Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service Policy
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s policy for monitored fire alarms in non-domestic (non-residential) buildings changed on the 31 August 2006.
In summary, the policy changes are:
- From 31 August 2006, if an activation signal is received by an ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre) from a monitored fire alarm in a non-domestic (non-residential) building, the operator at the ARC must attempt to contact site first before passing the call on to the Fire Brigade.
- If there are signs of a fire (such as flames, heat, smoke or the smell of burning), the ARC will immediately notify the Fire Brigade that it is a “confirmed fire activation” and they will attend as a priority.
- If it is definitely a false alarm, the activation will not be passed on to the Fire Brigade.
- If it is not clear whether or not the activation is genuine, the ARC will inform the Fire Brigade that it is a “fire alarm, cause unknown”. The Fire Brigade will attend as soon as their resources permit them to do so.
If the call is answered, there are three possible responses:
If no one answers the call after three minutes, the ARC will inform the Fire Brigade who will treat it as a “fire alarm, cause unknown” and will attend as soon as their resources permit them to do so.
- From 31 August 2006, all new monitored fire alarm installations in non-domestic buildings must complete a Hazard and Site Risk Statement and apply to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (via CIA) for a URN (Unique Reference Number) at a cost of £35.00. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will not respond to activations from monitored fire alarms that have not got a URN!
- By 1 April 2007, all existing monitored fire alarm installations in non-domestic buildings will have to complete a Hazard and Site Risk Statement and apply to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (via CIA) for a URN at a cost of £35.00. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will not respond to activations from monitored fire alarms that have not got a URN!
- From 1 April 2007, only monitored fire alarm installations in non-domestic buildings that are maintained by a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) recognised third party accredited company* will have activations passed to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
- Once a fire alarm has been issued a URN any ‘major’ changes (affecting 5 detectors or 5% or more of the fire detection system) to a monitored fire alarm, or changes to the maintaining company or ARC must be notified to the Fire Service.
- From 1 April 2008, all new monitored fire alarm installations must be designed, installed, commissioned and maintained by a UKAS recognised third party accredited company* if activations are to be passed to the Fire Brigade.
*Currently, a UKAS recognised 3rd party accreditited company must demonstrate conformance to the BAFE (British Approvals of Fire Equipment) SP203 or to the LPCB (Loss Prevention Council Board) LPS1014 standards – no other standards are acceptable!
CIA is a BAFE SP203 accredited installer for fire alarms (in all four modules: design, installation, commissioning and maintenance).
Hampshire Fire Brigade have also introduced strict monitoring of false alarms. All false alarms will be logged, and if a system suffers repeated incidents this may lead to withdrawal of Fire Brigade attendance.
A Message to the Responsible Person in Non-Residential Buildings
If you are responsible for fire safety, these changes in legislation have profound implications for the protection of lives and property.
As a fire can spread quickly, the 3 minute delay before the ARC notifies the Fire Brigade could be devastating.
You should review your fire procedures. Make sure that your ARC has the right telephone number to ring in the event of an activation, and that you nominate someone to be responsible for answering the call from the ARC. This will prevent any unnecessary delay in the Fire Brigade’s response.
You should also check your fire alarm installation. Older technology is slower to detect fire. There have been great strides in detection technology recently so it is possible that by upgrading your system, you could prevent an unnecessary delay in the Fire Brigade’s response if there is an activation.
Remember that only companies like CIA who hold the required third party accreditation can guarantee their work conforms with this new legislation.
CIA’s qualified fire systems designers are happy to visit your premises free of charge to review your current fire detection installation. Using the very latest in technology, we can help you to get the best from your automatic fire alarm. As we are BAFE accredited, you can rest assured that your system will be future-proofed against these changes in Hampshire Fire and Rescue’s policy changes.
A Message to Residential Building owners
In order to ensure a Fire Brigade response, your alarm must now conform to the BS5839:2002 Standard. Smoke detectors connected to an intruder alarm will no longer do!
CIA would be happy to check out your system free of charge to make sure that it complies.