Fire alarm control panel

Learn more about the tasks, functionality and specifications of fire alarm control systems.

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17 April 2023 Fire Safety

A fire alarm control panel (FACP) forms the central link of a fire alarm panel (FACP) and controls all its functions.

Tasks of a fire alarm control panel

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A fire alarm control panel detects a fire (via various fire detectors in the building) and automatically alerts persons present. Depending on the system's configuration, it also independently alerts the fire brigade and controls other fire protection equipment - e.g. fire doors, smoke extraction systems or extinguishing systems.

In detail, a FACP ensures the following measures in the building:

  • Closing of fire protection closures
  • Opening smoke extraction systems
  • Activation of sirens and voice announcements
  • Activation of escape route lighting
  • Activation of extinguishing systems
  • Decommissioning lifts (exception: fire brigade lifts)
  • Decommissioning of machines

Furthermore, a fire alarm control panel (FACP) provides important information so that firefighting operations can be carried out quickly and effectively. For this purpose, the first and last detector to be triggered can be identified at a glance on the display of a fire alarm control panel. Based on this, the rescue forces can determine the direction of fire spread and determine a suitable attack route.

Good to know: The fire alarm control panel (FACP) can be accessed by the fire brigade at any time, as the keys for the FACP are stored in a fire brigade key depot.

Specifications for a FACP

The planning, installation and commissioning of a fire alarm panel is only permitted by a specialist company certified in accordance with DIN 14675. In addition, the (VdS) guidelines, recognised rules of technology and the connection conditions of the responsible fire brigade must be observed.

Important: A safety power supply is mandatory for every FACP. The following specifications apply:

  • 4 hours in case of availability of a standby power system, stocking of spare parts and permanent availability of the specialist company carrying out the maintenance.
  • 30 hours in case of forwarding of the fault message to a permanently manned office and availability of the maintenance company within 24 hours
  • 72 hours in all other cases
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Fire alarm systems basically consist of a fire alarm control panel, an (emergency) power supply and fire detectors. These check an area to be monitored for a specific - or several combined - fire criteria (heat, smoke, etc.). Fire alarm systems that automatically alert the fire brigade also have a fire brigade control panel as well as a fire brigade display panel with which the emergency services can view all important information and carry out basic controls. The size of a fire alarm control panel varies greatly depending on the manufacturer and the overall size of the systems.

Important: A fire alarm control panel must protect against fire in the building. The installation location of a fire alarm control panel is therefore of particular relevance.

A safe installation site is possible via a fire load-free, dry and sufficiently lit room or a fire protection housing. These must also be equipped with a fire detector. In addition, the fire alarm control panel must be marked with an appropriate sign.

Fire alarm control panel at a glance

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about FACP.

What is the difference between fire alarm system and fire alarm control panel?

A fire alarm control panel is a fire alarm system (as a whole), whereas a fire alarm control panel is only the fire alarm control panel.

What is the function of a fire alarm control panel (FACP)?

A fire alarm control panel bundles all information from fire detectors in the building and independently initiates further measures on the basis of this information. Among other things, persons present and (if necessary) the fire brigade are automatically alerted and other fire protection systems are activated.

How does a fire alarm control panel (FACP) work?

A fire alarm control panel is connected to all fire detectors installed in the building. It collects continuous data on the basis of which the FACP transmits pre-programmed alarms and sends control commands.

What does a FACP cost?

A FACP is always part of a fire alarm panel. The costs for a FACP therefore differ depending on the size of the entire fire alarm panel or building.

Important: A FACP may only be installed by a certified company!

Who is allowed to operate the FACP?

The FACP may only be operated by instructed personnel, the fire brigade or a specialised company.

The instruction of selected persons is part of the installation of a fire alarm control panel and is documented accordingly. In the event of a fire alarm and the alerting of the fire brigade, the system shall be reset by the fire brigade or at least in consultation with it. Under no circumstances is it permissible to reset the FACP on one's own authority before the arrival of the emergency services.

CWS is a certified installer

CWS Fire Safety is a certified installer for fire alarm panels according to DIN 14675 and VdS. Experienced experts plan, install and maintain fire alarm panels throughout Germany.

CWS experts support you with:

  • Planning the system according to building size/use as well as fire hazards and number of persons
  • Installation and commissioning - incl. coordination with the fire brigade & preparation of fire brigade maps
  • Annual maintenance and quarterly inspection

Contact us for a non-binding consultation.


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