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What fire alarm system do I need for my holiday let?

When it comes to ensuring the safety of your guests while they enjoy their stay at your holiday let, having an effective fire alarm system is non-negotiable. However, with the myriad of options available in the market, selecting the perfect one that caters to your specific needs can be quite a challenge. This blog post aims to answer the common question, what fire alarm system do I need for my holiday let? and hopefully demystify this process.

We'll delve deep into the world of fire alarm systems, exploring the different types available, how they work, and what factors you need to consider when choosing the most suitable system for your holiday let. By the end of this post, you'll be well-equipped to make a decision that ensures the safety of your property and the well-being of your guests.

Choosing the Ideal Fire Alarm System that you need for Your Holiday Let.

Ensuring the safety of your guests is paramount when renting out your holiday home. A key component of this safety is the installation of a reliable fire alarm system.

Firstly you need to Understand a bit more about the Importance of Fire Alarm Systems.

Fire alarm systems are designed to detect and alert people when smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide are present. They can save lives and prevent property damage. For holiday let owners, they provide peace of mind knowing that your property and guests are safeguarded against potential fire hazards.

The Types of Fire Alarm Systems commonly found within short term holiday lets.

1. Heat Detectors: These are designed to detect sudden increases in temperature. They are ideal for kitchens or areas where smoke alarms may give false alarms.

2. Smoke Detectors: These devices detect smoke particles in the air. They are suitable for bedrooms, living rooms, and hallways.

3. Carbon Monoxide Detectors: These are essential for properties with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages. They detect harmful levels of carbon monoxide, a gas that is colourless, odourless and lethal.

4. Combined Systems: These are multi-functional detectors that can detect smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide. They are ideal for holiday lets as they offer all-round protection.

Choosing the Right Fire Alarm System for your holiday let property.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to fire alarm systems for holiday lets. The choice depends on the size, layout, and specific needs of your property. Consider the following factors:

1. Property Size and Layout: Larger properties might need interconnected alarms that trigger simultaneously. For multilevel properties, an alarm should be installed on each level for maximum safety.

2. Areas of Risk: Install heat detectors in kitchens and garages, smoke alarms in bedrooms and living rooms, and carbon monoxide detectors near fuel-burning appliances.

3. Local Regulations: Familiarise yourself with local fire safety regulations. Some areas may require specific types of alarms or a particular number of alarms based on the size and type of property.

4. Professional Advice: Consult with a fire safety professional. They can assess your property and suggest the most effective system.

another area is the Maintenance of your Fire Alarm Systems.

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure that your fire alarm system is working correctly, and we always recommend you keep a detailed testing log sheet often in the form of a fire safety log book.

1. Test each alarm weekly or before guest use.

2. Replace batteries at least once a year or whenever the low battery warning sounds.

3. Replace the entire alarm unit every ten years. (often a date of installation will be added to the alarm head)

Fire alarm showing the date of expiry

4. Keep the alarm clean from dust by gently vacuuming the unit regularly.

Now, what alarm category is normally recommended for holiday lets, within our risk assessments we recommend category LD1 protection across the property.

what does LD1 mean?

LD1 is the highest category of fire alarm system available and is generally suggested for holiday let properties. This comprehensive system provides the maximum level of protection, covering all areas of a property, including circulation areas, such as hallways and landings, as well as all rooms (excluding bathrooms and toilets).

image showing smoke alarm locations for a holiday let

The primary aim of an LD1 system is to provide the earliest possible warning of a fire, not just in the common areas, but in every room where a fire could start. This is especially important in a holiday let, where guests may not be familiar with the property layout or exits.

LD1 systems can be either wired or wireless and can include additional features such as emergency lighting, heat detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors, all working together to provide a comprehensive and robust fire safety solution.

While the LD1 system may be more expensive than other categories, the level of protection it offers makes it a worthwhile investment, particularly for properties with multiple rooms or levels, and those built with materials that can facilitate the rapid spread of fire.

BS 5839-6:2019 this document provides the Installation recommendations for fire alarm systems witch included holiday lets property.

BS 5839-6:2019 states that the fire alarm system should be interlinked, and this can be achieved either by hard-wiring alarms together or using wireless Radio-Frequency modules

The standard also recommends that a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm should be fitted where there is a fuel burning appliance or flue, and that the CO alarm can be standalone or be interlinked with the fire alarm system.

Best practice for positioning Smoke, Heat and CO alarms.

image showing smoke alarms

Smoke alarm positioning to meet Building Regulations.

Building Regulations vary throughout the UK, and so specify different levels of fire safety when installing fire alarm systems. Please refer to our standards and regulations section within the Professional knowledge base for latest guidance.

All the latest Building Regulations recommend:

  1. Fire detection systems should be provided in accordance with the relevant recommendations of BS 5839-6.

  2. All alarms should be interlinked to ensure audibility throughout property

  3. (As outlined in BS 5839-6) smoke alarms positioned in circulation areas should be of optical type (or multi-sensor type incorporating an optical sensor).


Locations of smoke and heat alarms must be compliant with either BS 5839:6 or relevant Building Regulations if in any doubt. Our smoke and heat alarms are not intended for any non‑residential, commercial or industrial application, nor for any other purpose other than described in the above. For the maximum protection, we recommend you fit to meet LD1 category standards, which includes a heat alarms. Latest standards and UK Fire and Rescuse services strongly advise that a heat alarm is always installed in a kitchen as part of a complete fire protection system that includes smoke alarms.


Smoke Alarms should be fitted in all rooms especially principal habitable rooms where the temperature is normally between 4°C (40°F) and 38°C (100°F). Smoke alarms can be fitted in hallway, landing, living room(s), bedroom, airing/meter cupboards.

Heat alarms are best suited to areas where dust, fumes and moisture can cause nuisance alarms in smoke alarms. Designed for use in for a kitchen, laundry/boiler room, loft, garage.

The latest British Standards recommend that smoke and heat alarms are installed:

  • On the ceiling, as central as possible in the room

  • Sited 300mm from walls and light fittings – this ensures the alarm is out of any ‘dead air’ spaces where the airflow may be blocked

  • Placed within 3m of every escape door and bedroom door to ensure audibility

  • Positioned between high risk rooms and bedrooms

  • For peaked and sloped ceilings – make sure there is a maximum of 600mm vertically down from the apex for smoke alarms, and 150mm vertically down for heat alarms

To conclude this blog post we would like to reiterate the significance of smoke alarms in holiday let fire safety. We encourage owners and managers to contact the team here at 225 Fire Solutions to schedule a professional fire risk assessment, supporting them to select the most suitable smoke alarm system for their property. By prioritizing fire safety, holiday let owners can ensure the well-being of their guests and protect their investment from the devastating effects of fire.

225 Fire Solutions.

1 Comment

Ricardo Timithy
Ricardo Timithy
Oct 11, 2023

Fire alarms are more than just a regulatory requirement; they're an investment in peace of mind. Locksmith Durham NC specialists have the expertise to assess your property's specific needs and recommend the right fire alarm solution.

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