Fire alarms come in two basic designs, these days, and they are known as manual or automatic. Both alarm systems can be configured to either protect lives only or to protect both lives and property. Automatic fire alarm systems can be operated in either a conventional or computer addressable arrangement.
Manual or Automatic
A manual fire alarm will depend on someone being around in a building and who finds the fire and can the hand activate the alarm. Devices which are known as “call points” are normally installed near doors and stairwells to activate the alarm system. As you yourself have probably seen, this type of fire alarm is typically used in commercial or industrial buildings where people don’t normally reside.
An automatic fire alarm utilises a connected network of sensing devices that will detect any presence of smoke and then sound off an alarm. Plus, in addition to sounding the alarm, both manual and automatic alarm systems in Perth can be used and set to turn on sprinkler systems and contact the fire brigade.
Protecting Lives and Containment
Over time, different types of fire alarms have been developed mostly to protect the lives of the occupants of a home or building. This sort of fire alarm will sound off an alarm when the fire has been identified but may not turn on sprinkler systems or notify the fire brigade. The more complex types of this kind of system will also close down ventilation systems to stop smoke and toxic fumes from spreading around other parts of the building.
Automatic fire alarms are connected to a central control panel. The wiring arrangement for these automatic fire alarms is considered to be either traditional or linked to a computer network. In the standard conventional configuration set up, a building is divided into two or more areas and each area has a number of different sensing devices connected to the control panel by electrical wiring. The wiring goes out from the control panel to the final sensing device in each area and in this type of conventional fire alarm system, the activation of one single sensor will set off alarms and sprinklers in the whole area.
Unlike conventional set-ups, an addressable fire alarm system uses an electrical cable that begins at the control panel and then goes out to every sensor until a total circuit is completed and goes back to the panel. In this sort of set up, each individual sensing device is assigned an address. If one sensor is activated, the control panel will then activate alarms and sprinklers for only that zone based on the sensor’s address. This type of alarm system arrangement takes away the need for a whole zone to be activated and helps firefighters to know the exact location of any fire.
Fire alarms – a very simple solution to what could be otherwise a total disaster.