Types of Fire Alarm systems
Updated: Nov 28
When researching fire alarms, it can be tricky choosing the best one for you. There are lots of factors to consider depending on your specific needs and preferences. Depending on whether you want a smoke alarm for your commercial premises or an alarm for your home the one you choose should be suited to the layout of your home or business.
Which smoke alarms are best?
The most suitable smoke alarm is one that suits your specific needs, provides comprehensive coverage, complies with safety standards, and offers reliable, timely alerts to protect lives and property in the event of a fire. For expert advice, contact us and we can advise on the best fire alarm tailored to your circumstances. We work in compliance with BS5839-1 which is the safety standard for fire alarms and life safety.
Conventional Fire Alarms
A conventional fire alarm system divides a building into zones, with detectors and call points connected to specific zones. When a detector or call point is activated, the alarm panel indicates the zone where the signal originated, allowing users to identify the general area of the potential fire.
While cost-effective, these systems offer limited pinpointing of the exact location of the alarm, which can impact response time. Conventional systems suit smaller premises where precise identification might be less critical. However, for larger or more complex spaces, addressable systems providing more detailed information about the location of the alarm are often preferred.
Addressable Fire Alarm Systems
An addressable fire alarm system integrates individual devices, like detectors and call points, assigning each a unique address. This allows precise identification of the specific device that triggered the alarm, offering detailed location information.
Addressable systems provide real-time monitoring, enabling quick response to potential threats in larger or complex spaces like commercial buildings. They offer flexibility for programming and zoning, enhancing overall control and reducing false alarms. This advanced technology aids in faster identification of fire incidents, facilitating swifter and more targeted action by emergency responders, ensuring enhanced safety measures for occupants and property.
Wireless Fire Alarm Systems
Wireless fire alarm systems apply radio frequency communication between devices, eliminating the need for hardwired connections. They offer flexibility in installation, making them ideal for buildings where wiring installation is challenging or costly. These systems provide quick setup and can be easily expanded or relocated.
However, signal interference or battery life issues can affect their reliability. Advances in technology have improved their stability and effectiveness, making wireless systems a viable choice for various settings. Regular maintenance and battery checks are essential to ensure continuous functionality, providing efficient fire detection and early warning capabilities for enhanced safety in homes and businesses. We use quality products including Apollo and Cygnus fire alarm systems.
Aspirating Fire Detection Systems (AFDS) use a network of pipes and sensors to actively sample the air for smoke particles. They draw air from various points in a building into a centralised unit for analysis. They offer the extremely early detection of smoke as they are highly sensitive, capable of detecting smoke at its early stage.
An AFDS is ideal for environments where early warning is critical. Their ability to detect smoke in challenging conditions, like high ceilings or dusty environments, makes them advantageous. These systems offer customisable sensitivity levels and continuous monitoring, ensuring swift response and heightened safety measures.
What is a fire alarm control panel?
A fire alarm control panel (FACP) serves as the central hub of a fire alarm system. It receives signals from detectors, initiating devices, and manual call points. The panel monitors these inputs, triggering alarms and indicating the location of the fire or fault. It allows users to program system settings, perform tests, and silence alarms if needed. Advanced panels offer zone-specific information, aiding emergency responders in quick and precise action. Fire Alarm Control Panels play a pivotal role in fire safety, providing real-time information and coordination for effective evacuation and fire suppression measures in commercial and residential settings. Regular maintenance ensures its reliability during emergencies.
For expert advice and to discuss a fire alarm installation fitted in your home or business premises, contact us.