Fire Alarm Zone Plan – Your Complete Guide

Fire alarm zone plans are crucial for quick emergency responses, showing detailed maps of fire alarm coverage in buildings. These maps should be positioned next to each CIE (control & indicating equipment), which is any fire alarm control panel or fire alarm repeater panel locations. This is required as it allows any user or rescue service person to access the direct zone of the fire alarm which has activated. In this guide we will cover their creation, use, and significance for safety management, aiding both occupants and responders during emergencies.

What is a fire alarm zone plan?


A fire alarm zone plan is a detailed diagram that outlines the specific areas within a building covered by fire alarms, aiding in swift emergency responses. It serves as a vital tool for safety management, ensuring that both building occupants and first responders can efficiently navigate and address potential fire incidents. A fire alarm zone plan is a necessity for fire safety standards of your company.

Why do you need a fire alarm zone plan?


You need a fire alarm zone plan to ensure efficient emergency responses by clearly marking the areas covered by fire alarms. It is crucial to match the illuminated zone LED on the fire alarm control panel showing your location in the building. Pairing your current location on the control panel with your building’s zone plan allows people to quickly identify where they are and, more importantly, the building’s set-up. This is crucial for guiding occupants and first responders during fire incidents, enhancing safety and minimising potential damage.

Also, according to BS 5839-1:2017. Not having/missing a fire alarm zone plan during inspections is noted as a major non-compliance, making an accurate zone plan crucial for life safety in case of an emergency.


What should your fire alarm zone plan include?


Your fire alarm zone plan should include the following:

  • Detailed maps indicating the coverage of fire alarms and fire detection zones.
  • Key building features (like stairs), circulation areas, and common escape routes.
  • Exit routes and final exits.
  • Locations of fire safety equipment.

This building layout perspective is needed because it ensures the best possible chances of safety in response to fire risks.


What are the requirements of a fire alarm zone plan?


The requirements of a fire alarm zone plan include detailed coverage maps of all fire alarms in the building. Your fire alarm zone plan should also include clear markings of exits and safety equipment locations. This ensures your compliance with fire safety regulations to allow effective emergency response and building safety in the event of any fire incidents.

Where should my fire alarm zone be?


Your fire alarm zone should be strategically located to cover critical areas. These areas include all occupied spaces, entry and exit points, and high-risk areas. Placing your fire alarm zones in these areas across your building provides comprehensive surveillance and enables swift emergency response throughout the building.

How do I get a fire alarm zone plan?


Consult with fire safety professionals. Our team at RACAM can assess your building’s layout and perform fire risk assessments, which will allow us to identify areas requiring service. We will also design a comprehensive plan, tailored to your specific needs, ensuring you meet all regulatory requirements for effective emergency response. We can’t stress enough the importance and value of a fire alarm zone plans and the safety and utility they provide during fire emergencies.

Is it a mandatory requirement to have a fire alarm zone next to your fire alarm control panel?

Yes, it is a mandatory requirement to have a fire alarm zone plan next to your fire alarm control panel, as it aids in quickly identifying the origin of an alarm. Staying fully compliant allows rescuers, emergency services like the fire brigade, and individuals inside the building the ability to take immediate and effective emergency response actions.

What information needs to be shown on the fire alarm zone plan?

The information that needs to be shown on your fire alarm zone plan includes:

  1. A Layout of the Building: Including all floors, rooms, and key areas.
  2. Fire Alarm Zones: Marked areas that correspond to the fire alarm system’s segmentation.
  3. Locations of Fire Detection Devices: Such as smoke detectors, heat detectors, and manual call points.
  4. Fire Safety Equipment: Including fire extinguishers, hose reels, and fire blankets.
  5. Emergency Exits: Marked and accessible escape routes throughout the building.
  6. Assembly Points: Designated safe areas outside the building for evacuation.
  7. Fire Alarm Control Panel Location: For quick access and system management.
  8. Important Building Features: Such as stairs, elevators, and any areas that may require special attention during an evacuation.

Having all of this information shown on your fire alarm zone plan is necessary to keep everyone safe and informed in the event of a fire emergency. This is why the fire alarm zone plan is a vital tool for emergency response and building safety management. Also, it’s important to keep your fire safety equipment up to date, by reaching out for maintenance such as fire extinguisher servicing or installing the necessary equipment like fire alarm installations help ensure your fire safety is unwavering.


Is your fire alarm zone chart compliant to requirements of BS 5839-1?


Ensuring your Fire Alarm Zone Chart is compliant with BS 5839-1 is crucial, as it sets the British standard for fire detection and fire alarm systems. Being compliant with BS 5839-1 is required as th British standards requirements help guarantee your plan meets the necessary guidelines for safety and effectiveness in emergency situations.

Here is the requirements of BS 5839-1 below:

  • Risk Assessment: An initial assessment to determine the necessary level of protection and system complexity.
  • System Design: Tailoring the system to the building’s layout, ensuring appropriate coverage and type of detectors and alarms.
  • Installation: Compliance with the standard’s guidelines for installing components to ensure optimal functionality.
  • Commissioning and Handover: Formal verification that the system meets the designed specifications, with necessary documentation provided to the building owner.
  • Maintenance: Regular checks, servicing, and a routine maintenance to ensure the existing installation remains reliable and effective over time.
  • False Alarm Management: Strategies to minimise false alarms, ensuring the system’s credibility.
  • User Responsibilities: Clear guidelines for building owners and occupants on system operation and response in the event of an alarm.

These requirements ensure that fire detection and alarm systems provide effective early warning, allowing safe evacuation and timely emergency responses to any fire incidents.


The crucial role of fire alarm zone plans:


As has been made apparent, fire alarm zone plans play a pivotal role in enhancing safety within your building by providing detailed maps that outline the coverage of fire alarm systems across your property. Fire zone plans are crucial for guiding both occupants and emergency responders during fire incidents, ensuring swift and efficient action. Understanding the essentials of a fire alarm zone plan, including its components and requirements, is key to effective emergency preparedness. Compliance with the British standard BS 5839-1 is mandatory to ensure that your fire alarm system is reliable, effective, and capable of providing the necessary protection.

These guidelines are mandatory for a reason and by making sure your fire alarm zone plan is strategically placed and compliant, you can significantly improve the safety and readiness of your building in the event of a fire. Get in touch and have a tailored fire alarm zone plan created by RACAMs professional fire experts, your fire safety installer and maintenance provider.




How long does it take to make a fire alarm zone plan to be made?

The time required to create a fire alarm zone plan can vary widely depending on several factors including the size and complexity of your building, the detail required in the plan, and the availability of existing building layouts.

For smaller buildings, it might take a few days to gather information and draft the plan. However, for larger or more complex structures, the process could take several weeks to ensure accuracy and compliance with safety standards. It’s also important to factor in time for reviews and revisions to meet your requirements and needs.


Is it okay to have a zone list instead of a plan?

No, you should not replace a zone plan with a zone list. You shouldn’t use a zone list instead of a detailed fire alarm zone plan as it lacks the visual clarity needed for quick actions during emergencies. A graphical plan is more effective for guiding occupants and responders through a building safely and efficiently.

Is it a legal requirement to have a fire alarm zone plan?

In the UK, it is a legal requirement under certain fire safety regulations, such as the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, to have a fire detection and warning system in place. While the law mandates that fire safety measures are clearly documented and available, it does not explicitly state that a fire alarm zone plan is required in all cases. However, it is considered best practice having one and our professional opinion would recommend you implement zone plans.

How much does a fire alarm zone cost?

For a basic plan in a small building, costs can start from a few hundred pounds, but for larger or more complex premises requiring extensive surveying and detailed drafting, the price can increase to several thousand pounds.

What are repeater panels?

A repeater panel is an accessory to a fire alarm system that mirrors the information from the main control panel, allowing users to monitor and sometimes control the system from different locations within a building for added convenience and accessibility.

How often should I test my fire alarm?

We recommended you test your fire alarms weekly to make sure they’re working correctly. Additionally, we advise a more comprehensive, professional inspection and maintenance of the entire fire alarm system should be conducted annually. This will ensure all components are functioning optimally and in compliance with safety regulations.