Fire Alarm Zone Plans
From the UK’s Leading Trade Supplier of Bespoke Fire Safety Drawings.
What is a Fire Alarm Zone Plan?
A Fire Alarm Zone Plan is a diagrammatic representation of the building, showing at least the building entrances, the main circulation areas, and the division into zones. These should be sited next to each CIE (Control & Indicating Equipment), which is any fire alarm control panel or fire alarm repeater panel location.
Every fire alarm system should display the zone as the primary indication of an alarm, usually in the form of an LED illuminated on the fire alarm control panel. The Fire Alarm Zone Plan is displayed next to the control panel, to guide the user, or attending fire and rescue service, directly to the zone of the fire alarm activation.
why are they needed?
Fire Alarm Zone Plans are essential to translate the illuminated zone LED on the fire alarm control panel into an identifiable area of the building, to facilitate the quickest and safest response to an alarm condition.
In accordance with BS 5839-1:2017, when a competent person or company carries out the maintenance on any fire alarm system it is a requirement that a missing zone plan should be recorded as a major non-compliance.
Standard Zone Plans
A standard Fire Alarm Zone Plan, showing the plan of the building and the division into fire alarm zones.
Correctly orientated with an appropriate ‘YOU ARE HERE’ marker to aid quick location of both the user and the area of the fire alarm condition.
Site Zone Plans
On larger industrial or retail sites, a site plan is a more beneficial way to show all the zones associated with the fire alarm system.
Where the individual buildings have their own smaller fire alarm system, each will have its own fire alarm zone plan too.
High Rise Zone Plans
On many high-rise buildings, multiple floors can have an almost identical layout. To enable the floors to be displayed as large as possible to show all the circulation areas clearly, this method is often used.
This shows the similar floor layouts as one ‘typical’ plan with the levels and their corresponding fire alarm zones. shown on the elevation view of the property.
Smoke Ventilation Zone Plan
Like a fire alarm system, the smoke vent control system also operates using zones to automatically open vents.
We can create your zone plans for these systems, making them easy to understand which area the smoke vents are operating once the system is activated.
Emergency Voice Communication
One of the new recommendations in BS 5839-9:2021 for Emergency Voice Communication Systems is the provision of a correctly orientated diagrammatic representation of the building showing the master station and outstations.
Where the EVCS master station and fire alarm control panel are together, this can be combined with the fire alarm zone plan.
FIRE ALARM/EVCS COMBINED Zone Plans
We’re delighted our input into this new revised standard has been included. When we combine any further detail onto a zone plan we always use ISO 7010 symbols to ensure it remains clear and easy to understand.
A ZONE PLAN FOR EVERY BUILDING
Fire Alarm Zone Plans
BS 5839-1:2017 states that zone plans are required on every system of any size in order to be compliant. If your system doesn’t have a zone plan, the competent person or company maintaining the fire alarm system should note this as a major non-compliance.
See BS 5839-1:2017 46.2 (b).
The current British Standard BS 5839-1:2017 states that zone plans are required on every system of any size. If your fire alarm system has no zone plan in place, this should be noted as a major non-compliance during a routine maintenance visit.
A zone plan should detail a geographical representation of the building clearly showing the division into fire alarm zones. The drawing of the building layout should clearly show final exits, common escape routes, circulation areas, stairs and the division of the building into fire alarm zones. Every fire alarm system has at least one fire alarm zone. The zone numbers should be clearly indicated on the plan as well as the Fire Alarm Panel position.
As each building is different there is no ‘one size fits all’ plan or time – each is different.
BS 5839-1:2017 states that a zone plan is,
‘a diagrammatic representation of the building showing at least the building entrances, the main circulation areas and the division into zones, should be sited next to each CIE’ A list alone wouldn’t satisfy this.
Even with good descriptions, someone unfamiliar with the building wouldn’t necessarily know where these areas are, or the extent of them.
If you are a trade supplier of fire alarm systems and/or fire alarm system maintenance services, contact us on 03333 441516 or email email@example.com
If you need a fire alarm zone plan for your premises, please contact your maintenance provider.
There is no written clause within the standard that states a ‘You are here’ is required. However, this information is vital to the response team (who may have never been in the building before), to quickly identify where they are positioned in relation to the zone that is in alarm, so they can promptly determine a route to the correct zone.
This information is backed up by the commentary of section 23.1 which describes ‘The objective is to ensure that those responding to a fire alarm signal (including staff on the premises and firefighters) are given unambiguous information as to the location of a fire. Then further in clause 23.2.2 (3) which requires the zone plan to be ‘correctly orientated’.
At QDOS, we create all of our zone plans using Autocad Software which will either involve us using existing DWG drawings of buildings or re-creating the building drawing from scans/sketches. The benefit of using this software as opposed to PDF editing software is that we can easily make changes to a building if required. All zone plans are then provided in DWG and PDF format with a range of different finishes also available.
The only device that should be added to a zone plan is the Fire Alarm panel position. The purpose of the zone plan is to keep it clear for its purpose to quickly identify the zone location in alarm. Cluttering a drawing with devices/address numbers and wiring will overcomplicate the drawing and potentially cause delays in identifying the zone in alarm. We would recommend that a separate device layout/as-fitted drawing is prepared and kept either in a document box or available to view in PDF format as this drawing does not need to be on display.
QDOS only supply zone plans to trade customers through their trade accounts. The reason for this is that we require the input of a fire alarm engineer to advise us of the necessary fire alarm information such as the fire alarm zone boundaries and panel position. If you are an end-user needing a fire alarm zone plan then contact your fire alarm maintenance provider who will be able to assist.
There are four finishes available for zone plans if you need more than an e-mailed PDF copy:
Framed (Silver anodised snap frame):
Each print is delivered in a silver anodised frontloading ‘snap’ frame. It comes with an anti-glare acetate cover. This finish is cost-effective and suitable for most applications.
HILUX (Photoluminescent plastic):
HILUX finish is made of 1.2mm rigid PVC. It possesses photoluminescent properties that exceed PSPA ‘Class C’ Standard. This finish is also delivered in a silver anodised snap frame
Aluminium (Anoprinted aluminium):
This finish is ideal for external use. It is both vandal and weather-resistant. The aluminium can be safely cleaned with graffiti-removing chemicals.
Acrylic (5mm White-backed acrylic):
It is made of 5mm high-quality cast acrylic, which is non-shatter. This finish has good resistance to discolouration and most chemicals. It is suitable for prestigious finishes and is 100% recyclable.