What are the different Fire Alarm Categories in BS5839: Part 1-2017?

The British Standard BS5839: Part 1-2017 grades systems

Author -
Angus Stone
A chartered electronics engineer with over 40 years experience in Emergency Lighting and Fire Detection and Alarm systems.

Angus has been involved in developing and writing British and International Fire & Safety standards since the mid-1980s. The list of standards that he has participated in is impressive and includes BS5839-1, BS8629, EN54-18 and ISO7240-2.  Angus utilises his extensive experience to provide an authoritative perspective on the key issues that affect the Fire & Security Industry today.

Angus has been involved in developing and writing British and International Fire & Safety standards since the mid-1980s. The list of standards that he has participated in is impressive and includes BS5839-1, BS8629, EN54-18 and ISO7240-2.  Angus utilises his extensive experience to provide an authoritative perspective on the key issues that affect the Fire & Security Industry today.

The categories can be grouped into three. Manual, life safety categories and property protection categories. All fire alarms must meet the requirements of the BS 5839-1 according to its relevant category to be compliant.

At the most basic level, it is normal to protect escape routes and areas deemed to be of higher risk/value.

The British Standard BS5839: Part 1-2017 grades systems according to the level of Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) as follows:

  • Category M - System designed to be operated manually (i.e., no Automatic Fire Detection installed)
  • Category L5 - Non-prescriptive system in which Automatic Fire Detection is provided to satisfy a specific fire risk objective (other than that of L1 to L4)
  • Category L4 - Automatic Fire Detection to escape routes only.
  • Category L3 - Automatic Fire Detection to escape routes and rooms opening off those routes.
  • Category P2/L2 - as P3/L3 plus additional specified areas
  • Category P1/L1 - Automatic Fire Detection throughout the entire building
  • Category L2, P2 and L5 systems are intended to afford early warning of fire in specified areas of high fire hazard level and/or high fire risk. Such areas must be properly identified by the client in writing

In order to automatically alert the Fire Brigade and key holders in the event of activation of the system outside of office hours, consideration should be given to connecting the system to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).

Got a question about Fire Alarms? Need a Fire Safety Risk Assessment? Get in touch today.

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems, and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone: 08000 891 999

CLICK HERE to continue reading

Following the recommendations of BS5839 Part 1 2017 (Fire Alarm British Standard), it is a mandatory requirement to have an up to date, clear and accurate Fire Alarm Zone Chart adjacent to your Fire Alarm Control Panel and any repeater panels you have in your premises.

The purpose of the Zone Chart is to assist persons responding to an alarm to quickly identify the specific location in the building and to help the Fire Brigade understand the building layout before they enter.

When the Fire Alarm System is installed, the building is divided into Fire Zones. Any Manual Call Point (Red Box) or Fire Detector that is fitted will trigger a particular zone when activated.

The Zone Chart shows the division of each zone area with a ‘You are Here’ arrow to identify the position of the Fire Alarm Panel. The view of the building should be orientated in relation to the Fire Alarm Panel position to minimise confusion.

What is involved in producing a Zone Chart?

STEP 1:
STEP 2:
You provide a suitable up to date drawing of your building in either:
  • Hard copy
  • PDF
  • Or preferably AutoCAD (dwg) format
Depending on the availability of installation records and the complexity of the building, we arrange a visit to identify the zone number associated with each Fire Alarm Manual Call Point and Fire Detector (for practicality this may involve two engineers).
STEP 3:
STEP 4:
Fire Alarm Zone Chart is created.
Fire Alarm Zone Chart is supplied in A4 or A3 glazed frame for installation adjacent to your Fire Alarm Panel.
CLICK HERE to continue reading

You have a legal duty of care to dispose of waste legitimately and safely via a licensed waste carrier. Failure to do so can result in prosecution, even if you have outsourced the disposal to a third party.

The Fixfire® Extinguisher Recycling Process is your reassurance that any Fire Extinguishers we remove from your premises have been disposed of in a safe and legal manner. 97% of each processed Fire Extinguisher is recycled.

Our contracted Extinguisher Recycling Unit (ERU) is a dedicated facility offering a service for the safe processing and recycling/disposal of fire extinguishers. The facility operates closely with the local Water Authority and the Environment Agency to develop safe, efficient and environmentally friendly processes, ensuring that ISO14001 certification is upheld.

Got a question about Fire Extinguisher Disposal?  Need Fire Safety Compliance advice? Get in touch today!

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999

CLICK HERE to continue reading

False Fire Alarms remain a huge concern within the education sector- interrupting already carefully scheduled, planned and well-prepared lessons or even causing major disruption and distress to exams.  

Clearly, these false alarms cause significant inconvenience and disruption to students, staff, and visitors. They compromise everyone’s safety in the school and present a significant risk to the local community since the Fire Brigade will prioritise the school over other emergency callouts.

Solutions you should consider:

Anti-tamper products

The first and most straightforward way is to use anti-tamper products.

Fixfire® supplies a wide range of solutions designed to protect Fire Alarm Devices from inadvertent damage or deliberate misuse/vandalism.

Products include:

  • Local plastic cover flaps which attach directly to manual call points.
  • The stopper consists of a clear, tamperproof, tough polycarbonate cover, frame and spacer that retrofits over a break glass call point. When lifted to operate the break glass unit, its optional battery powered integral sounder emits a piercing 96dB (at 1m). Immediate attention is drawn to the area and a prankster will either run or be caught!
  • A range of steel web stoppers designed to protect fire detectors and warning devices. They are constructed from heavy-duty galvanised steel rod which is plastic-coated for durability and external use.
  • A range of polycarbonate enclosures are available for the protection of devices such as fire alarm control panels and associated control equipment. The enclosures combine tough rugged construction with stylish design and offer excellent protection with a key lock for authorised access.

We also provide anti-tamper devices for fire extinguishers and associated products.

KeyCall® Call Point

KeyCall® is a patented anti-ligature Fire Alarm and Access Control call point. It is designed to use the same key as the doors, providing simple operation for staff whilst eliminating nuisance activations by service-users.

KeyCall® has been developed by Fixfire® specifically for approved applications where standard versions would be vulnerable to abuse.

It is one of the best solutions for SEN schools and it is also compatible with a wide range of Conventional and Addressable Fire Alarm Systems.

CLICK HERE to continue reading

Got a question about False Fire Alarms? Need Fire Safety Compliance advice?  Get in touch today!

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999

Fire Alarm Categories
Fire Alarm Categories
Download Your Guide
What are the different Fire Alarm Categories in BS5839: Part 1-2017?
Related Links
Free site assessments, personal service & helpful advice. Contact us today!
Contact us today
08000 891 999
GET IN TOUCH