A fire alarm is a device designed to detect fires and alert everyone nearby of the danger. Fire alarms work by detecting changes in the environment. There are three different types of fire alarms: manual, automatic, or an alarm may combine the two. Automatic alarms are useful in instantly alerting people to a fire in a large building or area where a fire may break out and no one see it. Manual alarms, on the other hand, allow a person to sound the alarm when he or she sees a fire. Combination alarms give both options. Many buildings include both types of alarms.
Fire alarm systems are made up of several different parts. The main part is the control panel. It monitors the various fire detectors, controls the system, and sets off the alarm if necessary. It and all of the detectors are powered by both a primary power supply and an emergency backup power supply.
The initiating device is the actual detection part of the fire alarm system. It can either automatically detect a fire and set off the alarm, or be manually set off. Most manual initiating devices are small red devices located near exits. These devices include a small lever that a person call pull to set off the large. Automatic initiating devices come in several forms: they can detect heat, detect smoke particles, detect the release of extinguishing agents, and more. The newest initiating devices can even use computer programs to analyze video tape for the effects of a fire.
The notification appliance, then, is the actual alarm part of a fire alarm. It is what makes the very loud noise to inform people that a fire has occurred. It can also set off other alarms, including flashing lights, pre-recorded messages instructing you where to go, and some devices even release a smell into the air. Generally, the alarm’s sound and the flashing light pattern are reserved for the fire alarm only so there is no confusion as to what is occurring. Many fire alarms are also tied to the local fire station and alert them when the alarm is set off.
There are two different types of building interfaces. The first is a magnetic smoke door holder. These devices are mounted on the wall or the floor and allow smoke tight doors to close on their own when a fire is detected. The other is a duct mounted smoke detection device. These devices check the air in duct work. If smoke is detected, the device stops the fans that blow air through the ducts. This helps to prevent circulation of smoke and other toxic fumes caused by fires.
In the UK, fire alarm systems are divided in to several different categories. They are designated L systems if they’re designed to help save lives, P systems if they’re designed to protect a building, and M systems if they’re manual.
M systems include things like gongs and hand bells. These systems rely on people to notice a fire and set off the alarm manually. These types of fire alarms are used in locations where people will be alert at all times.
There are two different types of P systems. A P1 system is spread throughout a building and is designed to alert the authorities as soon as a fire is detected. A P2 system, on the other hand, is usually only installed in areas where there is a high risk of a fire or in places where very valuable items are stored. These systems provide a more sensitive form of fire detection.
The L systems are split into five different categories. L1 provide detection of smoke and fire throughout the building, and most home detectors are L1 devices. L2 devices are designed for larger areas and can be installed in rooms with a higher chance of ignition and in escape routes. L3s and L4s are, likewise, designed to be placed in escape routes and to alert people before those routes become blocked by flames. Finally, an L5 detection system is designed for computer rooms and other locations where an automatic extinguishing system may be used. These fire alarms will automatically set off sprinklers or other fire suppressants when flames are detected.