First launched in 1995, British Standard BS5839 Part 6 has long established itself as a key standard for specifiers, architects and fire safety personnel, outlining the specific systems that should be installed for the purpose of life safety and property protection. Covering the implementation of fire precautions in domestic premises, including HMOs and sheltered housing, throughout both the dwelling units and common areas, the Standard is applicable to both new build and materially altered dwellings (in conjunction with regional building regulations) as well as existing properties. The recommendations can be applied to the fire detection components of combined domestic fire and intruder alarm systems, or fire and social alarm systems.
New recommendations have been added for fire detection in supported housing in particular, whilst revised guidance on the installation of communal fire alarm systems in purpose-built blocks of flats has also been introduced.
The 2019 revision has removed Grades E (mains-powered, no backup) and B (a mix of domestic and commercial alarm systems), split Grades D and F into two parts each (1 for tamper-proof batteries, 2 for user-replaceable batteries), and now officially acknowledges the option of connecting CO alarms into the same interlink system as smoke and heat alarms.