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Fire Alarm Systems

Fire alarm system

A Fire Alarm System is one of the most valuable systems a building can have. According to estimates by the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration, U.S. home usage of smoke alarms rose from less than 10% in 1975 to at least 95% in 2000, while the number of home fire deaths was cut nearly in half. The system is supposed to protect people and property by early fire detection. Early detection and evacuation can help save lives.

Uses

Fire Alarm Systems are put in place to safely protect lives and property. Some form of fire protection is required in every new building, weather it is residential or commercial. If a fire sprinkler system is required, then a fire alarm system is also required. Fire alarm systems monitor fire sprinkler systems to notify all responsible parties in the event of an emergency or a failure in the system and to evacuate the building or area in danger. Fire alarms can reduce the loss of life and property by detecting various hazardous situations such as detecting smoke, CO2, and sprinkler activation before any human can and respond effectively without error.

Residential or Commercial

All systems can be categorized into two types of fire alarms, residential or commercial. Most residential homes do not require a fire alarm system but do require some form of fire protection like smoke and CO2 detector alarms. Residential buildings have specific locations for smoke and CO2 alarms for occupancy purposes. Larger structures often require a fire alarm system due to the size, complexity, and operating environment in the building. Commercial systems typically require both a fire alarm system and a fire sprinkler system.

Parts

Residential and commercial fire alarm systems often share the same components but are completely different in design. Fire alarm systems use a variety of different detectors and devices to keep people and property safe. Some of the shared devices are; smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, strobes and sirens. A few fire alarm devices are specific to the application like, beam detectors and water sensors. All fire alarm systems are required to have a battery backup in case of a power outage and most systems require cellular communication to notify all involved parties in case of phone line failure.

Integration

Often fire alarm systems need to be integrated with other systems to allow proper evacuation and shut down or start up other systems. A fire alarm system may need to be integrated with the access control system to allow occupants to evacuate the building or allow first responders to enter quickly. Or a fire alarm system may need to be integrated with an elevator or mechanical room to shut systems down incase of a fire. Conversely a fire alarm integrated with a fire pump can help supply more water to the sprinkler system.