Commercial Fire Alarms

Commercial Fire Alarms

It is required by law that the fire alarm system at your business premises is fit for purpose. By ensuring your system falls into the correct category, you can help keep everyone in your building safe.

There are eight individual fire categories, as defined in the BS 5839 code. This is the British standard for fire alarm installation, set out in a governmental code of practice.

Each category falls under three different types of systems – manual, life protection and property protection. The category of fire alarm system your business requires will depend on:

  • Your type of premises
  • The contents within your business
  • The nature of your business
  • The level of risk

A fire risk assessment, carried out by fire safety experts, is the best way to grade a fire alarm system and establish which alarm needs to be fitted.

Details on Life Protection Systems

Category L Fire Alarm Systems – Life Protection

Life protection systems can be divided into various categories, L1, L2, L3, L4, L5.

L1 provides for Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) to be installed into all areas of a building.

L2 provides Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) as defined in L3 as well as high risk or hazardous areas. Examples of this could be Kitchens, boiler rooms, sleeping risk, storerooms if not fire resistant or if smoke could affect escape routes.

L3 Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) with smoke detection should be installed on escape routes with detection in rooms opening onto escape routes.

L4 provides Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) within escape routes only.

L5 is installed in building with a specific risk that has been identified. An example of this would be if there was an area of high risk that requires detection the category would be L5/M.

Category M Fire Alarm Systems

A BS5839 Category M Fire Alarm System is a manual operation only system which has call points on all exits as well as corridors where persons are not expected to walk any more than 45m to operate one.

All categories of life protection will have a type M system installed.