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Introduction to this document

Categories of fire alarm system

If you were told that you needed an L1, LD2 or a P2 fire alarm system, would you know what it meant? Our information sheet explains it all.


What’s covered?

Fire specialists, including the enforcing authorities, use fire alarm categories to explain the level of system required for a particular building. These originate from BS5839-1: 2017 (for non-domestic premises) and BS5839:6:2019 (for domestic premises).

To help you to understand what has been specified, use our Categories of Fire Alarm System information sheet which sets out:

  • the legal background and the status of the British Standards
  • the three broad categories for fire alarm systems in non-domestic premises - L (life protection), M (manual) and P (property protection), plus sub-categories L1 to L5 and P1 to P2
  • the six grades, A to F, for alarm systems in domestic premises and the categories LD1 to LD3
  • a summary of typical installations based on the type of premises.