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Fire Alarms for Night Duties


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I work at an animal centre and we have to sleep on site as part of our job and for licensing rules. We stay in accommodation separated from the kennels. The kennel fire alarms cannot be heard from the accommodation, they are not connected to the fire service and they are not connected to any phones. So, essentially, if there is a fire overnight, there is nothing to alert the authorities or wake up the staff- until the dogs are potentially burning or choking. I'm extremely unhappy with this and am writing a series of emails to the head office. I'm trying to back it up with any laws or guidelines. Any advice on how to tackle this issue would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you.

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Hi @Joy and welcome to the forum

Essentially fire safety legislation in the UK looks after the safety of any person lawfully in the building except operational fire crews dealing with the fire 

Animals are not included so there is no requirement by law to do any more than your boss is doing. The fire alarm is only fitted to your workplace in this instance to protect you& fellow staff and visitors. So legislatively you have no ammunition there 

But I would like to ask why are you there? Presumably for the welfare of the animals which of course fire would relate to

What about business continuity? An unnoticed fire may develop to a stage which will put your business, well out of business. For the sake of a link to your sleeping area it seems a bit daft

It may be possible to link the main alarm to your sleeping location by pager. Ie the person sleeping over has a pager on them on by their bed. Or by wireless sounders (bells or siren linked wirelessly)

I would get your bosses to ask your fire alarm maintenance people about what options are available- or do it yourself and present your findings to him/her. It's almost certainly the fear of the cost that's stopping any action. 

In these circumstances, the link or pager would not necessarily need to be compliant with British standards or any other benchmark standard but it would make sense to do so

You MUST supplement the alarm with a strict emergency plan. I know what nutters you animal mad people are😉, but you really must not put yourself at risk which is easy to do especially if a lone worker. Raising the alarm and being on scene with info for the fire service is the most you can do. NO RESCUES OF DOGGIES please!!!

How about your sleeping accommodation? Have you got automatic fire detection installed there? I hope so as that will almost certainly be required

Good luck and please let us know how you got on with your boss

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Thank you so much for your reply. It was very helpful. I emailed the boss and apparently it's something they are looking into. I work for a nationwide charity and they want to roll out a system to call a mobile if the alarms are triggered. They didn't give me a time for this, so I guess I'll have to ask again in a month or so. 

Thanks again for your advice. And no, I definitely wont break a window to get to the keys to unlock the kennels if the alarms go off. Certainly not 

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