BS8629 was implemented in 2019 as a code of practice for the design, installation, commission and maintenance of fire evacuation alert systems to be used in residential buildings containing flats to aid fire and rescue services.
The standard was introduced in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy as a method of preventing further disaster and loss of life. The recommendation was for “all high rise residential building, both existing and future builds, to be equipped with facilities for use via emergency fire and rescue services to enable them to send evacuation signals to either the whole or selected part of the building using sounders of similar devices”.
Before the standard was introduced, on the rare occasion that evacuation was required it would be the responsibility of the emergency services to alert all residents by hand to evacuate the premises. With the introduction of evacuation systems, emergency services can evacuate a full floor with greater ease and speed, protecting more residents over a shorter period of time.