Practical Guide to Grade D Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems

The Practical Guide to Grade D Fire Alarm Systems has been published by Tim Benstead Associates to support the designer, installer, commissioner and maintainer of Grade D fire detection and fire alarm systems in dwellings.

The book addresses the following:

  • Competence
  • Fire risk assessment
  • Design
  • Installation
  • Commissioning and certification
  • Maintenance

Data is generated by the fire and rescue services for England and is published by the Home Office. Some key elements are highlighted as they relate to fires:

  • Of the 243 fatalities in the year to March 2020, 199 occurred in dwellings
  • Of these 199 fatalities, 175 occurred in single occupancy dwellings

Data published in Scotland follows similar trends to the rest of the UK.

Data from the last 20 years shows that following the introduction of smoke alarms within dwellings, there has been a significant reduction in fatalities. However, Home Office data (Fire statistics table 0703) shows that the failure rate of battery-powered smoke alarms remains stubbornly fixed at 38%, and has varied very little for the last 10 years. Similarly, whilst the reliability of mains-powered smoke alarms is better than that of battery-powered alarms, the failure rate again is stubbornly set at 21%. Yet again this figure has not varied within the last 10 years.

The reasons for such failure rates may be complex, but include inappropriate design, incorrect positioning and the failure to maintain fire alarm systems.

With landlords looking to ensure compliance with current legislation and electricians needing independent credible support when designing and installing fire detection and fire alarm systems, this book is a timely publication.

Tim spent many years with Certsure LLP (operating the NICEIC brand), and as the Principal Technical Author was responsible for its technical publications including books, Connections articles and its Technical Manual.

Tim Benstead MSc, MIET, MCIBSE, Bed (Hons) sits on FSH12/1 the BSI Committee responsible for, amongst other things, BS 5839-1 and BS 5839-6. He is also Chair of JPEL64/B and sits on JPEL64 and now runs Tim Benstead Associates as an independent consultant offering independent support for the electrical installation industry.

The publication is distributed by and major electrical wholesalers.

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