Fire Safety Advice and Guidance

Are you confident over competence?

Despite all the good work being undertaken through the Grenfell Inquiry, the Hackitt Review and other initiatives, it is the FPA’s view that much more needs to be achieved around competency. There is currently no consistent definition of what competency looks like outside of the industry for fire risk assessors, building managers, installers or maintainers of active or passive fire protection systems. This needs to change. 

As outlined in our first paper in this Know Your Building series, a comprehensive fire strategy and sound business continuity plan are needed in order for organisations to have a truly resilient approach to fire safety. However, another essential element is to ensure that those entrusted with managing fire safety, assessing fire risk and maintaining or installing equipment are competent to perform their roles. This concept of competency lies at the heart of any successful building fire protection strategy. It is a key link in the chain – without it, the chain is broken and safety may potentially be fatally compromised.

In this new mini paper we cover:

  • Key areas currently lacking in Building Regulations
  • Applying competency in practice
  • Third party certification
  • The role of the fire risk assessment

By sharing this mini paper, we hope to help you understand a little more about competency when it comes to fire safety and the actions you can take as a building owner or manager to ensure competency.


Wireless Fire Alarm System Fitted to The Coppice Retirement Home. Following a Fire Risk Assessment we were asked to carry out a survey at the Coppice for Select Retirement Service. Next steps highlighted system needed enhancing with Wireless Fire Alarm System upgrades

We noticed that the existing Fire System installed was not sufficient for the proposed procedure for the premises (Stay put). Also, the System was not satisfactory, where detection was not installed in some areas ….. and 1 Zone covered the full premises all over 4 floors and a loft space. This was a big issue because if there was a Fire it could be anywhere within the building’s communal areas meaning valuable time could be wasted locating the Fire. Due to the size and layout of the building and weighing up the aesthetics and labour involved, we proposed to install an EMS Addressable Wireless System. The actual installation of the full system was completed in only 2 days, with very little mess or disruption to the residents. They also have Framed Zonal Drawing installed as per BS5839-1-2017 to aid the Addressable System which now has separate Zones for each floor and Loft.

We also installed Wireless monitoring Equipment so that the premises could achieve the stay put procedure as requested. This would alert the Alarm receiving centre who depending on what time of day it was would either contact the keyholders or call on the Fire Service to attend.

The residents now have an extremely reliable EMS wireless system in place and peace of mind knowing they are safe 24/7 and 365 days a year. Combined with the routine maintenance from Fire Queen this System will keep them safe for many years to come.

It was also delightful to get such excellent feedback from the House Manager on how the upgraded system is working.

Many thanks to M Goodall and Brian Preston at Fire Queen for their excellent service today.

As it was our first test with you I was keen to see how it all went, great guys and a great job done.

Many thanks Janine Carr

Select Retirement Service


Wireless Fire Alarm Systems - Innovative, Effective and Efficient





With easy installation, effective fire detection coverage, and brilliant flexibility, whether you need a new fire alarm system installing or an existing fire alarm system enhancing/ extending, Wireless Fire Alarm systems are a fantastic option for your fire alarm system. Protecting people and property efficiently and cost effectively.

What are Wireless Fire Alarm Systems?

As the name states a wireless fire alarm system has no wires. The innovative system transmits a radio signal from the call points and smoke/or heat detectors to the fire alarm’s control panel. As a user of a wireless fire alarm system, the system will work and look exactly the same as a hard wired system, if you spot a fire you break the call point glass or the system detects smoke/ heat, the detector sends the alarm signal, the system detects the alarm condition, raises the alarm, and also indicates the location of the fire via zone text. Plus an individual device text description.
So the fire safety procedures are all the same, the system just sends the signal via radio frequency rather than a hard wired signal activation.

Why Choose a Wireless Fire Alarm System?

Wireless Fire Alarm Systems are ideal for fire alarm systems for many situations.

  • Wireless means quick installation
  • No wires mean minimum disruption
  • No wires allow installation for areas of structural sensitivity, Heritage Sites, Listed Buildings or where minimum disturbance is required, Care Homes, Clinics, hospitals etc.
  • Flexibility to extend existing Fire Alarm system – see Case Study
  • Wireless Fire Systems are ideal for protecting buildings during construction as they can be adapted as the construction develops
  • Great to use where access is difficult but still need Fire Protection
  • Wireless Fire system can work without mains power
  • As efficient and reliable as hard wired Fire alarm systems but can be fitted with minimum disruption
  • The layout or addition of devices can be updated if the building is extended or the use of rooms and need for fire detection, smoke/ heat changes, so extremely flexible

What is the advantage of Wireless Fire System?

Wireless fire detection and fire alarm systems have proven to be an important, flexible solution for business owners, commercial premises, care homes, architects, residential developments, property developers and much much more…..

Wireless Systems take minimum labour to install, with a 30-50 device system taking 2 men only 1-2 days to install. Similar installations of wired systems would take 2-4 weeks to install, therefore a Wireless Fire System is ideal where time and disruption are limiting factors

Wireless fire alarm systems are fast becoming the ideal solution for Fire Alarm system installation due to the easy installation, the enormous flexibility and endless combinations of wireless devices, they are also a fantastic method of expanding and enhancing existing hard wired fire alarm systems.
Minimal Disruption, Rapid Installation

Wireless Fire Alarm Systems are ideal for fire alarm systems requiring a quick installation. These fire alarms require no cables installing between the panel and devices. This also means that the decoration within the building does not need to be affected during the installation process.

What types of Wireless Fire Alarm Systems are Available?

At Fire Queen we use a range of systems depending on the specific needs of the premises/ building. Following a Fire Risk assessment, we were asked to carry out a survey at the Coppice for Select Retirement Services. The outcome was to install an EMS Addressable Wireless System, you can read the Case Study here

EMS SmartCell is a fantastic Flexible system with some excellent features.

is the UK’s number one developer and manufacturer of wireless and hybrid fire detection products.

SmartCell has been designed as a complete wireless fire detection system to protect people and property. The system incorporates separate information zones which allow input devices to be configured in multiple configurations, providing maximum flexibility to the user and designer. In the event of an alarm, the system detects the alarm condition, raises the alarm, and also indicates the location of the fire via zone text and indication along with an individual device text description. The system also supports remote connectivity for alarm routing and remote services. The system can:

  • Activate other building systems
  • Raise alarms locally via sounders
  • Raise alarms remotely via integrated or external communication modules
  • Call the fire and rescue service
  • Raise information alert events from wireless input devices

EMS SmartCell Wireless Fire Alarm System

The Wireless Control Panel is the main component part of the wireless fire protection system. Various devices can connect to the system, these include:
Manual Call Points
Sounders, with or without Beacons
Dual Smoke and Heat Detectors with or without Combined Sounders and Beacons Dual Input/Output Devices

SmartCell systems can support up to 64 wireless devices with a maximum of 32 wireless fire detection devices.
Also 230 VAC and 24 VDC powered wireless control panels are also available.
Communication between Devices and the Control Panel is bidirectional and operates in the European harmonised 868 MHz frequency band.
The Control Panel allows full Cause and Effect programming with two on-board relay outputs available. A communications module may also be fitted allowing remote configuration, plus text and email notifications. Alternatively, information can be passed directly to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Additional equipment may be required.
All SmartCell wireless devices, including sounders are battery powered and do not need to be included in the loop loading calculations.

Information devices can also be added to the system. When triggered, information devices generate information alerts at the SmartCell Control Panel.
Upon an information alert event, details will be displayed on the Control Panel’s OLED display and the Control Panel’s buzzer will sound. The SmartCell control panel can also trigger SmartCell wireless information sounders and/or notify the user via text or email notification.
Typical applications include the monitoring of doors (opening/closing), a loss of power to your fridge, flood detection and an alarm condition on your intruder system.

With significant time saving against conventional and addressable fire system installations, no cables, no mess and no inconvenience to everyday business, SmartCell is perfect for all small to medium sized businesses.

If you’re looking to install a new Fire Alarm System or need to enhance or extend your current Fire Alarm System contact Fire Queen now


Read more

Schools are at double the risk of fire than other buildings

A reminder to Schools that fire safety provisions and systems should be reviewed and maintained on a regular basis.

IFSEC Global have reported that “according to new research from insurer, Zurich Municipal, schools in England are “nearly twice as likely” to suffer from a fire as other types of commercial buildings.”

The data, from 28,800 schools in England alone, noted reasons including poor fire detection and the regular presence of cooking equipment. The article adds that “these issues have resulted in nearly 2,000 school blazes in the last three years.” The article continues to discuss the benefit of sprinkler systems in place, but BAFE strongly believe that other life safety systems should not be ignored or thought of as lesser importance to sprinkler systems.

This news comes out as more Fire and Rescue Services begin to review response measures in place for Automatic Fire Alarm activation (AFA). Cleveland Fire Brigade (CFB) for example have, from the 1st September, in fact stopped automatic dispatch for schools and a range of “low or medium risk” buildings – meaning a 999 call will have to be made to confirm a fire prior to any attendance.

Fire detection and alarm systems, emergency lighting, kitchen fire suppression and fire extinguishers should all be regularly maintained to ensure risk is mitigated as best as possible. This also coincides with BAFE COVID-19 guidance that Fire Risk Assessments should now also recognise any changes made to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures.

Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented “we absolutely cannot allow fire to disrupt schools at this time with students finally returning from the long interruption due to coronavirus. I cannot stress enough the importance of using Third Party Certificated providers to deliver these specific fire safety services to competently help meet your obligations.”

To read the article please click on the link below


Read more

Protecting Fire Extinguishers from Theft and Misuse

Are you suffering from fire extinguisher misuse? It is common for fire extinguishers to be used as temporary doorstops, but they’re also prone to theft and when discharged unnecessarily can cause harm to the environment.

Fire extinguisher regulations state that extinguishers should be either mounted to a wall or placed in a stand to discourage people from moving them around, however, this advice is often ignored with extinguishers commonly used to prop open doors, especially in warmer summer months.

Required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, appropriate fire-fighting equipment must be provided where there is any risk of fire; should you fail to meet fire extinguisher regulations you could find that your insurance will not payout in the event of an incident.

Fire extinguishers are also prone to theft and when discharged unnecessarily pose a risk, both to the environment, and nearby persons: ‘fumes from CO2 extinguishers can asphyxiate’, and powder extinguishers have the potential ‘to impair vision’.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 makes the misuse of an extinguisher in the workplace an offence for which someone can be criminally prosecuted, stating in Section 8: “No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions.”

In 2017, a teenager was handed a suspended jail sentence for stealing a fire extinguisher, with the Judge commenting: “The theft of a fire extinguisher is in my mind the equivalent to the theft of a lifebuoy in that it put life at risk.”

The Theft Stopper is a sturdy, tamperproof, self-contained device which prevents the theft, misuse and vandalism of fire extinguishers. Strong PVC coated metal rope wraps around the neck of the extinguisher and when removed from the unit will activate a piercing 95/105 dB alarm to alert you to any misuse or removal.

To read the article please click on link below

Fire Queen provide Anti Theft Devices

Or call to discuss your Fire Saftey Product requirements

Read more

Simultaneous. Evacuation -Updated Guidance from the NFCC


Following extensive consultation, updated guidance from the NFCC led stakeholder group on simultaneous evacuation introduces key changes.

  • Advises consultation with residents and leaseholders to explore cost/benefit options
  • Emphasises the need to consider the installation of common fire alarms where measures are now, or are likely to be in place for the longer term.
  • Provides a clear distinction between waking watch and evacuation management as separate roles.
  • Emphasises that residents can carry out waking watches and/or evacuation management duties so long as they are appropriately trained

It also provides new definitions:

  • Short-term: the time required to formulate a longer-term remediation plan, as soon as practically possible and no longer than 12 months; and
  • Temporary: non-permanent measures implemented to mitigate an unacceptable risk in a building, as an interim measure, adopted for the safety of residents while works to rectify the identified fire safety failings are carried out.

This is the third edition of the technical guidance on arrangements to support a temporary change to the evacuation strategy. Such a change should only be considered when all other interim risk mitigation measures, as set out in the consolidated advice note, have been found to be insufficient in managing the risk.

Following the increasing number of buildings being identified with combustible cladding and without any known guidance on changing from stay put to simultaneous evacuation, in 2017 NFCC and other sector stakeholders produced guidance to avoid people being removed from their homes.

The guidance sets out measures to support the immediate safety of residents, whilst fully accepting that the principle way to reduce risk is to urgently remediate the non-compliant external wall systems.

Edition three of the guide is published in conjunction with ARMA; Fire Protection Association; Fire Industry Association; OPTIVO; and Institute of Fire Engineers

To Read the Full Article please click on the Link Below


Read more

The Fire Protection Association YouTube channel is a great source of information for your business. Since 1946, The Fire Protection Association (FPA) has offered; advice, products andamp; services relating to all aspects of fire safety. The FPA works to identify and draw attention to the dangers of fire and the means by which their potential for occurrence and loss is kept to a minimum.


Read more