|1.11 Smoke alarms should
normally be positioned in the circulation spaces between sleeping
spaces and places where fires are most likely to start (eg
kitchens and living rooms) to pick up smoke in the early stages,
while also being close enough to bedroom doors for the alarm
to be effective when
occupants are asleep.
1.12 In a house (including bungalows) there should be
at least one smoke alarm on every storey.
1.13 Where more than one smoke alarm is installed they
should be linked so that the detection of smoke by one unit
operates the alarm signal in all of them. The manufacturers
instructions about the maximum number of units that can be linked
should be observed.
1.14 Smoke alarms should be sited so that:
a. there is a smoke alarm in the circulation space within
7.5m of the door to every
b. where the kitchen area is not separated from the stairway
or circulation space by a door, there should be a compatible
interlinked heat detector in the kitchen, in addition to whatever
smoke alarms are needed in the circulation space(s);
c. they are ceiling mounted and at least 300mm from walls
and light fittings (unless in the case of light fittings there
is test evidence to prove that the proximity of the light fitting
will not adversely affect the efficiency of the detector). Units
designed for wall mounting may also be used provided that the
units are above
the level of doorways opening into the space, and they are fixed
in accordance with manufacturers instructions; and
d. the sensor in ceiling mounted devices is between 25mm
and 600mm below the ceiling (25-150mm in the case of heat detectors).
Note: This guidance applies to ceilings that are predominantly
flat and horizontal.
1.15 It should be possible to reach the smoke alarms
to carry out routine maintenance, such as testing and cleaning,
easily and safely. For this reason smoke alarms should not be
fixed over a stair shaft or any other opening between floors.
1.16 Smoke alarms should not be fixed next to or directly
above heaters or air conditioning outlets. They should not be
fixed in bathrooms, showers, cooking areas or garages, or any
other place where steam, condensation or fumes could give false
Smoke alarms should not be fitted in places that get very hot
(such as a boiler room), or very cold (such as an unheated porch).
They should not be fixed to surfaces which are normally much
warmer or colder than the rest of the space, because the temperature
difference might create air currents which move smoke away from
A requirement for maintenance can not be made as a condition
of passing plans by the Building Control Body. However the attention
of developers and builders is drawn to the importance of providing
the occupants with information on the use of the equipment,
and on its maintenance (or guidance on suitable maintenance
Note: BS 5839: Part 1 and Part 6 recommend that occupiers
should receive the manufacturers instructions concerning
the operation and maintenance of the alarm system.