Without a doubt the fire alarm system in your building is one of the most important parts of your building safety strategy. Without it, you’re putting the occupants in your building in danger, maybe even yourself. Additionally, damage that comes from fire can result in costly repairs that could have been reduced or eliminated with a well designed and properly implemented system.
This raises the question as to how one does this effectively. In this post, we will discuss what to look for in a fire alarm system to ensure it’s properly designed and fully functional.
Fire Alarm System Parts
Fire Alarm Control Panel
The fire alarm control panel is kind of the nerve center of the fire alarm system. This crucial piece of equipment monitors the building for fires, manages outputs, and relays information when there’s an issue or hazardous situation.
Primary & Secondary Power Supply
Every alarm system must have both a primary and secondary power supply, with the latter making sure you’re covered during a power outage.
The primary power supply should be a standard non-switched 120 or 240-volt AC source provided by the power company. The secondary power supply is typically a lead-acid storage batteries. In larger buildings a generator can be used.
The initiating devices sent information to the fire alarm panel and trigger the fire alarm when appropriate. The system should have both a manual and automatic way to initiate the system there’s a fire.
Manual initiating devices include:
- Fire alarm boxes
- Manual pull stations
- Break glass stations
Common Automatic initiating devices include:
- Heat detectors
- Smoke detectors
- Flame detectors
Notification devices alert the building occupants when there’s an emergency. Devices in this class include flashing lights, strobes, horns, bells, chimes, or other noises.
Sometimes an emergency voice alarm communications systems (EVACS) is activated, voice alerts which help the occupants safely evacuate the building. This application will ease the pressure of the situation and securely guide people out of the building.
Building Safety Interfaces
The building safety interfaces are used so that the fire alarm system can prepare the building for a fire by adjusting certain elements in a building. This system can reduce the spread of smoke and toxic fumes by adjusting the air movement, lighting, process control, human transport, and more.
Auto Fire Guard is the self activating fire extinguisher that lets out a loud bang to notify anyone in the area that there is a fire present.