Fire alarm bell wiring inside of a fire alarm must be correct for the alarm to operate and to meet certain standards. There are two types of wired fire alarms, both of which require different types of wiring and are installed very differently.
Fire Alarm System
A fire alarm system is marked with a fire alarm bell symbol. The system includes fire detection devices such as heat and smoke detectors, bells or electronic sounders, manual call points, strobe lights and a control panel that’s connected to the mains.
It may also be connected to a central monitoring station who can inform the local Fire Service when no one is present (but, only if there are detectors on the system). If there is a power cut, the fire alarm system’s emergency battery automatically turns on.
This system is complex to install because it uses a thick fireproof cable that is difficult to work with and uses special clips and glands. Because of this, the fire alarm system must be installed by a professional electrician or fire alarm engineer. They’ll be able to wire the entire system and make sure it meets British Standard BS5839.
Standalone Fire Alarm
A standalone fire alarm is activated manually by someone either pressing a button or breaking the glass and the bell or sounder will be integral with the control unit. This could be suitable for a temporary building such as a portable site office. Rotary fire alarm bells are still very popular but these have no electrical parts.
However, if the premises are bigger, more than one will be needed and these would then need to be interlinked so that, if one is set off at one part pf the premises, all the others would go off, too, and tell everyone of the alarm.
Common standalone alarms include the Howler fire alarm, the Evacuator alarm and Alert Point alarm. Many others exist such as the Screamer, Omega, Gemini, Defender, Terrier and Bulldog- yes, there are lots.
Some of these models cannot be interlinked so wiring is not required. Some, like the top end Howler alarms require the ‘multi-link’ version. Other include the electrical terminals for linking.
Wiring A Fire Alarm Bell In Standalone Multilink Howler Alarms
Installing the fire alarm bell wiring inside a multilink howler isn’t too complicated and does not have to be done by a professional. All you need is 0.5mm two core bell wire, an electric screwdriver, and cable ties. The cable entries are located in the backplate of the Howler, and the moulded stand-offs allow the cable to be run behind the unit. When you’re installing the wire, you just need to connect it to the robust contact block within the howler.
Howlers can be connected to a multilink control panel where you can connect them in zones. This will help you quickly figure out which alarm is going off. They are very durable and can be dismantled and moved from site to site. It’s easy to install the fire alarm bell wiring and instructions are supplied.
The Benefits Of Using A Fire Alarm System
There are many reasons to choose a full fire alarm system over a standalone fire alarm. The biggest benefits of a fire alarm system are permanence and comprehensive abilities. This is why the complex installation must be by professionals.
If you’re looking for a fire alarm for a larger building, like an office or a hotel, a full BS 5939 compliant fire alarm system is a must. Standalone alarms do not tend to meet British Standards and are unlikely to be adequate.
The Benefits Of Using A Standalone Fire Alarm
Standalone fire alarms also have plenty of benefits. They’re cheaper than the fire alarm system and also easy to install, so you won’t have to hire a professional. They’re a good choice for a temporary construction site, where the size and structure can change often.
They are also good for small workshops where noisy machines can cover the sounds of someone shouting an alarm. A standalone fire alarm will also be a temporary alarm when a zone or areas of a larger system is switched off for maintenance, repair or upgrade.
The Importance Of A Fire Alarm
Whatever solution works best for you, it must be installed correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer instructions. That way, you will never be caught by surprise by a fire emergency.