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Bid to End Smoke Alarm Confusion

Following some confusion and misinformation by some companies regarding the 17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations in regard to smoke alarm installation, Aico Ltd is offering free advice to all contractors and specifiers to ensure safe

Neil Perdell, National Technical Manager of Aico, explains the need to add clarity: "There has been confusion in the market regarding the 17th Edition with some people mistakenly believing that it demands domestic smoke alarm systems to be wired on a dedicated circuit. This is incorrect.

"There is, in fact, no reference to domestic alarm systems in the whole document. Regulation 560.10 makes reference to fire protection applications with the statement: 'see BS 5839'. But, Appendix A informs you that this is BS 5839: Pt.1, the standard for commercial systems, not domestic. This is where
the confusion arises."

The advice from IEE, NICEIC, ECA and SELECT is that, in the absence of specific advice, BS 5839: Pt.6 - the British Standard for domestic installations - should be referred to. BS 5839: Pt.6 states that a Grade D system (domestic mains smoke & heat alarms with a back-up supply) may be wired either from a dedicated circuit or from a regularly used lighting circuit; it also refers to radio-linked systems as being acceptably wired in this manner. Wiring from a lighting circuit is advantageous as it is unlikely the user will deliberately or accidentally turn the circuit off, which is more likely in the case of a dedicated circuit.

As a company committed to raising the standards of installation of domestic fire alarm systems, Aico is pleased to offer this installation advice to contractors and specifiers free of charge. "If anyone has the slightest doubt" states Neil, "we invite them to contact us for detailed installation advice. We understand the importance of correct installation procedures and have many years experience. Our alarms are installed across the UK in hundreds of thousands of domestic premises."

In addition to telephone advice and free installation guidelines, Aico also offers electrical contractors across the UK the opportunity to participate in the Aico Fire Products Trained Installer scheme. The Scheme is dedicated to providing members with the information and training necessary to achieve a successful and effective fire alarm installation. Combining a mixture of training and technical information, key topics covered by the scheme include an introduction to BS 5839: Pt.6: 2004, information on the types of smoke, heat and fire alarms for use in different applications, siting and installation guidance, as well as valuable information on wiring smoke and heat alarms in accordance with the 17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations.

For further information please contact Aico on 0870 758 4000 or go to

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