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What are the types of fire detection?

Fire Detection standards in the UK are governed by BS 5839 Part 1 2002.  However prior the having detection installed into premises, a Fire Risk Assessment should be carried out, as defined in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and the standard of detection required should be based on the findings.

Fire Alarm and Detection systems are categorised in the following way:

P = Automatically activated fire detection systems designed primarily to protect property. 

P1 = Fire detection system installed throughout all areas of the building.

P2 = Automatic Fire Detection system only installed in a defined part of the building.


L = Automatically activated fire detection systems designed primarily to protect life. 

L1 = Fire system installed throughout all areas of the building.

L2 = AFD installed in defined areas in addition to L3.

L3 = AFD installed in escape routes and rooms opening onto those routes.

L4 = AFD installed in escape routes comprising circulation areas and spaces such as corridors and stairways.

L5 = A non-prescriptive system in which the protected area(s) is designed to satisfy a specific fire risk objective (other than that of L1 to L4).

M = System designed to be operated manually (no AFD)

Some areas can be categorised as combined, for example P1/M.

(*AFD = Automatic Fire Detection)

There are many guides available to help with the understanding of BS5839, such as Hochiki Europe Guide to BS5839.  For free help or a site survey, call FSS Ltd on 01246 4343 314.

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