There are several options for a building's fire detection and alarm system today in the market. The ultimate system type, and selected components, will be dependent upon the building construction and value, its use or uses, the type of occupants, mandated standards, content value, and mission sensitivity. At SBD we understand appropriate professional system that needs to be installed and the different alarm and detection options to find the best solution.
If you’re unsure which type of fire detection equipment to get, have a professional come in to assess your building to determine your requirements. Regardless of which alarm/detection device selected, you should have them professionally installed, and follow all instructions for testing and maintenance.
The control panel is the "brain" of the fire detection and alarm system.
Conventional or "point wired" fire detection and alarm systems were for many years the standard method for providing emergency signalling. Upon fire occurrence, one or more detectors will operate. This action closes the circuit, which the fire control panel recognizes as an emergency condition. The panel will then activate one or more signalling circuits to sound building alarms and summon emergency help. The panel may also send the signal to another alarm panel so that it can be monitored from a remote point.
Addressable or "intelligent" systems represent the current state-of- the-art in fire detection and alarm technology. Unlike conventional alarm methods, these systems monitor and control the capabilities of each alarm initiating and signalling device through microprocessors and system software. In an addressable system, each initiating device (automatic detector, manual station, sprinkler water flow switch, etc.) is given a specific identification or "address". This address is correspondingly programmed into the control panel's memory with information such as the type of device, its location, and specific response details such as which alarm devices are to be activated.
When present, humans can be excellent fire detectors. The healthy person is able to sense multiple aspects of a fire including the heat, flames, smoke, and odors. For this reason, most fire alarm systems are designed with one or more manual alarm activation devices to be used by the person who discovers a fire. Automatic detectors are meant to imitate one or more of the human senses of touch, smell or sight. Thermal / Heat detectors are similar to our ability to identify high temperatures, smoke detectors replicate the sense of smell, and flame detectors are electronic eyes. The properly selected and installed automatic detector can be a highly reliable fire sensor.
Flame detectors represent the third major type of automatic detection method, and imitate the human sense of sight. They are line of sight devices that operate on either an infrared, ultraviolet or combination principle. The advantage of flame detection is that it is extremely reliable in a hostile environment. They are usually used in high value energy and transportation applications where other detectors would be subject to spurious activation.
Upon receiving an alarm notification, the fire alarm control panel must now tell someone that an emergency is underway. This is the primary function of the alarm output aspect of a system. Another key function of the output function is emergency response notification. The most common arrangement is an automatic telephone or radio signal that is communicated to a constantly staffed monitoring centre. Other output functions include shutting down electrical equipment such as computers, shutting off air handling fans to prevent smoke migration, and shutting down operations such as chemical movement through piping in the alarmed area.