Break Glass Fire Alarm

Break Glass

Manual fire alarm break glass is used to allow building occupants to signal that a fire or other emergency exists within a building. They are normally connected to a central fire alarm panel, which is in turn connected to an internal alarm system.

Break glass is used with every fire alarm system and it will manually raise an alarm when someone fractures the glass. They are normally placed in exits, landings, fire escapes or near areas of high risk. These locations are what is known as call points.

Due to their manual activation and unlike other detectors, break glass requires human intervention to be triggered. However, this system is more normally used in conjunction with automatic detection existent in smoke and heat detectors rather than on its own.

Manual call points are required to be mounted 1.4m from the floor and need to sit where they can be very easily seen. Extra call points need to be placed within the building so that the greatest travel distance between any part within the building and the next call point doesn’t exceed 30 meters.

It is normally advisable to have a higher number of manual call points in areas with high levels of risk and where movement is likely to be slower. As well as being connected to an internal alarm system and a central fire alarm panel, break glass is also often connected to the fire brigade. The activation of an internal alarm system through the break glass would immediately issue a warning to the local brigade.

To ensure manual call points are positioned where appropriate, a fire risk assessment is of utmost importance. This would allow a greater insight into the business’ needs and areas of high risk. It would also be essential in determining how many manual call points are necessary to cover the site and ensure staff’s safety.

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