Manual call point is a small square plastic enclosure that you see in every building, but paid very little attention to it. Manual call point (or referred to as call point or fire point) is an activation device that triggers the fire alarm by sending out signal to sirens for alert.

It is placed in strategic fire points throughout the building for manual trigger of the fire alarm system. This is distinguished from the other detection devices (input devices) which are automatically triggered. The manual element of the device thus means that it needs to be activated by hand.

An important point for manual call point is the placement in the building. It should be clearly visible (red color), at an easily accessible height level and at intervals where the person detecting the fire does not have to run too far to activate the call point.

Some of the common manual call points types include:

Pull Station

This type of manual fire alarm activation device is more commonly found in US and Canada. The manual device is activated by pulling a lever. The pulling lever can be designed to have a single action mechanism or dual-action mechanism. In dual-action types, the user has to lift up first then pull down, which discourages mishandling. The device can only be restored to its original position with a special key tool.

Manual Call Point

These are European standard manual fire alarm activation device that are commonly adopted worldwide (except North America). It is made of a plastic enclosure with a plate that will drop down when pushed. When the element is pushed, it will complete a circuit which notifies the fire alarm system of the zone or exact location where it is activated. Like its fire alarm pull station counterparts, it can only be restored to its original position with a special key tool.

Manual Call Point/Pull Station with Cover

This is a manual call point/pull station covered with a plastic cover. This creates a two-step process which discourages mishandling and false alarm.

Addressable Manual Call Point / Pull Station

This is an addressable version of manual call point/pull station. It is often the same brand with fire alarm system used, for compatibility.

Hazardous Area Explosion Proof / Intrinsically Safe Manual Call Point

This type of manual call point is used in explosion-prone environment such as oil refinery, nuclear plant or chemical factory where the device itself needs to be sturdy and waterproof to retain its function in case of emergency. The enclosure is often made with GRP or aluminum, and it is sealed with an IP rating of IP66 or IP67 in order to be certified. Because of the special application, it can be installed outdoor or in dusty areas. The device is also modified so that the energy entering the device cannot generate enough heat to start ignition.

As with most fire alarm system devices, manual call points used in the context of fire emergency would be color-coded in red. In other instances, such as access control or other non-fire related matters, colors such as green, yellow or blue may be used. A simple guideline of color is listed as below:
What is a fire alarm call point & what does it do?

A fire alarm call point (also referred to as a red manual call point or a break-glass call point) is essentially a small box, mounted on a wall which contains a button or a lever that allows you to manually trigger the fire alarm in a building.

They are an essential part of any building’s fire detection system, as they can:

Depending on the model of the call point you may or may not have to break a glass to reach the button that activates the fire alarm. Some of the latest designs have been adapted to use depressable plastic instead of glass to reduce the possibility of injury to the user and to discourage any acts of vandalism.

If you happen to uncover a fire at work, sounding the fire alarm using a manual call point is the fastest way to get your colleagues’ attention and prompt them to get to safety. If the fire isn’t big enough to have triggered the automatic fire detection system, your proactive actions could help put the flames under control before the fire has had the chance to spread.

Once the manual call point has been used, it has to be reset manually, using a safety key to revert it back to its original state.

Where should fire call points be located?

Every fire alarm system has multiple manual call points, so if you pay attention, you will spot them in all public buildings – from shared accommodation to office buildings, construction sites, cinemas and theatres, shopping centres, school and healthcare facilities.

Usually, they are located along the escape routes, near the fire exits, so that you can trigger the alarm without slowing down the evacuation process or putting yourself in unnecessary danger. According to the relevant regulatory requirements (BS 5839), call points should be placed:

Another interesting fact about manual call points is that they should always be installed on the floor side of an exit door leading to a staircase so that when the alarm is triggered, the alarm system can correctly identify which floor the fire has occurred on.

What colour are the fire alarm call points?

Manual call points can have more than one function. They come in three colours: white, green and red. The different colours indicate the function of each individual call point:

Depending on the fire safety system installed in your building, the manual call points can be set up to have a number of additional functions, such as unlocking or releasing doors, triggering the smoke management system and even turning off the air conditioning system. In any case, if you notice a fire, you should always use the manual call points without hesitation – better safe than sorry!

How often should fire call points be tested?

Manual call points should be tested as part of your weekly fire alarm test procedure. Realistically, not all fire alarm call points can be tested each week. Usually, the testing is done via a rotation plan where a different call point is tested each week to ensure that the entire system works as it should. If there are 12 call points on the premises, for example, you shouldn’t retest the first call point before the 13th week of testing, as all 12 call points should be tested before you repeat the process.

In addition to that, it’s part of the fire marshal’s responsibilities to perform a daily visual inspection of all elements of the fire safety system, including the manual call points. If the call point signage has worn off or if there are any visible signs of damage, then this should be raised with the building’s management team and rectified as quickly as possible.

Last but not least, the entire fire alarm system has to undergo a full safety inspection by a qualified fire safety engineer at least every 6 months. This is when all manual call points will be checked thoroughly by a professional as part of their regular maintenance.

Need a fire alarm system along with manual call points installed? Here at Evacuator Alarms, we specialise in traditional and wireless fire alarm installation for all building projects, from residential buildings to offices and large construction sites.
hat is the purpose of the fire call point?

A manual fire call point allows anyone to trigger the fire detection system in a building by pressing a button or pulling a lever.

When should a manual call point be activated?

If you notice a fire in a building before the fire alarm system has been activated you should trigger the alarm manually by using the nearest red manual call point.

How do fire alarm call points work?

When you activate the manual call point, it sends a signal to the fire system’s control panel, notifying it that there is a fire in the area closest to the call point. As a minimum, this will sound the fire alarm throughout the building. It should also start the fire emergency protocols, including calling the fire brigade.

How many fire call points do I need?

As a general rule, you must have a call point within 30 metres of any location within a building and there should be at least one on each storey. High-risk areas may need additional call points installed.

What colour are the call points that enable you to raise the fire alarm?

Red call points are the ones that allow you to trigger the fire alarm.

Where do manual call points go?

Usually, close to the fire exit at 1.4m height to make sure that they are easily accessible to everyone, including wheelchair users.

Do manual call points need signage
What is Manual Call Point (MCP) ?
by Editorial Staff

Manual Call Point is a device for the manual initiation of an alarm.

Manual fire alarm activation is typically achieved through the use of a pull station (term used in USA & Canada) or call point (term used in Europe, Australia, and Asia), which then sounds the evacuation alarm for the relevant building or zone.

Manual fire alarm activation requires human intervention, as distinct from automatic fire alarm activation such as that provided through the use of heat detectors and smoke detectors. It is, however, possible for call points/pull stations to be used in conjunction with automatic detection as part of an overall fire detection and alarm system.
Manual Call Point
n Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, pull stations are generally not used; instead a manual call point is used, which is usually referred to as an MCP, call point or Fire Point within the fire protection industry.

They are used to allow building occupants to signal that a fire or other emergency exists within the building. They are usually connected to a central fire alarm panel which is in turn connected to an alarm system in the building.

Manual call points are used to initiate an alarm signal, and operate by means of a simple button press or when glass is broken revealing a button. They can form part of a manual alarm system or an automatic alarm system. There will be an indicator on the monitoring unit for visual indication to locate the call point easily.
Selection Criteria for Manual Call Points

Following are some minimum requirement applicable for manual call point, however requirements vary from industry to industry.

Manual Call points (MCP) shall be of the break-glass type with protection against accidental operation.

The MCP’s shall be provided with a key operated test facility to enable periodic testing of the alarm contacts without the need to remove or break the glass.

The method of operation shall be clearly indicated by a concise permanent inscription inside the unit and clearly visible from outside including the word ’ Fire. e.g. “Fire: Break Glass”.

The glass shall be designed in such a way as to prevent injuries, when struck by the operator.

The call point shall return to its normal condition when the frangible element is replaced.

The glass shall be properly secured by sealing rings.

The call points shall be equipped with current limiting resistors permanently fitted inside the unit and not wired into terminals provided for field wiring.

Operation of the call point shall Cause a change in loop current to be detected at the Fire and Gas control panel.

The manual call points for hazardous areas shall include encapsulated changeover contacts use with IS monitoring circuits.

A brass hammer or similar operating device shall be provided for call points with means of attachment. Such operating device shall not be capable of producing a spark when struck against the body of the call point.

Manual Call Point (“MCP”)

Features & Operation of a Manual Call Poin

The external housing for a manual call point may be made from plastic or metal to suit a variety of environments including (indoor, outdoor and explosive environments).

In its basic form a manual call point comprises a switch, mounted within an enclosure, protected from accidental or malicious activation by a protective frangible (glass) or non-frangible (plastic) cover.
Operation of a Manual Call Point

To operate a manual call point a user must press hard on the frangible or non-frangible front of the manual call point.

Manual call point which is usually referred to as an MCP is the point in a building where a switch used manually to activate fire alarm, this requires human intervention. In the automatic fire alarm system, an alarm is triggered through the use of heat detectors and smoke detectors.

Manual call points switches are used along with the automatic alarm system. Usually, they are connected to a central fire alarm panel that is connected to the building’s alarm system.

Manual call points are used to initiate an alarm and operate either by pressing a simple button or by revealing a button when a glass is broken. The monitoring unit will have an indicator for visual indication to easily locate the call point.
Selection types of MCP:

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