Our experts cover all aspects of fire detection and fire alarm systems including fire detectors, fire warning devices/components and fire systems used in industrial, commercial and domestic environments to protect people and property.

We have played key roles and hold Chair responsibilities for a number of committees, including the EN 54 series of standards for commercial and domestic fire detection products. BRE Global is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 0578. The research work is conducted to the highest technical standards at our test laboratories in Watford or at our large hangar in Middlesbrough. With many departments specialising in all aspects of the built environment we often call on other BRE experts with expertise in related fields such as fire modelling, lighting, acoustics and social science.

The research work is often proposed by individual or groups of interested parties and supported by the BRE Trust. The work is conducted to the highest ethical standards and with our independent status gives it credibility and leads to outcomes that are accepted and supported by industry. An example of this would be the “Smoke detection in high ceiling spaces” and “Code of Practice for visual alarm devices used for fire warning” that both led to changes in BS 5839-1 the British code of practice for Fire Alarm Systems.

Research projects and guidance documents


The performance of multi-sensors in fire and false alarm tests

Live investigations of false fire alarms (free)

Visual Alarm Devices – their effectiveness in warning of fire (free)

Characterising the smoke produced from modern materials for the evaluation of smoke detectors (free)

Causes of false fire alarms in buildings (free)

Loss Prevention Code of Practice CoP 0001 Issue 1.0. Code of Practice for visual alarm devices used for fire warning (free)