Product Focus – The Protec 6500

A fire alarm system is one of, if not the most critical life safety system in your building. For that reason alone, you should not compromise when selecting a fire alarm solution. Your system needs to be reliable and dependable, which in turn gives confidence that you and your property is safe should the worst happen. Owners invest heavily in featuring the best designed products in their buildings, so why should that stop with your life safety systems? As with everything in life, more than just looks matter. You want a solution which offers not only unique looks but something that surpasses those looks with its day to day operation. Design is at the heart of Protec products. Born from decades of experience within the industry, and our time-served field engineers assistance in the refinement of our products, we ensure our products aren’t just easy on the eye but are also easy to install and more importantly easy to use.

6500 Product Focus

Your safety certified

Building projects are built according to many standards, requirements, and recommendations to ensure the safety of the occupants. The Protec 6500 Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) has been built from the ground-up to fulfil the requirements of BS 5839, EN 54, and other relevant standards around the world. It showcases a selection of these standards on the front of the panel alongside the BSI Kitemark™ or a similar quality mark; it is testament to the quality of workmanship and testing which goes into producing the product. When coupled with the 6500 ten different operational languages (plus additional expansion capabilities), making it suitable to feature on projects in a wide range of countries outside of the United Kingdom.

BSI Kitemark on Fire Alarm Panel

Intelligent system design

When installing a fire alarm panel, running vast amounts of cables to one location in a building or wrestling those cables into a box proves cumbersome and expensive. The 6500 system solves this issue by using a two-wire loop configuration to connect to fire alarm devices. It allows detectors and alarm devices to share the same circuit, which provides a simple, cost-effective solution to fire detection building applications. The standard 6500 FACPs control a maximum of four loops (up to 8 loops are available), this was down to a design choice. Out in the field, it has proven to be more cost-effective and quicker to install two four-loop panels networked together than one eight loop panel. Two panels located in different areas of a building distributing cables evenly across a building is more cost-effective than to install one eight-loop panel and supply loops from one location to the far ends of the same building. It is not always about how much you can fit into a fire alarm panel; it is about how the fire alarm panels can intelligently fit real-world scenarios.

Project installation is a fast-paced world and anything that reduces time and trouble on the site is always well received. The 6500 FACP uses Protec’s FAST™ (Firmware Addressed Secure Technology) method of commissioning devices. Each loop device leaves the factory carrying a unique serial number and associated removable barcodes. At commission time the engineer scans both barcodes, one staying on the detector, and the other placed into the loop commissioning manual. The system may simply then be programmed from the manual, using the intelligent commissioning software. This simple, straightforward method removes the need for fiddly dill switches or any awkward address cards, which are now outdated.


User friendly

The days of clunky, non-contextual, un-hygienic buttons are in the past. Today, car infotainment systems, mobile phones and even fridges utilise touch screen interfaces. The reason behind this is simple, they are intuitive, contextual, and provide a richer experience for the user. Touch screens are not challenging to use, and the software behind them has been developed for the ease of navigation, whilst remaining sub-consciously familiar to the end-user. Physical buttons were prohibited at the conception of the 6500 FACP, future-proofing the design whilst keeping the needs and expectations of the end-user and engineers in mind.


Grows with you

Each building is different from the next, and each building grows. Requirements change, specifications adapt, and circumstances alter. However, and whenever your needs change, the Protec 6500 fire alarm system grows with you. The high capacity loops and secure network are scalable to your demands. Meaning the addition, replacement and removal of devices or panels remain simple no matter the building size. So, whatever your next step, your fire alarm system will not hold you back.


Addressable Fire Alarm Schematic

Open Protocol

It is one of the most argued phrases in the fire industry. Suppose your fire alarm system isn’t Open Protocol. In that case, your system tends not to be favoured by specifiers and installers alike. The term Open Protocol means that any competent fire alarm company can service and maintain your fire alarm system. The fire alarm maintenance market is competitive, and it has become necessary for all British fire alarm systems to offer Open Protocol. The Protec 6500 fire alarm system is fully open protocol (just like our 6100). However, if you are an end-user, the cost, complexity, and responsibility of managing your system may prove cumbersome. Protec can ease the burden; our system offers tiered Open Protocol solutions, with different options and benefits to allow you to select a level which is comfortable for you. You can find more information on our Open Protocol systems here.



Some sites don’t get the same level of attention as others, so with that in mind, you need a fire alarm system that doesn’t need constant looking after, other than its intended service visits. The 6500 uses Protec’s 6000PLUS protocol to communicate with the fire alarm devices. It is the Protec standard protocol which continuously evaluates each device’s analogue data, through fire detection algorithms. Through continual sampling of the fire alarm devices, the system recognises when a sensor is becoming contaminated through everyday use and will adjust the threshold of the sensor to accommodate this. The 6500 FACP then gives an early indication of the contaminated device in need to be replaced; reducing the risk of what could become a costly false alarm at a later date. This technology helps keep the system false alarm and fault free until its ready for its periodic maintenance.



Today, building projects feature a combination of safety and management systems all working hand in hand. In some cases, one system will interface with another to accomplish a task, or in others, one system will negate the need of another altogether. But for this to work, you need a system that is scalable and versatile and can adapt to the task at hand. The 6500 makes for a trustworthy and reliable solution for addressing a building’s fire and non-fire related needs. Versatility is a pride and a strength of the Protec 6500 fire alarm system. By offering multiple types of integration with third-party systems, it keeps the Protec 6500 a vital ingredient where smart building communication is essential for carrying out tasks. From the simple release of magnetic security access doors to controlling the class change bell in a school, the 6500 FACP offers the necessary inputs and outputs to help carry out the task at hand.

The 6500 FACP comes complete with an RS232 port, which enables the fire alarm system to link to both building management systems and Protec’s front-end graphics package Hercules 6. Hercules is a powerful alarm management interface and is available in both desktop computer and 19-inch rack integrated touchscreen formats. Further, the system interface is extendable to work with other Protec systems such as aspirating detection systems and the Digilite emergency lighting test and monitoring systems. The Hercules system gives an all in one solution to life safety management for fire detection and emergency lighting packages.


Aesthetically pleasing

First impressions are everything; the reception to your building is where people come to meet you face to face and get their first physical impressions of who you are. Owners invest good money to have a well-presented entrance to their building, in an expression of their identity. That’s why the 6500 FACP with its muted, modern, storm grey and black exterior offers a minimalistic approach to today’s fire alarm panel design. The 6500 sits unobtrusively in the background, quietly keeping the building protected from fire, only drawing attention to itself when needed. Formed from a hardwearing PC/ABS blend of plastic, the door will last far beyond the service life of the fire alarm panel, preserving the 6500’s aesthetic finish. The panel’s purposeful looks make it an attractive addition to any entrance of a building project.


Further information

Protec prides itself on being an innovative company that continues to stay at the forefront of technology within the fire and security industry. By continually addressing new and existing constraints found in the real world, Protec takes these lessons learned and apply them to future developments in software and hardware. By keeping this user-focused mentality, it ensures Protec is a respected name for its fire alarm products and services provided. Are you are interested in how the Protec 6500 could feature in your next project? Our sales team would be more than happy to help assist you with any queries on the proposed fire alarm system or assist you in the design development of your project. Contact them here. Should you like to discuss how the panel could feature in your overseas project, why not contact our export division.