The different types of fire alarms

by | Aug 8, 2014 | Business

Today there are two basic types of fire alarm systems in common use; one is manual and the other automatic. A manual fire alarm in Tunbridge Wells relies on an occupant of the building discovering the fire and activating the alarm by hand. The activating devices known as call points are usually found near doors and stairwells. These types of fire alarm systems are normally used in commercial or industrial facilities where there will be no people living or sleeping on the premises.

Automatic fire alarms on the other hand use a complete network of sensors which detect the presence of a fire and automatically raise the alarm. In many cases these automatic systems not only raise the alarm, they also activate a sprinkler system and notify the fire services.

There are certain fire alarms that are primarily used to protect the lives of those in a building be it a home or a commercial structure. This type of fire alarm in Tunbridge Wells will sound a shrill Claxton or bell in the event a fire is detected however these types of alarms may not call for the fire services or activate a sprinkler system; they are simply designed to warm to the inhabitants to evacuate the building. For commercial structures there are more elaborate designs that automatically disable the ventilation system, this stops the spread of smoke and toxic fumes to other unaffected parts of the building. There are of course other types of alarms that do it all; alert the occupants, shut down the ventilation systems, engage the sprinkler system and notify the fire brigade.

There are fully automatic fire alarm systems which utilize a series of sensors that are all wired directly to a central control panel. The wiring can either be what is referred to as “conventional” or “addressable.” In a conventional arrangement the building is broken down into at least two zones and in many cases more than two. Within each zone there are a number of sensors connected to the control panel through hard wiring. The cable goes from the control panel to the last sensor located in each zone. In this configuration one of the sensors will activate sprinklers and alarms in the entire zone.

An addressable system is somewhat different. A cable runs from the control panel and goes from sensor to sensor until there is a complete circuit back to the panel. Every sensor is assigned an address and in the event of a fire and a sensor is activated, the control panel activates the alarm and sprinklers for the area based on the address of the sensor. This type of fire alarm in Tunbridge Wells allows the fire brigade to pinpoint the location of the blaze and take immediate action where necessary.

If you wish to install a fire alarm in Tunbridge Wells you are invited to visit Sapphire Security. With over 30 years experience in the fire safety industry you can be assured that a system in complete accordance with British Standards will be designed, installed and commissioned.

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