As soon as a potential threat is detected, or when someone uses a call point, the whole building will be made aware of the potential danger via sounders, bells, and beacons. Everyone can get themselves to safety, whether they’re upstairs or on the other side of the building.
Fire alarm systems are a popular choice in a wide range of premises, including shops, supermarkets, offices, schools, warehouses, rented accommodation, and many others. This is largely because of their ability to warn a large number of people at once, and they can be set up to automatically alert the fire brigade when you’re not around.
There are various elements of a fire alarm system which go to make a system which is reliable and equipped to handle anything.
As the main hub of the whole system, the control panel is constantly monitoring the situation, on the lookout for a potential hazard or even a fault within the system.
You can split your building into zones, such as by floor, and you can then quickly identify the location where the alarm was triggered. That means you can investigate yourself, or know exactly where to send the fire brigade when they turn up.
Everything in the system wires into it. The detectors will let the control panel know when they find a potential problem so that the control panel can then activate the sounders, fires bells and beacons.
On top of that, it can also automatically prevent lifts from being in use, turn on the emergency lighting, and alert the fire brigade.
Just like the smoke alarms in your home, a range of detector types are available too so you can choose between ionisation, optical, and heat sensors, to suit their intended location.
Heat detectors are ideal for kitchens and dusty areas, as they are less prone to false alarms in such instances, and an optical detector will suit an office environment.
Having a range of detectors, and placing at least one in every room, could reduce the time it takes to detect a fire, giving you plenty of warning and time to get everyone out to the assembly point.
But what happens if someone discovers a fire before a detector does? That’s why call points are essential.
Generally placed near your fire extinguishers, they mean someone can easily activate the alarm from where they are, on their way to tackle a small fire or on their way to escape.
And being the traditional red colour means they’re easy to recognise and use.
Sound the Alarm
Whether the alarm was raised by a detector or a call point, the alarms will automatically ring within seconds to spread the message.
And because they need to let everyone know, you need to consider the demands of people’s jobs and any disabilities they may have.
For those who work in noisy environments, wear ear defenders, or are hearing-impaired, then an auditory alarm isn’t going to work. Instead, this is where beacons are handy because a flashing strobe light will gain their attention and let them know there is an emergency.
So with a range of ways to raise the alarm, you’ll ensure everyone is made aware, without fail.
The Final Pieces
There are also other things to consider when purchasing a fire alarm system. Firstly, you need to ensure you have a reliable method of joining it all together so all the elements can communicate with each other and continue to receive power.
And for when the power goes off, you’ll want a backup battery supply so the alarm can still be raised regardless of the consequences. With the control panel continuing to receive power from the battery, the whole system will continue to work. And it’ll then recharge when the power is turned back on.
Finally, you’ll want a fire alarm system which is professionally designed and fitted to meet your specific needs. And it is also worth having your fire alarm system checked annually to ensure it remains up to scratch and that the batteries are still holding their charge.
It’s best to be aware of potential problems before they cause any issues, rather than waiting until it is too late.