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An automatic fire alarm system is designed to detect the unwanted presence of fire by monitoring environmental changes associated with combustion. Generally, fire alarm systems are classified as automatic, manual, or both.
Automatic fire alarm systems notify building occupants in the event of a fire or other emergency. They may also report the event to an off-premises location in order to summon emergency services. Having a fully working and well-maintained fire alarm system will help to save lives.
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At Norfolk Fire & security, we’re proud to offer free quotes for the services we provide. What’s more, we work tirelessly to ensure that our packages are truly affordable for residential and commercial customers alike. In addition to fire and smoke alarms, we also provide reliable fire extinguishers.
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The BS 5839: Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems for Buildings regulations state a number of requirements. What follows is an overview of those rules as they pertain to the design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems.
In general, it is appropriate to install some form of fire alarm system in all buildings other than small premises with an open-plan layout. In cases where there is uncertainty regarding the need for a fire alarm system, or the category of system required, reference should be made by the developer, potential purchaser, or user, to the following:
Fire alarm systems are typically installed within buildings to satisfy one or more of the following objectives:
Category M systems are manual systems, for example, a manually operated bell. Category L systems, meanwhile, are automatic fire detection systems intended for the protection of life.
L1 systems are installed throughout all areas of a building, giving the earliest possible warning of a fire and allowing the longest possible time for escape.
L2 systems are installed in defined parts of a building. The system should meet the requirements of a category L3 system, with the additional objective of providing early warning of fire in specified areas.
L3 systems are designed to give a warning of fire at the early stage to enable all occupants, other than those in the room where the fire originated, to escape safely before escape routes become impassable due to the presence of fire, smoke, or toxic gases.
L4 systems are installed within escape routes consisting of circulation areas and spaces, for example corridors and stairways, to enhance the safety of occupants by providing early warning of smoke.
L5 systems protect areas. The location of detectors is designed to satisfy a specific fire safety objective not covered by any of the previous systems.
Category P systems are automatic fire detection systems intended for the protection of property. They are subdivided into two categories.
P1 systems are installed throughout all areas of a building in order to offer the earliest possible warning of a fire. This is to minimise the time between the ignition of the fire and the arrival of fire-fighters.
P2 systems are installed only in defined parts of a building. This is to provide an early warning of fire in high-fire-hazard areas, or areas in which the risk to property or business continuity from fire is high.
The final design of a fire detection and fire alarm system for a particular dwelling should, where reasonably practical, be based on a fire risk assessment.When assessing the fire risk, each room needs to be considered separately. Account needs to be taken of the statistical data when assessing the probability of fire. Table A.1 in part 6 of BS5839, titled “Relative Frequency of Fire in Rooms within Dwellings”, provides such information. The table is based on information provided by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which has been replaced by the Department for Communities and Local Government. A simplified version of this table is shown below:
Bedroom, Bedsitting Room12%
Living Room, Dining Room12%
Bathroom, Cloakroom, WC2%
Airing Cupboard, Drying Cupboard1%
Miscellaneous and Unknown7%
There are a number of other factors which must be considered. These include: