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Automatic Fire Detection


Automatic Fire Detection

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Automatic Fire
Understanding the Risk

I n the event of a fire, delayed fire detection can
  lead to an increase in risk both to life and
property. An adequately designed, installed,
monitored and maintained automatic fire detection
system can help mitigate this risk by providing an
early fire warning, which will enable a timely
evacuation of the protected premises and the
prompt notification of the fire brigade.

Related Loss Statistics

A       ccording to statistics collated by the Fire
        Protection Association: -

      70% of all fires start between 6pm & 8am,
       when most premises are unoccupied.
      Over the period 1988 to 2008 total losses
       sustained from fires occurring between 6pm and
       8am exceeded £3b – these figures exclude the
       resultant business interruption losses.
For those premises, which are unoccupied overnight
and are not protected by an adequate automatic fire                                                    Typical automatic fire alarm panel
detection system there is clearly an increased risk of
                                                                                               systems purpose and extent of coverage i.e. Life
loss or damage as a result of delayed fire detection
                                                                                               Protection & Property Protection.
and fire brigade notification.
                                                                                               Life Protection Systems
System Design
                                                                                               Life Protection Systems are designed primarily to
Automatic Fire Detection systems should be                                                     meet life safety objectives, by providing an early fire
designed to BS5839, Part 1, 2002. BS5839, Part 1,                                              warning at the protected premises, enabling a timely
2002 describes two system types, based on the                                                  evacuation to take place and thereby reduce the risk
                                                                                               of personal injury / loss of life. They are divided into

AIG UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA number 202628). This information can be checked by visiting the FSA
website ( in England: company number 1486260. Registered address: The AIG Building, 58 Fenchurch Street, London,
EC3M 4AB. A member company of American International Group, Inc.
Fire Alarm and Detection Systems
the following 5 system types depending on the                             Installation & Maintenance
extent of the coverage provided.
                                                                          To ensure a high level of competency and
     (AFD = Automatic Fire Detection)
                                                                          adherence to standards systems should be installed
L1 AFD installed throughout all areas.                                    and maintained annually by a Loss Prevention
                                                                          Certification Board LPS1014 Certified Fire Detection
L2 AFD installed in defined areas, such as plant                          & Alarm System Firm – see
   rooms, storage facilities or any other area where                      for further details.
   there is a high risk of fire, in addition to L3.
L3 AFD installed in escape routes and rooms                               Monitoring
   opening onto these routes.
                                                                          In order to ensure the earliest possible fire brigade
L4 AFD installed in escape routes comprising                              response, automatic fire detection systems should
   circulation areas and spaces such as stairways                         be monitored at a permanently manned location
   and corridors.                                                         e.g. an approved alarm receiving centre particularly
L5 A non-prescriptive system in which protected                           systems designed to meet property protection
   areas and / or location of detectors is designed                       objectives.
   to a specific fire risk objective.
                                                                          Monitoring should be continuous such as that
There is a further system type denoted M which                            provided by the BT RedCARE system - for further
relates to manual fire alarms only, call points are                       guidance on acceptable forms of automatic fire
generally found on escapes routes and staircases.                         alarm monitoring contact your local AIG Risk
Property Protection Systems
                                                                          In connection with Remotely Monitored Fire Alarm
Property Protection Systems are designed primarily                        Systems, it should be noted that the Fire & Rescue
to meet property protection objectives, by providing                      Service can reduce their attendance level response
an early fire warning so that an effective fire-fighting                  to systems, in the event of excessive numbers of
response can be initiated as soon as possible,                            false alarms and in some circumstances they may
including notification of the fire brigade. They are                      withdraw their response altogether.
divided into 2 system types depending on the extent
of the coverage provided.                                                 In order to avoid excessive numbers of false alarms
                                                                          a responsible person should be appointed for the
    P1 AFD installed throughout all areas.                               system whose duties should include.
    P2 AFD installed to a lower level of protection,
                                                                              Ensuring the system is in good working order
     with detection only in specified parts of the
                                                                               and properly maintained.
     building to provide early warning of fires in
     areas of high fire risk, or where the risk to                            Ensuring that staff with responsibilities for the
     property or business continuity from fire is high.                        system have received adequate training.
For full business protection a comprehensive level                            Dealing with faults and false alarms quickly and
of detection is preferred which equates to P1 type                             efficiently.
system, contact your local Risk Management
                                                                              Ensuring that any changes likely to affect the
Partners Ltd Account Director.
                                                                               system are properly managed to avoid future

This document has been compiled from AIG’s general risk assessment knowledge and experience, and publicly available information. It is
intended to provide a discussion of general risk management good practice only – it does not take into account your business’s specific
circumstances and is not intended to provide a risk management solution. AIG neither warrants the accuracy or efficacy of the information in
this document nor assumes any responsibility or legal liability for any loss or damage, including, but not limited to, incidental, special or
consequential loss, whatsoever and howsoever arising, either in contract or tort (including negligence), to any person, whether a corporate
body or an individual, arising out of their reliance or alleged reliance upon it, without limit in point of time.

                                                               -2-                                                     [11/08]

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