As a leading supplier of fire protection products, ESP is constantly developing solutions and advising on ways to keep up with the latest requirements. Here, Product Manager Matt Barton answers a few simple questions about fire alarm zone plans. What is a fire alarm zone plan? A zone planner is a blueprint of a building that highlights the zones of fire detection zones. The main purpose of the zone plan is to be able to immediately determine where any potential fire will occur. The zone plan shows the layout of the building and clearly highlights separate fire alarm zones to aid in emergency evacuations. The area plan should also include: – building levels – escape routes and final exits (exits that open to a secure location, such as a parking lot or lobby) – circulation areas (corridors, stairs, elevators, etc.) – a “you are here” so that visitors and staff can of determining their exit path. Why do I need a fire alarm zone plan? Under BS5839-1:2017, it is mandatory for all buildings equipped with a fire alarm system to have an updated and accurate area plan. It should be clear and in the correct direction of the building, with a “You are here” sign indicating your exact location. An accurate, up-to-date plan, such as that provided by the ESP, helps the fire service by quickly directing them to the source of the raised alarm. It saves valuable time on both true and false activations. The standard states that area plans are required on every system of any size and major non-compliance during routine maintenance, when not shown on existing installations, must also be noted. This gives the installer or maintenance provider the responsibility to give the customer details of how to obtain the area plans for each CIE site on their system, to ensure compliance. What are the requirements for a fire alarm zone planner? By British standards, all area plans must be graphic to suit the purpose. It should be close to the fire alarm panel and accurately indicate the direction of the building. Where do I need a fire alarm zone plan? The area chart should be placed next to the CIE (Control Panel). This ensures that the fire service is quickly directed to the site of the fire. In the event of a false alarm, this can also help the service provider identify any problems in the detection area. How do I get a fire alarm zone plan? Because every building is different, there is no “one size fits all” fire alarm zone plan template. As part of ESP’s fire design service, the company will work with clients to provide a unique fire zone plan for each individual building. Designed to the highest standards, ESP area plans can be supplied as a framed hard copy or electronically issued for printing and framing as needed. For more information, call ESP at 01527 515150 or send an email or visit ESP.