Fire Alarm System

You’re more than likely familiar with the term “fire alarm system.” These systems pop up in buildings of all sizes and tend to consist of similar things. There’s an alarm, there’s an alert system, there are many different sensors, and so on. You can identify the parts. But do you know how they work?

Well, there are three main parts of each and every fire alarm system, and those parts can be broken down into segments. Let’s go over them one by one.

Multiple Parts That Work Systematically

The initial system that makes a fire alarm work consists of multiple parts. These include the main control panel which is what essentially runs the entire system. Without this, there would be no way to check the system, turn it off, turn it on, and so on. This is kind of like the brain of the system. The control panel is usually located in a remote area of the building, near the electrical panel, the furnace, and all of the other crucial devices that make everything run.

There’s also the main power supply, as well as a secondary, or backup power supply. These are connected to the control panel and run everything. This is why you need to have the control panel located near your electrical panel – so that the connections are easy to make. Usually, the main power supply uses your building’s electrical grid, while the secondary supply uses a battery or series of batteries. This way, should the power go out, your fire alarm system can still run.

Next, there are initiating devices. These can be manual alerts (more on them later), or automatic ones. Many systems have a combination of both of these things. The manual alerts exist to serve as a type of back up, should the automatic system not catch the smoke or flames right away. Speaking of these automatic alerts, there are several different types of them.

Some of them are smoke detectors, which do exactly what they are supposed to. The others are heat detectors, which are set up to monitor the temperatures in a building. If the temperature suddenly goes up in an area, then they will go off and trigger the notification system. (More on those later as well.) The initiating devices need to be hooked into the main control panel so that they run properly.

Finally, there are building safety measures. These are things like automatic doors that shut to try to contain the fire, as well as full-on fire suppression systems. Sprinklers and foam devices make up these safety measures. Their goal is to either contain or put out the fire before it can spread throughout the building.

Devices That Allow For Manual Alerts

This sounds like a general “catch-all” category for manual alert devices, and it really is, because there are many different types of these devices. You’ll find some that are boxes that need to be broken into so that the alarm can be tripped.

This type usually consists of a button placed behind a small glass panel. The glass is there so that the button isn’t accidentally pressed should someone or something run into it. There are also pull-down levers that are much easier to access. Many a school kid has seen these types of manual alert devices in class and been tempted to pull the alarm.

These manual alerts play an important role in the process because they are there just in case the system fails to automatically detect the fire. There have been some cases where this has happened – the person nearby just happens to see the smoke and pull the alarm. They are a good backup method for these situations.

A Notification System

The notification is the third, and most would argue, the most important component of a fire alarm system. The notification is what spreads the word about the fire. Without it, no one would be notified, and a small fire could grow into a potential disaster very quickly. The notifications can consist of many different things, from flashing lights to actual sirens.

In many cases, alarm systems use more than one type of notification, just in case one is missed. Some more advanced system notifications can use things like speakers, which will have a pre-recorded voice saying words like “fire, fire, head to nearest exit” over and over again. Since these notifications are crucial, they will be located throughout the building.

Now that you understand exactly how a fire alarm system works and have a good general understanding of the systems that make it up, you no doubt realize just how important they are in Home security or commercial security. If you want to save your business and protect your employees, then you need to have a fire alarm system installed in your home.