Fire Detection and Alarm Systems in Dwellings


A fire detection and alarm system can significantly improve the safety of occupants in dwellings by operating automatically and alerting occupants, especially those asleep, to the outbreak of fire. For these reasons, requirements for the provision of systems to provide early warning of fire are incorporated into UK building regulations.

Whilst the particular requirements may vary in different parts of the UK and will be dependent on a number of factors such as the nature of the occupants, and the size, construction and layout of the building.

Where a fire detection and alarm system is installed in domestic premises it should be designed, installed and commissioned in accordance with BS 5839-6: 2013 Code of practice for the design installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems within domestic premises.

For the purpose of life protection, Table 1 of BS 5839-6 recommends that at least a Grade D system, Category LD2 standard is installed in all new or materially altered single-family dwellings of typical construction.1

As shown in Fig 1, the fire system should be comprised of at least:

  • one smoke alarm located in every circulation space (hallway/landing) on each storey,
  • one alarm (smoke or carbon monoxide) in the principal habitable room, and
  • one heat alarm in the kitchen.


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