Fire protection and detection

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Fire protection

To maintain protection and contain a fire:

  • Keep fire doors properly closed at all times
  • Do not remove or disconnect the automatic door closer, or hold doors open
  • Do not store materials that might exacerbate a fire
  • Do not obstruct escape routes or the access into or out of the apartment

The apartments are designed to meet fire containment standards in accordance with the building regulations. To provide fire containment within the apartment a number of features are installed.

Image 1: Intrumescent strip

Intrumescent strips

An intrumescent strip (Image 1) is recessed into the top and sides of all door frames (front door and interior). When subjected to heat, the strip will automatically expand to reduce the rate at which heat and smoke penetrate the doorways.

To avoid affecting the fire protection properties, do not paint over the intumescent strip around the doors.

FD60 front door

The FD60 front door, has an automatic adjustable closer unit fitted onto the frame and will contain a fire for 60 minutes.

To avoid affecting the fire protection properties, do not paint over the intumescent strip around the doors.

Care and maintenance of automatic door closers

Periodically oil the connecting chain and spring cylinder, to maintain smooth operation. Door closers contain a powerful spring, which is inserted into the body of the unit, when under pressure. For safety reasons, only a competent tradesperson should be employed to repair or replace a door closer unit.

Sprinkler system

Phase 1

In apartments adjacent to the lifts, sprinklers are installed (Image 2). Sprinklers must not be painted over or obstructed from below.

Image 2: Sprinkler head

Phase 2

All apartments are provided with a residential grade sprinkler system in compliance with BS 9251:2014. Sprinkler heads are provided to all habitable rooms and circulation spaces within each apartment. Sprinklers must not be painted over or obstructed from below.

Fire detection

Each apartment is fitted with an independent fire detection system which is not linked to any central or remote monitoring services. There are two linked detector units that incorporate alarm sounders:

  • A smoke detector located in the hall ceiling (Image 3)
  • A heat detector located in the kitchen ceiling (Image 4)
Image 3: Smoke detector
Image 4: Heat detector

The detectors constantly monitor the immediate areas - they are powered from the apartment electricity supply and have internal back-up batteries.

Checking detectors are operating normally

Refer to the manufacturer’s operating instructions for guidance to check that:

  • The units are receiving mains power
  • The batteries are healthy

When a potential fire risk condition occurs

  • The alarm will sound and a red LED will flash on the activated unit

In the event of a false alarm

If the activation is a false alarm, the unit may be silenced by pressing the “test/hush” button for a few seconds. This action will silence the alarm for approximately 10 minutes, after which the unit will automatically re-set. However, if the smoke density increases when in silenced mode, the alarm will automatically restart.

  • Open windows and doors to clear the air
  • Apply vacuum nozzle around the affected smoke detector


Fire detector system testing and maintenance

Regular testing and maintenance is the responsibility of the resident and should be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

Back-up battery replacements

The detector unit will beep every 60 seconds to indicate that a battery needs to be changed; use only batteries recommended by the manufacturer.

To replace the battery, slide the unit off the ceiling and remove the old battery. It’ll probably keep chirping for another 30-60mins until the capacitor has drained (or press the test button to accelerate this if you can cope for a few mins of loud beeping). Once you have a new battery just connect it all up again. It is recommended to turn off the mains but do it very quickly cause sometimes that can tip other low batteries over the edge and you end up replacing all the batteries. The physical detectors are good for about 10 years - check the expiry label on the side. Beyond that date the radioactive source will have mostly depleted and thus unable to detect smoke.[1]