Protecting your business premises and your employees from the risk of fire is of paramount importance. Not only that, but it’s the law as well! Ensuring your premises is fitted with suitable fire alarm systems and adequate fire detection is one step towards mitigating the risk of fire.
Current UK fire alarm regulations state that all business premises must have ‘an appropriate fire detection system’. This basically means that a fire could easily be detected and people within the building could easily be warned.
There are 3 main types of fire alarm system:
- Conventional Fire Alarm
- Addressable Fire Alarm
- Wireless Fire Alarm
Whilst the category of fire alarm you need will be specified in your fire risk assessment, the type of fire alarm system which should be chosen is decided from what is ‘appropriate’ for your business. Your fire risk assessment will determine and state which category standard your fire alarm systems need to meet for your site.
Types of Fire Alarm System Categories
Category M systems are Manual
Alarms under this category are manual fire alarm systems where the alarm needs to be activated, for example by a person activating a break glass unit. These basic systems rely on a person to discover the fire and act on.
Category L systems are for life protection
- L1 – Earliest possible fire detection
- L2 – Fire detection in specified areas
- L3 – Protecting paths to fire escape
- L4 – Protection of fire escape routes
- L5 – Localised fire protection
Category P Fire Detection Systems
Whereas Category L systems are designed to protect life, Category P systems have the primary aim of protecting a property from fire.
- P1 – Complete fire protection for earliest possible warning
- P2 – Fire detectors for defined parts of a building
Our commercial fire alarm systems are made up of a wide range of fire detection devices. Below, you will find a complete list with further information about the role they play within the fire alarm system.
Optical Smoke Detector
Optical detectors are capable of detecting the visible smoke produced by materials which smoulder or burn slowly, i.e. soft furnishings, plastic foam etc.
Combined Optical and Heat Detector
With its ability to detect a wide range of fires, from smouldering to flaming types, the combined optical and heat multi-sensor detector is suitable for a range of applications.
Ionisation detectors, although rarely used today, are suitable for clean burning fires such as petrol, metholated spirits, or paint thinners as they are more sensitive to this type of fire than optical detectors.
CO and Heat Detector
A combined CO and heat detector provides very early warning of slow smouldering fires. Ideal for sleeping risks, the CO fire detector is also well suited to many applications where heat detection is insufficient but smoke detection causes false alarms.
Smoke, Heat and CO Detector
The multi-sensor smoke, heat and CO detector is suitable for when the environmental conditions are challenging. It uses the three sensor elements together to accurately determine the presence of fire.
Heat Detector – Rate of Rise
Rate of rise detectors detect abnormally high rates of rise of temperature.
Heat Detector – Fixed Temperature
Fixed temperature detectors detect abnormally high (static) temperatures.
Beam smoke detectors
Designed for use in buildings with high ceilings such as warehouses and atria, the beam smoke detector spreads a beam from one wall to another (up to a max of 100 metres apart) in order to detect smoke at higher levels.
The flame detector is ideal for protecting large open areas as it’s ideal for fast response to flaming fires typically caused by flammable liquids.
Air sampling detection works by actively drawing air from the protected area through sampling holes in a pipe network. Sampled air is then filtered before being analysed by detectors.
Video fire detection
CCTV cameras relay images to the main computer where they’re analysed. Certain patterns are actively monitored to detect either visual smoke or infra-red radiation from heat.
For full detail on the types of fire alarm systems available, fire alarm category descriptions and a full description of the detectors available, download our free Fire Alarm Buyers’ Guide. If you have any questions with regards to our commercial fire alarm safety systems, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Fire Alarm Installation, Maintenance & Monitoring
Here at Business Watch, we provide the full package when it comes to commercial fire alarm systems. We are BAFE accredited (British Approvals of Fire Equipment) and offer Fire Alarm Installation, maintenance & servicing and monitoring services to clients all over the UK.
Fire Alarm Systems Installation
Its vital that you have your commercial fire alarm systems installed by a BAFE accredited company to ensure you are both, safeguarding yourself against fire safety legislation breaches & legally covered should anything go wrong with your system.
BusinessWatch is a BAFE Accredited company. Read more about our fire alarm installation services.
Fire Alarm Maintenance
In order to keep in line with UK fire alarm regulations, it is paramount your fire alarm system is maintained by a professional. A comprehensive fire alarm maintenance contract with an accredited company will ensure your alarm system is legal and your staff and business are protected.
Read more about our fire alarm maintenance services.
Fire Alarm Monitoring
By adding monitoring to your commercial fire alarm systems, you can have peace of mind that someone is looking out for your property in the event of a fire 24 hours a day. Our fire alarm monitoring service ensures that if your alarm is activated you are notified immediately and the relevant emergency services are called.
Find out more about our fire alarm monitoring services.