Fire alarm systems & fire detection

Design, installation and commission of BAFE and NSI Gold-certified Fire Alarms & Fire Detection Systems to meet your building regulations.

Fire alarm systems have a number of devices working together to quickly detect and warn people when a fire or smoke is present. They are essential for protecting your building, your people and for notifying the emergency services. The type of fire alarm system and fire detection technology for a building is determined by application and building regulations.

Ace is a BAFE certified, NSI Gold fire protection and fire suppression and Gold Constructionline specialist. Designing, installing, maintaining and monitoring fire alarms and related life safety systems, we operate to BAFE SP203-1 and BS 5839, ensuring that fire alarm systems are tailored to the fire risk assessment and meet all mandatory compliance needs.

Service Level Agreements are supported by a 24/7 manned Service Desk and a 24/7/365 Monitoring Receiving Centre option.


Solutions include:

Fire Alarm & Control
Takeover of monitoring and maintenance of system
Early Smoke & Fire Detection
Design, specification, risk management, installation, SLA
Voice Alarm & Public Address Systems
24/7/365 centralised remote alarm monitoring
Disabled Refuge Alarms
System integrations
Legacy Fire System upgrades
Passive fire protection


In England and Wales, all existing UK commercial buildings are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. In Scotland, the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2021 apply and Northern Ireland Fire Safety Regulations 2010 apply.

RRO & the Fire Safety Act 2021

British Standards

BS 5389 – fire detection and alarm systems for buildings

BS 5306 – fire extinguisher installations

BS 5446 – emergency lighting

BS 5446 – fire detection and alarm devices for dwellings

BS 7273 – operation of fire protection measures

BS EN 54 – fire detection and alarm systems

BS 8629:2019 – fire evacuation standard for buildings containing flats

BS 999:2017 – fire safety in design, management and use of buildings

PAS 79 Parts 1 & 2 – fire risk assessment (non-housing and housing respectively)

BS EN 16856:2020 – portable aerosol dispensers for fire extinguishing

BS 8663 – fixed fire protection systems (water-mist systems)

BS 7974 – fire safety engineering principles to the design of buildings


Three types of Fire Alarm Systems

Conventional Fire Alarm Systems

Call points and detectors are wired to a fire control panel in zones. The system helps identify the source of the fire and uses sounder circuits (bells, electronic sounders and audible devices). Suited to small / lower risk environments.


Addressable Systems

Similar to a conventional system but the control panel can determine exactly which detector or call point has initiated the alarm. Suited to schools, care homes, hospitals, offices.

Analogue Addressable Fire Alarm Systems

Each detector is a kind of small computer that can detect and communicate a fire, false alarm or if cleaning is required. Loop sounders, relay modules and sounder modules may be connected. 2,4 or 8 loop versions cater for larger buildings and can be monitored from a single panel.

Wireless Fire Alarm Systems

An alternative to traditional wired fire alarm systems, they use a secure, licence-free radio communication to interconnect sensors and devices with a controller. No cables are required. Suited to churches and historic buildings.

Alarm Sounders

There are many types of alarm sounders – dome bells, bells, electronic solid state, small sirens, sirens and horns. They have mono or multiple tone outputs and can range from 300-1,700 Hz and 0.17KW to 11KW.

Key questions

  • What kind of control panel is best suited for your site(s)?
  • How many zones does the system need to manage?
  • Automatic or manual alarm system?
  • Open, closed or fault monitoring system?
  • Single alarm or two-stage alarm system?
  • Provision for connection to central alarm monitoring centre (ARC)?
  • Ease of fitting conduit and wiring compatible with the building conduit and wiring mainframe?
  • Detector heads (heat, heat sensitive or linear) – which are appropriate?
  • Smoke detection (ionisation, light obscuring, light scattering) – which are appropriate?
  • Carbon monoxide detector – CO fire detectors are not the same as smoke detectors and perform different functions. Do you need both?
  • How many manual call points are required?
  • Is fault line monitoring recommended?
  • Is all paperwork complete and centrally stored in a document box?


Category L Fire Alarm Systems

Life protection and system design requirements can be divided into L1-L5 categories:

L1 – requires Automatic Fire Detection (AFD) to be installed throughout a building.

L2 – requires AFD as defined in L3 as well as high risk or hazardous areas (kitchens, boilers etc)

L3 – requires AFD with smoke detection to be installed within escape routes and rooms leading to escape routes

L4 – requires AFD within escape routes only.

L5 – requires specific fire detection and alarm equipment to deal with a specific identified risk (could be a waypoint or route in / out of a building)

Inspection & Servicing (highlights)

Must be undertaken by a person or organisation deemed competent.

Periodic inspection (at least 6-monthly)

In accordance with the Fire Risk Assessment
Control Panel functions (check and test)
The Log Book should be inspected
Fire Alarm Devices (check and test)
Transmission of fire alarm signals to ARC
False Alarm Records
All fault indicators and circuit indicators
Batteries (check and test)
All checks required by the manufacturer / installer
Visual inspection for structural or occupational changes which may affect fire life safety planning and provision

Inspection (quarterly)

Vented batteries

Inspection (annual)

The Switch mechanism of all manual call points
Cable fixings
All AFDs
Standby power supply and capacity
All fire alarm devices (visible and audible)
Defects and Log Book
Radio fire detection and fire alarm signal strength
All checks required by the manufacturer / in

Takeover of site

Expect a Dilapidation Report (full audit and health check) of the system, records, test results, operating performance, suitability, mandatory compliance and more. This will link to a Fire Risk Assessment specific to the building.




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Discuss Fire Life Safety and Fire Suppression support for your site(s).

  • Mandatory compliance
  • Fire alarms & detection
  • Passive fire protection