A fire security alarm is a variably-sized network of sensors, notification appliances and other accessories connected to a single central command module. Depending on the size of the building, fire security alarm systems of one capacity or another are used. A primary distinction exists between conventional and addressable fire security alarm systems. Which system works for a particular structure is a function of its size and complexity.
Conventional Alarm Systems
Conventional fire security alarm systems are only used in small building such as schools, churches, apartment complexes or other structures of a more manageable size. Typically equipped to monitor 10 or fewer zones, conventional fire alarms do not have the ability to indicate exactly where a fire has started or which sensor detected it. Thus, conventional systems can only be used where the starting point of the fire is more or less inconsequential.
Addressable Alarm Systems
The much more complex addressable fire security alarm systems are designed to pinpoint the precise location of a fire and the sensor that detected it. Used in large high rises, factories and other enormous structures, addressable systems allow firefighters to isolate regions with firewalls in order to snuff out the fire before it spreads to other zones.
Components of fire security alarm systems include the main control panel, initiating sensors, notification appliances, emergency suppression and advanced communication control modules.