01376 295060 info@meritas.co.uk

Fire Alarms

Regardless of the size of your business or the industry you work in, our team within the Essex head office has the expertise and experience to install the correct fire alarm system for you no matter where you are in the UK. All you have to do is select a suitable design and we will arrange a convenient time for our engineers to come and install it for you.

All testing and commissioning costs are included in our overall estimate, to make sure there are no additional costs or hidden surprises.

All our systems are both simple to operate and user friendly; full training is provided. This reduces common operational problems for end users and ensures you and your premises are fully protected at all times.
All our engineers are qualified to maintain both conventional and analogue addressable systems.

All contract clients will receive a 24-hour emergency call out facility ensuring a quick response to any system breakdown. It is recommended that your fire alarm systems are regularly maintained to guarantee that it will provide optimum performance in the event of a fire.

The British Standard Institute recommends that a system is tested and maintained every 3 months. Our engineers will arrange a visit at a time that is convenient to you. All of our installations are in accordance with British Standard 5839 and the SP203 Fire Alarm scheme and come with a parts and labour warranty for a year.

We are partners and installers of the Fireco DorGard Pro and Freedor and Dorgard Systems.

If you have any questions regarding the products or services we offer please visit our contact page and fill out our enquiry form; we will try to help you as much as possible.

Fire alarm systems are essential for the protection of life and property and are a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in most non-domestic premises where people work or visit, such as offices, shops, hotels, public venues, and in almost all new buildings under the 2010 Building Regulations.

By law, employers and/or building owners or occupiers must carry out, and keep updated, a fire safety risk assessment. Based on the findings of this assessment, they must ensure that adequate and appropriate fire safety measures, including fire detectors and alarms, are in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life in the event of a fire. Guidance on the design, installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems can be obtained from code of practice BS:5839.
The wide choice of fire alarm systems available is broadly divided into “conventional” fire alarm systems and analogue addressable “intelligent” systems, each type best suited to different kinds of premises. They may be also divided into categories depending on whether their aim is to protect life or property, or whether they are manual or automatic.

CONVENTIONAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS

Conventional, or four-wire, fire alarm systems have been extensively used in smaller properties such as shops and restaurants for many years.
Less expensive to purchase than other types of alarm system, they work by dividing the building into a number of detection zones, with the detectors and call points within each zone hardwired on dedicated circuits to the control panel. There may be multiple detectors on a single zone. A separate two-core, fire-protected cable for each alarm sounder or bell is needed because they are wired to different loops.
If a detector is activated, the control panel identifies the circuit that contains the triggered device and so indicates the zone from which the fire alarm has originated, but the area then has to be manually searched to pinpoint the individual device.

TWO-WIRE FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS

Also designed for smaller operations, two-wire fire alarm systems are based on standard conventional system technology, but in a two-wire system, the detectors, call points and alarm devices for each zone are wired on the same set of two-core zone cables back to the control panel, enabling it to use a single circuit per zone both for detection and to power the sounders or sirens.

Although two-wire systems cost more to purchase than four-wire systems, they are quicker, more flexible and less expensive to install. Two-wire systems also provide more flexibility in operation, and have additional functionality, such as fault conditions, isolation, and detector recognition.

ANALOGUE-ADDRESSABLE FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS

Analogue-addressable fire alarm systems give details on individual detectors, whereas conventional systems only give information about specific circuits or zones.

Addressable or “intelligent” fire alarm systems are designed for large commercial premises and more complex networked systems, since they are much more expensive and more complicated than conventional two- or four-wire systems, having increased flexibility, intelligence, speed of identification, and scope of control.
In addressable systems, different types of initiating devices are wired in one or more single loops around the premises, requiring less cabling than conventional systems, with each detector or call point having its own unique address.

The fire control panel receives information and status reports from each device and indicates its exact location if there is a fire, fault, smoke, heat, or contamination.

WIRELESS FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS

More expensive to buy, but more flexible, cheaper, and much quicker to install, wireless, or battery-powered radio-linked, fire alarm systems provide just as much protection as conventional wired systems and are useful when wired installations are not suitable (such as in grade-listed properties where wiring may be prohibited).

There are no cables between the detection devices and the control panel, so doing away with the need for long-term cable tests.

Wireless systems need to comply with EN54-25 standard. Increasingly sophisticated, today’s wireless fire alarm systems are much more reliable than the ones that originated in the 1980s and have multi-frequency links to eliminate signal blocking and collision, allowing a high margin of signal strength to be maintained.

ASPIRATING SMOKE DETECTION SYSTEMS

Although technically a detection solution, aspirating smoke detection systems are extremely sensitive and can detect very small or smouldering fires far quicker than other systems.

Aspirating systems use a fan to draw in air from around a building via a network of sampling pipes and sampling holes. The air is then passed through a highly sensitive precision detector that analyses it and generates warning signals of potential fire when it detects smoke particles.

Expensive to install and maintain, these systems are highly sensitive and can detect cool smoke that does not rise to the ceiling, as well as smoldering fires and particles given off by overloaded electrical cables. They are therefore especially useful where early warning is required.