In the event of a fire, a fire alarm system can alert building occupiers to the presence of heat, smoke or flames early. Not only can this present the opportunity to control the fire or evacuate the building quickly and safely, it can also engage emergency services.
Apart from safeguarding human life, early detection can also mean less extensive damage in the event of a fire. A building may therefore benefit from a smaller loss of assets, or less structural damage meaning less disruption to operations.
Fire detection and alert systems are a requirement for commercial and public buildings under the Regulation Reform (Fire Safety) Order. Section 13 of the order says that to safeguard occupants, a responsible person should ensure that a premise is “equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment and with fire detectors and alarms”.
While not currently a legal requirement for some private and/or domestic buildings, a fire detection and alert system can provide peace of mind that you are protecting what’s precious.
If you’re not sure which system would suit your needs best, take a look at our various fire alarm system categories.
Building A Bespoke Fire Alarm System
Amthal works with its customers to design and install a fire alarm system tailored to specific needs (including for those hard of hearing).
We can also help advise which alarm systems would suit you best in accordance with quality standards. For example, BS 5839-6 for domestic settings and BS 5839-1 for non-domestic buildings.
Addressable Or Conventional Fire Alarms
One option to be considered is whether you need a conventional or addressable fire alarm system.
An addressable system has all devices with a unique address or location connected to the system via a feedback loop. This means that you can establish which detection device has been triggered from a central control panel, allowing you to quickly isolate an incident.
A conventional system cannot pinpoint an incident to a particular device. However, it can be ‘zoned’ to give an indication of the location of a fire.
Both of these functions can be beneficial in larger-scale environments.
We can also work with you on other configuration options, including:
- Installation and mounting
- Operational needs such as the abilities to trigger warnings or reset the system following an incident
- Whether you need a connection to an ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre) for an automated response to incidences.
- Overall, a fire alarm system will be made up of fire alarm panels, fire detection devices (such as smoke or heat detectors,) fire alarm sounders and flashers, and manual call points.
Amthal will help you understand the best system, configuration and scaling options for your fire alarm system needs.
Maintaining Your Fire Alarm System
Once your fire alarm is fitted, it is imperative to regularly maintain the system and ensure it is fully operational.
There are different regulations and standards for maintenance depending on if your alarm is for residential or commercial premises.
Amthal is UKAS accredited to carry out the inspection and servicing of fire detection and fire alarm systems.
Whether for a new system that we have designed and installed or an existing system, we will work with you to design and deliver an appropriate schedule of weekly/monthly and annual testing to ensure your fire alarm system is functioning as intended.
If you’re concerned about your current fire alarm system, you can read this article on when you should replace or upgrade it.
Categories Of Fire Alarm
When it comes to fire alarms, you want to ensure that you have the best system fitted for your property size and purposes.
The majority of our clients are businesses looking to secure the safety of their staff and clients. What is suitable for our smaller commercial customers might not be the best option for multiple occupancy buildings.
Our experts will always advise on the best possible solution for you, but this handy guide should give you a good idea about the different fire alarm systems available from Amthal.
Fire Alarm System Categories For Commercial Properties
L1 Fire Alarm
1 Fire Alarm systems are the most comprehensive. They feature detectors in all areas of a building and are designed to offer the earliest possible warning of fire so as to achieve the longest available time for escape. These detectors are linked to a centralised alarm system that would alert the whole building. This alarm system is ideal for large premises like hotels, care homes and big office blocks.
L2 Fire Alarm
L2 fire alarm systems effectively provide an early warning to occupants beyond the room in which the fire starts. Detectors are placed in all rooms that form part of an escape route (including corridors) as well as high-risk areas like boiler rooms, plant rooms and kitchens.
L3 Fire Alarm
These systems typically involve detectors being fitted along all escape routes and in rooms that open onto an escape route. They are designed to give building occupants enough warning to escape from a fire before flames, smoke, or toxic fumes impede their exit. L3 fire alarm systems are commonly used in regular-sized commercial buildings with flights of stairs.
L4 Fire Alarm
L4 fire alarm systems are usually recommended for commercial properties with lower fire risk levels, i.e. an office with ground floor rooms only and/or a building that people don’t sleep in. Detectors are placed along escape routes comprising circulation areas and spaces, such as corridors and stairways.
L5 Fire Alarm
These fire alarm systems are ideal for areas in a building that pose a specific fire risk. For example, there might be a room in a building that stores hazardous materials. It is very much a custom category and usually only recommended by a professional fire risk assessment.
Manual Fire Alarm Systems
Several manual fire alarm systems are available, many of which you will already be familiar with.
The most common are the break glass units which can be fitted at each exit point of a building.
While these alarm systems form the most basic fire detection level for businesses with no sleeping persons, manual fire alarm systems can be highly effective. They are most commonly used in small offices and shops.
They do rely on building occupants raising the alarm to alert others in the case of a fire because there are no automatic fire detectors installed.
Fire Alarm System Categories For Domestic Properties
Most of our clients are from commercial backgrounds; however, we also offer our services for large domestic properties.
Here are some of the fire alarm systems we could provide to homeowners.
LD1 Maximum Protection
Detectors are placed in all rooms and areas – including loft conversions – and escape routes. The only places we would not install detectors would be in toilets, bathrooms and shower rooms as these could more easily trigger false alarms.
LD2 Additional Protection
As well as escape routes throughout the property, detectors are fitted in high er fire risk areas of a home, including kitchens, living rooms, hallways, landings and loft conversions if applicable.
LD3 Minimum Protection
This system would see detectors fitted in all areas that form part of the escape routes (hallways, landings and loft conversions if applicable). Please note that these systems would not comply with British Standards for homes of multiple occupancy.
Find Out More About Our Fire Alarm Categories
Amthal Fire & Security can help give peace of mind with our superior fire alarm systems and fire protection services.
Don’t forget that regardless of whether your alarms are in a commercial or residential property, you will need to schedule regular maintenance and checks. You can read more about fire alarm safety requirements.
Get in touch
To see how Amthal Fire & Security can support you with designing, installing, improving or maintaining your fire alarm system, get in touch using the contact form below, phone free on 0800 093 7818 or email.