Understanding Manual Call Points

Manual Call Points are considered an indispensable part of any fire alarm system design and installation. In contrast to fire alarm detectors, call points fall under the category of Fire Alarm Initiating devices that are operated manually. Below are some key aspects every professional should know:

Call Points vs. Pull stations

Manual Call points (MCPs) – as per EN54 – or Manual Pull Station – as per NFPA72, play the same role in any fire alarm design. The main difference lies in the functionality, where MCPs operate like a resettable microswitch. On the other side, Pull Stations operate by pulling in case of single action type, or by pushing and pulling in case of dual action type.

Conventional and Addressable

            Like fire alarm systems, call Points come in two kinds: conventional and addressable. Addressable call points come with a built-in module enabling the operator to determine the exact location of the call points.

Weatherproof/Explosion proof call points

           Another important factor in determining the right call point is the environment where the call point will be installed. Some vendors provide a covering for the call points to make them weatherproof. In other applications, mainly in hazardous environments, an explosion-proof MCP would be necessary.

Design

Call points need to be easily accessible for people in case of fire. Hence, the best practice is to install them in exit pathways where people can initiate them when fleeing a fire. Standards recommend a travelling distance between 30m and 45m from the nearest call point. They are also usually mounted at a height between 1.2m and 1.6m from the floor.

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