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                                                                    Commercial Fire Alarms

 Safety & Peace of Mind For Your Business 


The choice of fire alarm system depends on the building structure, the purpose and use of the building and current legislation. In new or altered buildings the enforcement body is the local building control, and the relevant guidance is explained in section new or altered buildings. All existing buildings except domestic premises are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the Responsible Person, as defined in the order, has to conduct a fire risk assessment. This FRA will decided the appropriate British standard necessary to provide a suitable and sufficient solution for the premises. The enforcement body is the Fire and Rescue Service and the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLC) have published a number of guidance documents for premises subject to the RR(FS)O. This is particularly important since none of the legislation gives any detailed information on the type of system required but the guidance usually indicates appropriate British standards. The main standard for fire alarm systems is BS5839 pt1:2017.


All Fire Alarm Systems essentially operate on the same principle. If a detector detects smoke or heat or someone operates a break glass unit (manual break point), then alarm sounders operate to warn others in the building that there may be a fire and to evacuate. It may also incorporate remote signalling equipment which would alert the fire brigade via a central station.


Smoke alarms, in commercial and industrial facilities, serve to monitor large areas for any smoke threats which may pose a danger to the property and its occupants. These alarms act as vital elements of effective security systems ensuring the safety of multitudes of people and assets.


Fire Alarm Systems can be broken down into four categories:

  • Conventional

  • Analogue Addressable

  • Addressable

  • Wireless systems

How Does a Conventional Fire Alarm Work?

Fire detection devices are individually connected to conventional fire alarm panels using wires. If a connected device detects signs of a fire (such as smoke or heat), it will send a signal to the control panel and set off the alarm. The panel will show you which ‘zone’ (or area) of your building the fire has been detected. For example, ‘Zone 1’ could be set up as the ground floor; ‘Zone 2’ could tbe set up as the first floor.

The accuracy of knowing where a fire has started is controlled by the number of Zones a Control Panel has and the number of circuits that have been wired within the building. The Control Panel is wired to a minimum of two sounder circuits which could contain bells, electronic sounders or other audible devices. Each circuit has an end of line device which is used for monitoring purposes.


 How Does a Addressable Fire Alarm Systems work?

An addressable fire alarm system is made up of a series of fire detectors and devices that are connected back to a central control panel. With addressable systems, each device has an address or location, enabling the exact detector that was triggered to be quickly identified. This makes addressable alarm systems ideal for large buildings, particularly commercial premises spread over a wide area.Due to the way that addressable alarm systems are connected, any breaks in the circuit caused by damage are less likely to result in devices being disconnected. Unlike conventional systems, all devices are wired up on a loop and are connected to the panel unit at both ends. Therefore if connection breaks at one end, devices will still be connected.


 How Does a Analogue Addressable Fire Alarm System work?

Analogue Addressable systems can give advance warning of a developing hazard and pinpoint the individual device raising the alarm. It is possible to follow the spread or progress of a fire as individual detectors report conditions in their area and this could allow a phased evacuation and precise direction of fire-fighting teams. Alarm indication devices such as Sounders and Strobes are also wired on the loop, each with their own unique address, they are individually programmed at the fire control panel to activate on certain conditions ‘cause and effect’ i.e. local fire detectors in fire condition or detectors on floors below or adjacent in alarm condition etc. Intrinsically Safe Analogue Addressable system devices are available for installation in hazardous areas defined by BS EN 600079. Such as where an explosive mixture of air and gas or vapour is, or may be present continuously, intermittently or as a result of an accident.


How Does a Wireless Fire Alarm System Work?

There’s no prizes for guessing that a wireless fire alarm system has no wires.  Instead, a radio signal is transmitted from the call points and smoke or heat detectors to the fire alarm control panel (the call point is the box on the wall where you can raise the alarm if you spot a fire). From the point of view of anyone using a building fitted with a wireless system,  it works in exactly the same way as a ‘normal’ hard-wired system – you spot a fire, you break a call point; a call point breaks, the alarm sounds.



So what can MCL do for you?

Maintenance of your Fire Alarm 

The maintenance of your fire alarm is extremely important . Your fire alarm system has been installed to protect you and your building. Everyone depends on this system functioning properly in the event of a fire, acting as an early warning system and enabling safe and timely evacuation. You have a legal obligation to ensure that this detection system is in good working order and adheres to current regulatory standards. MCL  will make servicing your fire alarm panel an effortless legal obligation for you. Our trained engineers will carry out your servicing in accordance with BS5839-1 and offer you a cost effective way to ensure your sounders will activate if needed, giving you peace of mind.We can provide you with routine bi-annual alarm testing & servicing as well as emergency call outs. To find out more click on the title 

Installation of your Fire Alarm 

At MCL Fire we understand the importance of protecting your business, staff and visitors from the potentially devastating effects that fire can cause. We provide a full design, installation, repair and maintenance service for all types of fire alarm systems ranging from conventional 1 zone systems to fully addressable confirmed system. We can design a system that meets your individual requirements and risk assessment. We will come visit your site and do a survey to see exactly what it is you need and send you our full survey report and once your happy we will book in with you to get the systems installed

Support through the process 

MCL administration team will be here to help you along the way and during the process so if have any questions regarding the maintenance or installation of your fire alarm you can speak to one of our dedicated team members who will be overseeing your account. You can also keep in touch with our alarm team during the process when it comes to the technical questions or certifications. You can find out more about the MCL Team by clicking the title 





 If you would like to speak to a member of the MCL Fire Alarm team to make sure your business is prepared and up to date with legislation call us on

028 9030 1752



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