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Most commercial and industrial premises require a fire detection system to protect life and property.

National and local legislation cover a variety of buildings and their safety requirements, therefore it is always advisable to consult the local Fire Prevention Officer about specific premises.

The following guide is intended as a reference only, and BS 5839 Part 1 2002 should be consulted for all fire system design requirements.

You’re responsible for fire safety in business or other non-domestic premises if you’re:

- an employer

- the owner

- the landlord

- an occupier

- anyone else with control of the premises, for example a facilities manager, building manager, managing agent or risk assessor

You’re known as the ‘responsible person’. If there’s more than one responsible person, you have to work together to meet your responsibilities


As the responsible person you must:

- carry out a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it regularly tell staff or their representatives about the risks you’ve identified

- put in place, and maintain, appropriate fire safety measures

- plan for an emergency

- provide staff information, fire safety instruction and training

The Fire Safety Order

also applies if you have paying guests, for example if you run a bed and breakfast, guesthouse or let a self-catering property.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the responsible person is required to – following a risk assessment – implement appropriate fire safety measures to minimize the risk to life from fire, and to keep the assessment up to date.

SYSTEM GUIDELINES - BS5839 Part 1 : 19

You could be fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.

Minor penalties can be up to £5,000. Major penalties can have unlimited fines and up to 2 years in prison.