Fire Safety Regulations
We designed WES+ in consultation with construction industry experts with the specific aim of developing a fire safety regulations compliant system that’s both compliant with increasingly stringent construction health and safety legislation and convenient and practical to use on site.
- EN54 and the Construction Products Regulation
- Fire Protection Association Joint Code of Practice – 9th Edition (October 2015)
- HSE fire safety guidelines for construction sites (HSG168)
- BS5839 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings
- European standards covering the use of radio technology in emergency equipment (ETSI 300-220-1)
- Structural Timber Association guidelines
Watch our video explanation of UK Construction Fire Safety Legislation
The Construction Products Regulation lays down the requirements for construction products on the market in the European Union, and states that where a harmonised technical standard exists for a product in this field, the product must comply with the provisions of that standard.
EN54 is the harmonised standard relating to fire detection and fire alarm systems. It’s an extensive standard with around 30 different sections, each of which relates to the standards which must be met by a particular product function, so we’ve ensured our product range is independently tested and verified against all relevant sections – for example, EN 54 part 3 deals specifically with standards for sounders and part 25 with those for radio links.
In essence, the Construction Products Regulation states that:
- Fire safety products must be CE marked
- To obtain a CE mark, a Declaration of Performance must be produced
- To obtain a Declaration of Performance, fire safety products must be tested by an approved external agency, known as a notified body
- The notified body must be involved in inspection, testing and factory production control
If the fire safety products you’re considering do not meet these criteria, they don’t meet the legal requirements under the Construction Products Regulation – which means you’re not buying a product that complies with key industry legislation.
Checks for your fire safety products
- The products you’re considering should have been tested by a notified body – if they have, you’ll see a four digit test centre number after the CE mark
- Ask your supplier for their Declaration of Performance
- Ask which standards the product you’re buying has been tested against. For fire safety products, you should expect references to the specific sections of EN54. Use our EN54 Compliance list as a guide.
The Fire Protection Association/Construction Confederation have produced, with the support of the Association of British Insurers, the Chief Fire Officers Association, and the London Fire Brigade, the Ninth Edition of Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation1.
This lays out best practice fire safety recommendations with the specific challenges and demands of the construction industry in mind, and includes the following provisions:
4.4 “A system comprising components for automatically detecting a fire, initiating an alarm and initiating other action as appropriate
6.1.1 “Weekly testing of the fire alarm is carried out.”
WES+ units electronically operate powerful sirens, linked site-wide, and can be triggered both automatically with the use of heat and smoke detectors and manually at each call point. It’s simple to carry out your weekly fire alarm test without disrupting the site by using the WES+ system’s silent test function.
13.8 “Temporary buildings or temporary accommodation located:
- inside the building under construction
- inside another permanent building
- or within 10m of such building(s)
must be fitted with fire detection systems complying with a recognised Category of installation as set out in BS 5839-1: Fire detection and alarm systems for buildings. In the case of high risk fire sites, the fire detection system must be linked to the fire alarm system in the building on which work is being undertaken and to an alarm receiving centre, unless there is a 24-hour security presence on site. Components of automatic fire detection and alarm systems should be marked as complying with EN 54.”
13.13 “Automatic fire detection systems must be installed where flammable liquids and gases are stored and in temporary buildings and temporary accommodation used for cooking or the drying of clothes. Installations should comply with a recognised category of system as set out in BS 5839-1.”
23.15 “Automatic fire detection must be installed in enclosed spaces and the system be extended as the work progresses on large timber frame structures.”
Health and Safety Executive guidelines for compliance with legislation on fire safety in construction sites2 state that:
“It is expected on the majority of sites that an inter-connecting (could be wired-in or wireless) system of call points and sounders will be required to provide an effective fire warning system.”
“In all but very small, high-risk buildings, alarms should be interconnected (by protected cables or wireless) to enable all to hear. Detection in high-risk buildings may well form part of the overall strategy, especially where fire could start and go unnoticed.”
“All TAU complexes should be provided with a means of raising the alarm. The nature of it will vary, but the main requirement is for it to be audible throughout the complex. It is good practice to link to the main site.”
WES+ is a robust wireless fire warning system, integrating both call points and sounders, that ensures that when one call point – or heat/smoke detector – is triggered, a site-wide alert is initiated at a volume that’s practical for alerting a busy construction site. Detection units are available to provide automatic triggering of the fire alarm.
Since it is EN54 compliant, the system can be installed to BS5839 part 1 standards, therefore enabling installation in Temporary Accommodation Units (TAUs) as well as throughout your site.
BS58393 is the standard which lays out a code of practice for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire detection and fire alarm systems in and around buildings. Specific standards are set out for individual system components, including:
- Manual Call Points
Should conform to BS EN 54-11 for Type A (“single action”) manual call points
- Point smoke detectors
Should conform to BS EN 54-7
- Components and systems using radio links
Should conform to BS EN 54-25
- Audible fire alarm devices
Should conform to BS EN 54-3
Because it’s certified as compliant with the relevant sections of EN54, the WES+ product range can be installed to BS5839, delivering the ability to provide protection for temporary accommodation units as soon as they’re on site at the very start of your project.
European guidelines on the use of radio technology in emergency equipment4 specify the use of the highest level Category 1 receivers in ‘human life inherent systems’ – i.e those in which any failure may result in physical risk to a person.
The WES+ system uses Category 1 receivers throughout, ensuring maximum signal reliability for your critical construction site evacuation system.
The Structural Timber Association’s 16 Steps to Timber Frame Construction document5 explicitly recommends the use of a product with the features and benefits of WES+ in all construction and refurbishment projects involving the use of timber frame buildings:
“An appropriately designed, installed and maintained automatic fire detection alarm system can reasonably ensure that site operatives will be aware of a fire before it can become large enough to compromise their
As a general rule, handbells, whistles and similar fire alarm devices are probably not going to be loud enough or heard easily by all site operatives on multi-storey construction projects. Electrically operated fire warning devices must always be used in timber frame projects unless it can be clearly demonstrated that other systems are effective.
These devices should be linked to detection devices strategically placed around the structure to provide the earliest possible detection of fire.”
Contact us for more information about how WES+ can help you ensure your construction sites meet appropriate construction health and safety requirements.