Fire Alarm Systems - Apartment Blocks

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Apartment blocks, commonly known as flats in the UK, are residential buildings that are divided into multiple dwellings, usually over a number of storeys. These buildings can vary in size and range from small low-rise structures to colossal skyscrapers. Currently, the tallest residential building is 432 Park Avenue in New York which stands at 426m tall and features 125 apartments across 96 floors.

Apartment buildings can contain hundreds of homes, housing single residents to large families. Therefore, it is essential that a suitable fire detection system is in place to preserve life and reduce the risk of damage to the property and its contents.

What are the Fire Risks Associated with Apartment Buildings?

Due to the nature of these buildings, there are a number of fire risks that put inhabitants at risk of fire, some of which include:

  • Cooking and kitchens
    Cooking-related incidents are one of the biggest causes of fires in apartment buildings. With high numbers of residents all sharing the same building, it only takes one person to leave a gas ring unattended or to forget to turn the oven off for a fire to start that has the potential to spread throughout the entire building.
  • Faulty appliances and electrical equipment
    Faulty or poorly maintained appliances can overheat and set fire to carpets, curtains and other soft furnishings. Overloaded plug sockets are also at risk of overheating.
  • Heating Equipment
    Heaters that are faulty, used incorrectly or left unattended can set nearby flammable materials such as papers, carpets, rubbish and furniture alight.
  • Candles
    The naked flame of a candle that is mistreated or left unattended can easily set fire to its surroundings.
  • Smoking
    If not extinguished and disposed of correctly, cigarettes and cigars can set fire to flammable materials. Smoking in bed also increases the risk of fire and puts every occupant in the building’s safety at risk.

General lack of due care and attention in shared buildings puts everyone at risk. It only takes one resident not to give fire safety the attention it deserves for the whole building to go up in flames.

Recent Apartment Block Fires

There have been many reports of apartment block fires in recent history. Most notably was the Grenfell Tower fire that was started by a faulty fridge freezer on the fourth floor in June 2017. This tragic event took seventy-two lives and over left 150 homes destroyed[1].

More recently, a fire broke out in a 20-storey apartment block in Lewisham, London on the first anniversary of the Grenfell tower incident. The fire was reported to have started on the balcony of a 13th-floor apartment and took eight fire engines and 58 firefighters to bring the blaze under control. Fortunately, there were no reports of any injuries[2].

These are just two of the countless apartment block fires that have occurred only in the last year.

The Importance of a Reliable Fire System in Apartment Blocks

It goes without saying, that with the risks involved and the lives at stake, suitable and reliable fire detection in apartment buildings is essential. Without an effective detection solution in place, residents are not given enough time to evacuate to safety, fire crew and other emergency service response times are increased, and hundreds of lives are left at risk.

What are the Most Common Fire Alarm Systems Used in Apartment Blocks?

There are a number of fire detection systems available that can provide a suitable solution for protecting apartment blocks from fire.

Eurofyre are British manufacturers of commercial fire alarm systems and associated safety equipment and provide a range of fire detection solutions that are capable of providing fast, reliable and cost-effective detection for apartment blocks:

Analogue Addressable Fire Detection Systems

Analogue Addressable

Analogue addressable fire detection offers intelligent fire detection and can provide status reports for each device connected to the system as well as the exact location of any fires, faults, smoke, heat or contamination.

2-Wire Addressable Fire Detection Systems

2-Wire Addressable

2-wire addressable fire detection systems provide all the advantages of an addressable system, with the simplicity of a conventional system.

Open Protocol Solution

Eurofyre believes that every client should be able to choose their own system installer or maintainer while receiving the highest level of support. Therefore, Eurofyre’s ProFyre range of fire detection systems all provide an ‘open protocol’ detection solution, giving the owner complete control over how the system is managed.


To find out more about any of our fire detection systems feel free to contact Eurofyre on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire
[2] https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/incidents/2018/june/flat-fire-lewisham/

Michael Clatworthy

Posted by Michael Clatworthy

Michael is the sales manager EMEA at Eurofyre.

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