What is BS 8629?
BS 8629:2019 is a new standard. It is the code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in buildings containing flats.
What is this standard about?
Not to be confused with fire detection and alarm systems, evacuation alert systems are for use by the fire and rescue service only, which may, in the course of managing a fire incident, want residents to evacuate sections of a floor (in a large building), individual floors, or the entire building. Using an evacuation alert system, residents can be directed to evacuate via alarms sounded in each flat.
This standard exists to help ensure that systems are fit for purpose and to encourage uniformity. If systems look and function the same way in every building firefighters won’t waste any time understanding how they work.
Why should you use this standard?
This standard makes recommendations on the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by the fire and rescue service in buildings containing flats.
The objective is to provide a reliable and effective tool to assist in the evacuation of a building containing flats in whatever manner is considered appropriate by fire and rescue service operational commanders.
Typically these systems are for high-rise blocks of flats, but the scope of this British Standard includes systems installed in any building containing flats, regardless of height. Both single-storey flats and maisonettes are described by the generic term “flats”, other than when, for the purpose of a specific recommendation, the term maisonette is used.
NOTE: It is not implied that there is a requirement in law for these systems to be installed in all blocks of flats. However, as of November 2019, Scottish Government guidance  on the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004  recommends that these systems are installed in all new blocks of flats with a storey more than 18 m above ground level. As a result of that guidance, the publication of this British Standard was appropriate.
Types of system
BS 8629:2019 allows the use of wired or radio technology. It is anticipated that radio systems would be more appropriate for retrofitting into existing buildings and that wired systems would be more cost effective over the life of the building.
Our fire engineers have undergone and passed FIA training to BS 8629.
This course provides the fundamental knowledge of the recommendations of BS 8629 for the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by the fire and rescue service in buildings containing flats.
Our engineers have been trained on
- The need for an emergency evacuation system
- The requirements with regards to monitoring, integrity and reliability
- The recommendations for evacuation alert zones, sounders and audibility
- Consideration of arrangements for disabled people
- Recommendations in relation to the Evacuation Alert Control & Indicating Equipment
- The recommendations for cabling, wiring and other interconnections
- Considerations for radio linked systems
- Commissioning, Handover, Maintenance and the User responsibilities.