Technical Focus: Fire Alarm Zone Plans


This month in our Technical Focus, Steve Snoddon, Joint MD of Diamond explains a crucial element of Fire Detection and Alarm Systems – Fire Alarm Zone Plans.

Q: What is a Fire Alarm Zone Plan?

A: It’s a diagrammatic representation of a building, showing the division of the building into detection zones. It also shows the building’s exits and stairs. It is recognised that the provision of a zone plan is of benefit to life safety and as such its provision is now greatly emphasised.

Q: When is a Fire Alarm Zone Plan a requirement?

A: BS5839-1:2017 – The Code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises, states that all non-domestic buildings must have fire alarm zone plans to fully comply with the Code of Practice. An accurate and up to date plan helps the fire service by quickly directing them to the source of the raised alarm, in the event of an emergency.

Q: Where should a Fire Alarm Zone Plan be located?

A: A zone plan should be adjacent to the Control and Indicating Equipment (CIE), i.e. the fire alarm panel. Accordingly, it is important to ensure that a suitable zone plan is provided adjacent to all CIE (including any repeat control and/or indicating equipment), unless the CIE incorporates a suitable display e.g. an illuminated mimic diagram. 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.

Q: What are the implications of not having a Fire Alarm Zone Plan?

A: In at least one multiple fatality fire, it was determined that some or all of the deaths could have been avoided if a diagrammatic representation of the premises (zone plan) had been provided close to the Control and Indicating Equipment. The absence of a zone plan is regarded as a major variation to the British standard.

Q: How can I get a Fire Alarm Zone Plan?

A: Contact the team at Diamond to discuss obtaining a Fire Alarm Zone Plan, email

Technical Focus: Fire Alarm Zone Plans