When it comes to protecting people in buildings, fire safety is paramount.
At Amthal Fire and Security, we have many decades of experience helping both commercial and residential property owners ensure that their premises are as safe as possible.
Since the mid-2000s, ‘Fire Alarm Zone Plans’ have become vital to any building’s protocols.
This blog will examine why they are so important and how we can help introduce and maintain them for you. We’ll also aim to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about fire alarm zone plans.
What Are Fire Alarm Zone Plans?
Fire alarm zone plans are crucial for providing assistance to building occupants in the event of a fire.
Essentially, they are clear ‘maps’ of the building, which will help orient people and emergency crews.
As well as illustrating the fire alarm zones, they should also include:
- The building’s levels
- Fire exit routes
- Circulation areas (such as corridors, stairs and lifts)
- ‘You Are Here’ signs
The plans could also include the company’s telephone number monitoring the building’s fire alarms. However, this is not necessary, and the key aim is not to overwhelm people with too much information.
In an emergency situation, fire alarm zone plans must be legible and easy to understand. If they are cluttered with superfluous information, this could hinder rather than help.
Why Are Fire Alarm Zone Plans So Important?
Fire alarm zone plans are relatively recent requirements in commercial properties.
Many people point to the tragic Rosepark Care Home fire of 2004 to explain why fire safety legislation was updated.
Fourteen people sadly lost their lives in the blaze, and many more vulnerable people were injured.
Now, under BS5839-1:2017, all buildings with a fire alarm system must have an up-to-date, accurate zone plan.
Zone plans are required on every system of any size, and if a suitable plan is not displayed on an existing installation, you’re compromising fire safety.
How Can I Get A Fire Alarm Zone Plan?
Usually, fire alarm zone plans are drawn up when alarm systems are installed.
However, if you do not have one, please get in touch with Amthal.
Our teams will be able to provide you with alarm zone plans for existing systems and support you with anything else you need to ensure it’s working as effectively as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Alarm Zone Plans
We get asked many questions about fire alarm zone plans and have provided answers for some of the most common ones below.
However, if you still have a query not featured in this blog, please contact us; our team will be happy to help.
How often should fire alarm zone plans be updated?
There are no set timeframes to determine how often fire alarm zone plans should be updated, but we would definitely recommend reviewing them regularly.
It is imperative that they accurately reflect the layout of the building, so if there are ever any changes (perhaps through renovation work etc.), these should be accurately recorded.
Where do fire alarm zone plans need to be placed?
Fire alarm zone plans should be placed adjacent to the control panel. This is so that any emergency services can quickly work out the location of any fire.
What are the requirements of a fire alarm zone plan?
According to the British Standards, ‘all zone plans must be diagrammatic to be fit for purpose. As mentioned above, they should be close to the fire alarm panel and accurately indicate the orientation of the building.