It is surprising how many professionals really don’t grasp the importance and complexity of fire-alarm design.
Fire alarms are designed to meet a specific category (e.g. L3, M, P1) but it is not the designer’s responsibility to choose the category.
A designer can of course offer his input but the key input to the choice of category is the findings of your Fire Risk Assessment.
Occasionally a category will be given by an enforcing authority such as the Fire and Rescue Service or Building Control. Once a category is chosen the designer must fully understand the complexities of achieving that category. Under fire-safety legislation the ‘Responsible Person’ must undertake due diligence to prove the contractor they choose is ‘competent’. Government advice tells us that third-party certification is the simplest proof of competence. All Keybury designers are FIA trained and approved under the BAFE:SP203 scheme.
A mistake often made by building contractors and architects alike is to provide schematics with fire alarm system detectors and controls already in place. This now makes them the official ‘Designer’ and as such they should provide all design documentation: design certificate, zone drawings, specifications, loop calculations and battery calculations. However rarely does this documentation materialise which can cause problems either with building control or with fire-safety inspections in the future.
Keybury’s qualified designers provide all documentation as required under BS5839-part1:2013.
Avoid problems with enforcing authorities requiring documentation that never existed by using a qualified designer from the outset. A designer remains responsible for system design for years to come and would be unwilling therefore to re-certificate somebody else’s substandard design. If you intend to get quotations for an approved fire-alarm make it clear from the outset that you require all design documentation (as mentioned above) with Keybury it comes as standard.