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Have You Considered Your Fire Alarm Category?

Overall in the 12 months leading to April 2019, there were 15,000 fires across commercial buildings within the United Kingdom.

There are many types of Fire Alarm systems available, each suited to different building types and building applications. Subsequently, Your Fire Risk Assessment will determine which category standard your Fire Alarm system should be fitted to.

You will need to determine why you need a new system. Is it an insurance requirement? Or maybe the Fire Brigade has told you to get one? It could also be a new building or system upgrade! 

Below is a Brief Description of the Different Category Types


Category M system

If the objective of the system is to protect the occupants of a building in which no one sleeps, and fire is likely to be detected by people before smoke seriously reduces visibility in the escape routes, automatic fire detection might not be necessary.


A category M systems are manual and consist of manual call points and therefore incorporate no automatic detection. They rely on the occupants of the building to discover the fire and activate the system.


Category L system

If there is a significant probability that a fire in the building, or part of a building, could threaten escape by occupants before it is detected by people in the building, a category M is unlikely to be adequate, and the provision of automatic detection fire detection will be necessary.

Category L systems are designed to protect life, and will consist of both manual and automatic detection. These systems range between L1 and L5 systems depending on the level of detection required and the risks involved.


Category P systems

If the objective of the systems is to protect the property, there needs to be sufficient provision of automatic fire detectors to ensure that fire is detected at an early stage, that an effective warning is given in time for firefighters to take action before unacceptable damage to property occurs and an indication of the location of the fire is given to those  responding to the alarm signal.

Since category P systems are designed to protect property from fire, they include automatic fire detection within the building. Depending on the risk of the fire, a category P system can be split into a P1 or P2 system.

MCPs added to L5, P1 + P2 creates an X/M Category

Keep your premises secure by calling 0845 402 3045 or emailing to arrange your Fire Risk Assessment and Fire Protection today. Alternatively, download our FREE Fire Alarm Buyers Guide here.


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