The building regulations demand, and common sense dictates, that smoke alarms are mandatory and must be fitted to all new builds usually during the first fix electrics stage.
The building regulations are very specific when it comes to its fire regulations so alarms must be fitted.
But, as well as being mandatory, as we mentioned above, the fitting of adequate alarms is just plain common sense.
Most victims perish in house blazes not because of the flames themselves but because of smoke inhalation. Preventing the spread of fire and smoke and an early warning system against them is absolutely essential in all loft conversions.
The Building Regulations
It is amazing, and terrifying, how quickly smoke and fire can spread through a house so the building regulations insist on certain standards being met with the installation of alarms.
All loft conversion smoke alarms must be mains wired to overcome the problem of dead batteries and there must be a minimum of one alarm fitted in every story of the property.
So, a normal two story house with a loft conversion must have a minimum of three mains wired fire alarms.
A further requirement of the building regulations is that all alarms must be interlinked. This is so if one alarm detects smoke then all the alarms will sound giving the occupants of the property the longest amount of time possible in which to react.
The Technical Specifications
The building regulations specify quite clearly where an alarm can, and cannot, be located.
As mentioned earlier there must be at least one alarm on each story and the unit must be more than 30cm away from the nearest light fitting and the same distance away from walls.
Finally, the unit must not be further than 7 meters away from the doors of a habitable room (i.e, living rooms, bedrooms etc).
As a final point these alarms are incredibly sensitive so ensure they are located well away from heaters, radiators and cooking areas.
For more info see the related pages below
Structural calculations for loft conversions are of course hugely important to ensure safety and that the proposed plans meet building regulations
What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for loft conversions ?
Using And Fitting Loose Fill Insulation In Your Loft