Found in commercial and public buildings of all sizes and applications, a fire alarm panel is the brains of any fire alarm system. Whether conventional or addressable, the fire alarm panel powers and communicates with the system's satellite components including the initiating devices, notification appliances and various other parts. Depending on the type of panel and system it is, a fire alarm panel can effectively control anywhere from 2 to 2,000+ zones.
Conventional System Panels
Conventional fire alarm systems are designed to control usually no more than 10 zones in a structure. Conventional systems do not isolate the initiating device that detected fire, therefore they are not useful in large buildings where the source of a fire must be precisely located. For this reason, they are used in small buildings with relatively few zones such as churches, schools, apartment complexes and other small commercial structures.
Addressable System Panels
The alternative to a conventional fire alarm is an addressable system. A much more complex system, addressable fire alarm panels are designed to control hundreds to thousands of zones, making them ideal for large buildings such as high rises. Addressable fire alarm panels tell an operator exactly where the fire was detected so responders can be directed to the source of the fire and quell it before it spreads.