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Main types of Fire Alarm System: Part1

Posted 09-03-18

There are five main types of fire alarm system. Each will have its own application within the design process, and the correct identification for the most appropriate system is critical to ensuring buildings get the best possible active fire detection system installed. The five categories can be split up as conventional fire alarm systems, two-wire conventional systems, addressable systems, aspirating smoke detection systems and radio controlled fire systems. Over the course of the next 10 weeks, we will be going into details as to each of the different types and their most common application.

Conventional Fire Detection Systems

A conventional fire alarm system is the most basic commercial system available – and generally the lowest cost system in terms of parts. The system operators on single wire basis with detectors and manual call points being located along the wire, finishing with an End of Line Unit (EOL).

The advantages of a conventional system are that they tend to be cheap to put in place, providing a simple solution for buildings of low risk and simple structures where there are not many rooms.

The main disadvantage is the volume of cable required to be installed – meaning that they can be labour intensive to install and commission. Faults and alarms also knock out entire zones rather than individual devices – this means that a fire/fault can only be identified in a single zone rather than pinpointing to a specific location within the building.

It is a requirement of conventional systems that alarm circuits be separated from sounder circuits to ensure the sounders can continue to function when a zone is activated.

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