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Earth fault in fire alarm system

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NFSBM
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Earth fault in fire alarm system

Post by NFSBM »

Hi, I'm completely new to this forum and to fire regs, so hoping to draw on the knowledge of others.

We occupy a grade two listed church that was completely refurbished for our use eight years ago. It has been plagued with building issues, and we have given up trying to resolve these with the builders.

On the lower floor there is a small reception area, a large and high main hall (240ppl max occupancy), one small office for four people, a kitchenette, and two studios. On the upper floor there is one office for 11 people and a balcony (60ppl max occupancy for entire upper floor)

The company who services our fire alarm has told us that there is an earth fault somewhere in the system. They have spent three days trying to find the fault at a cost of £1000 per day and have told us that they have ruled out half the building. They have quoted us £1000 more to spend another day looking for the fault, but have made clear they might not be able to find it within the day.

I don't want to give the impression that I am reckless with fire safety, but I am concerned about the mounting costs with no resolution. My question is this - is it acceptable to give up on the old system and to fit some kind of stand alone system, possibly battery powered and linked to eachother as we currently have a L2 system (BS5839) in our building.

Given that we are church with high ceilings there are additional costs to hire access equipment for them to look for the fault, again with the possibility of not being able to find it.

If anyone has any advice guidance whatsoever I'd really be grateful to hear it.

Thanks in advance,
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Waterbaby
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Re: Earth fault in fire alarm system

Post by Waterbaby »

Bump ./thumbsup..

WB
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Messy
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Re: Earth fault in fire alarm system

Post by Messy »

Its a very tricky situation and like with any defect that is ongoing and unresolved, part of the issue here is not necessarily a H&S one. Do you trust your current contractors in terms of competence or honesty?

Have you sufficient fire detection coverage now, especially manual call points and sounders? Ie can somebody raise the alarm? If not you may well need to review your FRA and install an interim/temp solution

This could be a back up battery operated system or just wardens with whistles when the meeting space is use. I couldn't possibly guess what you may need when assessing blind

As for a permanent solution, wireless battery fire alarm systems can be installed to achieve 5839 compliance. They can be cheaper to install than hard wired systems but maintenence costs can be higher and the high ceilings you refer to may create battery changing issues.

You really are stuck between a rock and a hard place here and I am sorry I can give you a helpful reply

I am out and about right now but will post another forums details later where fire alarm engineers chat and are really helpful
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Messy
Grand Shidoshi
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Occupation: Ex London Fire Brigade. Now 'retired' and taking some time for me before a new challenge I am planning in early 2022
Location: Sunny London where the streets are paved with gold ;)
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Re: Earth fault in fire alarm system

Post by Messy »

NFSBM

I would suggest you try this forum as I have found their technical ability and generosity to be very helpful - Good luck


http://firealarmengineers.com/forum/index.php
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