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Business Fire Alarm Systems

On this page you will discover:-
  • How a Fire Alarm system can help protect your Business from the threat of fire.
  • How Fire and Smoke Alarms actually work, from the different types of controls to positioning heat & smoke detectors.
  • The Fire regulations you'll need to consider when installing a fire alarm system in your business.
  • Where you can go to get FREE help and advice on the very best system for your business.

Do I Need a Fire Detection System for My Business?

Obviously this is question you need to consider for yourself based on your business type, risk, location, number of occupants etc. but Fire Protection Systems, in most instances, are an essential ‘must have’ investment for your business.

Smoke Fire alarms will detect smoke and heat using various types of technology. An alarm then sounds to alert a building’s occupants and/or the emergency services of any potential fire.

In most cases early detection has saved countless lives, not to mention many thousands of pounds worth of property, records and loss of business continuity.

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Commercial Fire Alarm systems contain certain main components. These include the control panel, the zones, the input devices and the output devices.

Control Panel

Control Panel The control panel receives the signals, monitors them and notifies you in case of any danger. This is also where the power supply is located.


The zone (or 'area') feature located on the control panel can be set to react in a certain way to disturbances. For example, a zone (area) detecting heat may respond by activating your sprinkler system (If fitted) within that zone (area), leaving all other zones (areas) unaffected.

Zones are used to quickly identify the area, within the building, where a fire has occurred thus allowing the fire warden and/or the emergency services to quickly evacuate that area immediately and commence the extinguishing of the fire effectively and safely.

'Input' & 'Output' Devices

The input devices include the smoke and heat detectors and the output devices include the audio aspects (either a vocal or horn warning sounder).

Smoke and Heat Detectors (input devices)

The three main types of smoke detectors include optical, beam and ionization.
  • Optical detectors work by a red beam reflecting off of the smoke particles.
  • Beam detectors work by using a transmitter and receiver as well as a red beam to detect an interruption within the normal air flow.
  • Ionization detectors detect charred smoke particles that are affecting airflow as they pass through two electrodes.
Smoke DetectorThe two main types of heat detectors that you may consider using in your business premises are those that are based on rise of temperature and those that are based on fixed temperature.

The 'rate of rise' heat detectors detect sudden changes in temperature. 'Fixed temperature' detectors operate according to the set fixed temperature; once this is reached, an alarm sounds.

Placing Detectors

In order for Fire and Safety Systems to give optimum performance, you need to know the radius and range of cover for each type of detector.
  • Smoke detectors have a coverage radius of 7.5 meters while heat detectors only have a 5.3 meter radius.
  • You should install enough detectors to reach every part of a room for the best protection.
  • Detectors also need to be 500 mm away from walls and 1 meter away from air conditioners to work properly.
  • If there is an obstacle that comes up to more than 10 percent of the height of the ceiling, then treat that obstacle as a wall and place your detectors to accommodate for this.

Call Points & Sounders (output Devices)

Call PointCall Points are used to manually sound the fire alarm when vacating the building to warn others, who may still be in the building, of the impending danger.

These devices are usually fitted adjacent to all your exit doors and at the top of any stairways.


To install these systems, you must choose a Fire and Security Systems specialist that is expert in the current European and British Standard 5889, familiar with the current fire regulations and competent in fire safety risk assessing, this includes how to program fire alarm systems as well as where to place them for optimal performance.

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