system would involve.

The fire detection to each flat comprises heat detectors to the kitchen areas with combined smoke detectors with sounders to the living areas and bedrooms. These detectors communicate by radio signal to a relay unit in each flat which in turn interfaces with the local Warden Call Unit and raises a warden call alert. The common area system operates with a number of radio aerials throughout the premises that communicate with individual detectors, call points, sounders and beacons and this is relayed to a central main fire panel and associated communication hub.

The new common area system will be installed in parallel with the existing system which shall remain in service until the new system is complete, commissioned and tested. The new system shall then be made operational and the existing system taken out of service and the devices and equipment removed. The new domestic systems to the residential flats shall be installed and connected to the warden call system and the existing detection removed on a flat by flat basis with one flat being completed all in one day so that there is no loss of fire detection cover.