Fire alarm systems are lifesavers and required on most commercial buildings in order to to pass a fire safety inspection.

There is a lot more to these systems than just setting and forgetting them as they require regular alarm system testing to make sure they are correctly functioning and using periodic system maintenance to keep them that way.

When you understand some important details about these critical warning devices, it is easy to see why regular inspections and maintenance are so necessary and important.

How Do Fire Alarm Systems Function?

Though it may seem obvious as to how fire alarm systems function, they actually do a lot more than just detect a fire in a building.

They self-monitor so they can detect the location of the fire, alert people within the building that there is a fire, and alert a monitoring company which notifies emergency personnel such as the fire department that a fire has been detected.

How Do Fire Alarm Systems Detect Fires?

A common question that fire alarm services get asked is how these devices detect fires.

Fire alarm systems detect fire by detecting heat or smoke in one of its many sensors or when someone pulls a fire alarm.

The entire system is wired into a central control panel by zones, so the panel can not only respond to sensors detecting heat or smoke but also determine which network zone those detectors are on.

Pull alarms are wired into the network as well, so the system can identify which alarm was pulled and where it is.

What Are the Parts of Every Fire Alarm System?

There are a number of important parts to every alarm system that must be carefully laid out, networked, programmed, and then perform fire alarm system testing to be sure it all works correctly.

These components include initiating devices which are the smoke and heat detectors, indicating appliances that sound the system alarms, a control panel, and a power supply.

Auxiliary devices like fire doors, door holders, elevator shutdown, LED indicators, silencing switches, and others can be networked into the system as well.

System Monitoring and Activation

Fire alarm systems are effective because they self-monitor what is happening throughout the entire system, then alerting when a problem is discovered.

There are three operational states that the control panel will display to indicate what is happening within the system and the building at any moment.

  • A notice of Normal indicates the network is working correctly and there is no fire detected.
  • A notice of Trouble indicates that the self-monitoring function has detected a problem within the system that is preventing it from communicating with itself, indicating that alarm system maintenance or repair is required to get it back to the Normal state.
  • A notice of Alarm means a fire has been detected and the alarm is activated.

When the alarm activates, the audible alarm will sound within the building to alert everyone inside.

Additionally, the system will send an alert to whichever emergency monitoring service it communicates with so that service can then send the fire department.

Activated alarms can be deactivated after the system has been tested or the fire threat has been dealt with by entering a code into the control panel.

Stay Safe - Know How To Use Your Fire Alarm System

Operated correctly, fire alarm systems in commercial buildings can mean the difference between getting a fire out quickly or suffering costly property damage and possibly worse.

Learn how to properly use yours, including how to perform fire alarm testing.

In addition, schedule yearly fire alarm system maintenance and inspection with a fire prevention service that can ensure it is functioning properly and monitoring your building the way it should!

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