Types Of Commercial Fire Alarms Systems

security alarm system

A fire alarm system warns people when smoke, fire, carbon dioxide or other fire related emergencies are detected.

Categories of fire alarm systems

  • Automatic fire alarm

When the alarm system detects heat or smoke, they send an audio-visual alert throughout the building to alert the occupants of danger.

  • Manual fire alarms

For manual alarms, they have pull stations positioned around the building. When fire is seen or smelled by someone, they pull the lever which completes a circuit and locks the handle in the activated position sending an alarm to the fire alarm control panel.

Types of Commercial fire alarms

  • Conventional Fire Alarms.

Conventional fire alarm systems are hardware-based and use analog technology. They include a number of different zones that are hardwired to your central control panel. They use electric currents to communicate with the control panel. Initiating and notification devices are designed to dramatically increase the current in the circuit any time heat or smoke in the area of the sensor exceed a predetermined threshold. This change in the current is communicated to the control panels which trigger the alarm.

Conventional Fire Alarm System Wiring
  • Addressable Systems

An addressable fire alarm system is one in which all fire and smoke detection devices in a system are connected and communicate both with each other and a central control monitoring location. Addressable fire alarm panels use an intelligent programing system that allows you to assign an “address” to each detector and device that has been installed on the system. This enables for accurate information directing the emergency response team to the precise location of the fire.

addressable fire alarm

Comparison between conventional and addressable systems

  • False Alarms

False alarms are common to happen therefore an important consideration when choosing a fire alarm system. They are more common in conventional systems because the accumulation of dust or other contaminants on the sensors can be translated as alarm thus sending false signals to the control panel. This results in respondents responding to no emergency. Addressable alarms on the other hand, the alarm panel monitors the sensitivity level of smoke detectors to prevent the occurrence of false alarms.The addressable devices also provide drift compensation which is the ability to distinguish between subtle changes in the level of smoke detection that occur over time due to contamination e.g dust and rapid changes resulting from real fire.

  • Safety

Addressable systems provide higher levels of fire safety because it is more accurate providing firefighters with the correct location of the fire. Addressable system can combine notification, trouble and supervisory signals with voice messages to provide instructions for evacuation in the event of a fire unlike conventional systems which are limited to the notification of an alarm.

  • Reliability

With conventional systems if a device’s wire is damaged, its signal and the signal of other devices cannot be transmitted to the control panel. With Addressable system on the other hand, both ends of the wire connects to the control panel. When one end is damaged, signals can still reach the control panel through the other end of the loop.

  • Scalability

Addressable systems are more flexible than conventional systems because they require less wire and can accommodate more devices than conventional system.

  • Cost of installation and maintenance

Equipment required for conventional systems are much cheaper than addressable systems. Making them more popular especially for small businesses. When it comes to maintenance. While both types of systems require regular inspections and testing, trouble-shooting and maintenance are easier and less expensive with addressable systems. With independently wired zones in a conventional system, each device must be checked separately to find the problematic device. Addressable devices can send maintenance alerts and trouble signals to the control panel to make finding problematic devices and getting them repaired or replaced much faster.


Whether Your business is big or small, it needs a fire alarm system in place in case of any eventualities. Depending on your budget and need the above information will help you choose what alarm system to incorporate in your business. in case of any further information you can contact Hubtech limited for consultation.

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