As well as the type of fire alarm system, systems can then be divided into categories depending on the outcome of any insurance, fire officer requirements and the result of the fire risk assessment. The type of category is to do with the design and coverage of the system. For example, is the system designed to protect property and stock? A good example here would be a paper Warehouse. Or is the system designed to save life? A good example would be a nursing home. Systems can also be of mixed category providing protection for stock and life. There are 3 main categories.

Category M or Manual System

These systems have manual break glass call points only and therefore have no automatic fire detection such as smoke or heat detectors. They are designed for a person to give a warning to all occupants of the building of a fire by breaking the glass in the call point. Sounders will be distributed throughout the building to give an audible warning of fire alarm system activation. Sounders may also incorporate beacons. Call points will be at every exit of the building and at each change of floor level.

Category L Systems for the protection of Life

An L system is designed for the protection of life and can be further sub divided into:-

  • Category L1 as per a Category M system plus automatic detection in ALL areas of the protected premises. Comprehensive coverage throughout
  • Category L2 as per Category M plus automatic detection in all escape routes, rooms that lead onto escape routes and high‐risk areas such as kitchens, boiler rooms etc
  • Category L3 as per Category M plus automatic detection in all escape routes and rooms that lead onto escape routes.
  • Category L4 as per Category M plus automatic detection in all escape routes
  • Category L5 as per Category M plus automatic detection in defined areas designed to satisfy a specific fire safety objective this type of category may be required by a fire officer.

Category P systems for the protection of property

A Category P system is designed for the protection of property and may not require call points or sounders but will require remote signalling for automatic notification to the emergency services.A P system can be further subdivided into:-

  • Category P1 automatic fire detection throughout the entire protected premises. Comprehensive cover throughout
  • Category P2 automatic fire detection fitted in defined areas of the building. 
Quite often a system will be designed with a mixture of categories to meet all interested party approvals (Insurance company , fire officer , business owner etc)

 

 
Fire Detection