A fire alarm system is critical for the protection of a building and its occupants. Most of us have experienced an active fire alarm system at school, office, or during an evacuation drill. Yet, we seldom give thought to how they actually work.
If you are planning to get a fire alarm system for your building, you must also know the basics of fire alarm systems. Here’s everything you need to know to understand how fire alarm systems can help you save valuable lives in case of an unfortunate event of a fire outbreak.
Primary Functions of Fire Alarm Systems
A fire alarm system has various devices working together to detect and warn about an impending fire accident. There are four fundamental functions of fire alarm systems which are as under:
Detecting a Fire
The most basic function of fire alarm systems is to detect heat and smoke. The presence of heat and smoke indicates the possibility of flames in the proximity so that you can take prompt action before any serious damage occurs. The following initiating devices allow the system to detect fire:
- Smoke and heat detectors detect the presence of smoke and heat. There are different types of detectors including photoelectric, ionisation and induct smoke detectors. For places where smoke detection can be difficult, you can use heat sensors to do the same job.
- Sprinkler water flow switches detect any movement in the sprinkler system which sets off the sprinkler heat. This sends a signal to the fire alarm control panel, consequently setting off the alarm.
- Manual pull station explain its function by its name. When someone in the building spots fire, they can manually activate a manual pull station. As a result, it sets off the fire alarm.
Alerting the Occupants of the Building
Fire alarm systems have audio and visual warnings that go off when the alarm activates. These warning signs are as under:
- The first and most obvious warning sign is a blaring noise or an audio warning. The noise of horns, bells or chimes will alert the occupants immediately so they can evacuate the building as soon as possible.
- It is also possible for you to configure your intercom and paging system to send out audio announcements. This allows you to instruct the occupants to evacuate the building. The audio message can be prerecorded or live through a built-in microphone.
- Fire alarm systems also have strobe lights to send out a visual warning to the occupants about a fire emergency.
- You can also program electronic signs like “Emergency” or brief instructions to evacuate through fire alarm systems.
Activating Safety Control Functions
A fire alarm system has different control functions that hinder the spread of fire to unaffected areas. These control functions include shutting down the HVAC equipment of the building etc. Smoke in an elevator lobby can be configured to call the cars on a set floor in case of a fire emergency.
Alerting the Fire Department
Fire alarm monitoring allows the system to send out an automatic signal to the fire department in your area. That said, not all fire alarms are capable of this function, only monitored systems can send out a signal. This function eliminates the need for you or any of the occupants to make a call to the fire department. Another benefit of this function is that even if the building is empty, the automatic signal still reaches the fire department. Therefore, the chances of property damage remain minimal.
If you are looking for any type of fire alarm services, contact Eagle Security Solutions. From fire alarm systems installation to maintenance, we offer fire alarm systems for homes and businesses at competitive prices.