A fire alarm system is an electronic device designed to alert people from visual and audio alarms when smoke/fire is present. These alarms may be activated from smoke detectors, heat detectors, or from a fire alarm pull station.
Automatic Alarm systems
- Fire alarm controlpanel (FACP) AKA fire alarm control unit (FACU); This component, the hub of the system, monitors inputs and system integrity, controls outputs and relays information.
- Primary power supply: Commonly the non-switched 120 or 240 Volt Alternating Current source supplied from a commercial power utility. In non-residential applications, a branch circuit is dedicated to the fire alarm system and its constituents. “Dedicated branch circuits” should not be confused with “Individual branch circuits” which supply energy to a single appliance.
- Secondary (backup) power supplies: This component, commonly consisting of sealed lead-acid storage batteries or other emergency sources including generators, is used to supply energy in the event of a primary power failure.
- Initiating devices: This component acts as an input to the fire alarm control unit and are either manually or automatically actuated. Examples would be devices pull stations, heat detectors, or smoke detectors. Heat and smoke detectors have different categories of both kinds. Some categories are beam, photoelectrical, aspiration, and duct.
- Notification appliances: This component uses energy supplied from the fire alarm system or other stored energy source, to inform the proximate persons of the need to take action, usually to evacuate. This is done by means of a flashing light, strobe light, electromechanical horn, “beeper horn”, chime, bell, speaker, or a combination of these devices. The System Sensor Spectralert Advance Horn makes a beeping sound and electromechanical sound together.
- Building safety interfaces: This interface allows the fire alarm system to control aspects of the built environment and to prepare the building for fire, and to control the spread of smoke fumes and fire by influencing air movement, lighting, process control, human transport and exit.