A Closer Look At The Components Of A Large-Scale Fire Alarm System

30 October 2020
 Categories: , Blog


As a whole, fire alarm systems serve an incredibly important purpose. These systems are made up of several different components. Here is a look at some of those components.  

Manual Alarm Initiators

Manual alarm initiators are just as they sound; they are manual switches that require human interaction to send a signal to an alarm. In larger buildings, these manual switches may be located in high-traffic areas or in areas where a fire would be most likely to be spotted by someone passing by. For instance, you may have a manual alarm initiator in a corridor in an apartment building or in a gymnasium at a school. 

Automated Initiating Devices 

Automated initiation devices are the parts of a fire alarm system that directly signal the fire alarm to go off. While manual alarm initiators are still in use in large-scale settings like schools and commercial buildings, many modern systems rely primarily on automatic alarm initiation. Three primary types of automated initiating devices may be integrated into a fire alarm system, including: 

  • Smoke detectors - Outfitted with onboard sensors that detect smoke in the area 
  • Heat detectors - Outfitted with temperature-sensitive sensors that detect when the indoor temperature reaches a certain point 
  • Flame detectors - Outfitted with thermal imaging technology to "see" when flames are present and trigger alarms 

While automated alarm initiators may have separate mechanisms of action, some of the latest initiators have the ability to detect a fire in more than one way. For instance, you may have an initiator with an onboard smoke detector and a thermal imaging flame detector. 

Audible and Visual Alarms 

The alarms of a fire alarm system have the specific job of generating a perceivable alert for anyone in the vicinity. It is relatively normal for most alarms to produce both audible and visual signs of warning. For instance, an alarm may have bright flashing lights and a ringing bell or loud beeper. A fire alarm system can have multiple audible and visual alarms attached within the system, depending on the size of the building and the general location of the people within that building. 

Automatic Emergency Signaling Devices 

While the primary function of a fire alarm system is to alert those in the building to get to safety, some also have the ability to signal local emergency personnel as well. A signaling device will automatically alert local responders so they know there could be a fire event at the address. 

For more information about fire alarm systems, contact a local security business.