Fire Alarm Systems Glossary
Sometimes our account executives use industry terms that aren’t in your every day vocabulary. This series of blog posts helps to explain what each of these industry terms mean.
Before we take a look at each different element of a fire alarm system, it will help to have a general understanding of how fire alarms work. Put very simply, our fire alarm systems are made up of a control panel and several peripheral sensors. Heat and smoke detection devices are connected to this panel. When these devices detect an abnormality, they send a message to the control panel. The control panel triggers an alarm and activates sirens, horns and strobes. Each of our fire alarm systems is supported by 24×7 monitoring which means the appropriate authorities will receive your alarm within seconds.
Let’s break it down.
Fire Alarm System
A fire alarm system is designed to detect the unwanted presence of fire by monitoring environmental changes associated with combustion. Fire alarm systems are made up of a combination of detectors and announcers that send and receive message from a control panel. The systems are designed to notify the occupants of the building in case of fire to report the fire to a central station and to prepare the structure and associated systems to control the spread of the fire.
Fire Alarm Control Panel
The panel is the controlling component of a fire alarm system. The panel receives information from environmental sensors, monitors their operational integrity, and transmits information to the monitoring center. Smoke detectors tell the panel if there’s smoke, and the panel sends a signal to announcers (strobes, horns, and sirens) and to the monitoring center.
A device that responds when the thermal energy of a fire increases the temperature of a heat sensitive element. Once the heat is sensed, the device sends a signal to the panel, which triggers the announcers (strobes, horns and sirens) to sound.
A device that detects smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. Smoke detectors can either use light or an air quality sensor to determine the presence of smoke. They are used in conjunction with a fire alarm control panel and fire alarm announcers. When they sense smoke in the air, they send a signal to the control panel which activates the announcers.
The term used to refer to the devices in a fire alarm system that announce abnormal conditions. When a smoke detector is triggered by smoke, it sends a signal to the control panel, which sends a signal for the announcers to sound. Announcers include horns, strobes, and sirens. Each of these either emits light or sound to warn occupants of a fire.
A device that warns occupants of an emergency condition by emitting a loud honking noise.
A device that warns occupants of an emergency condition by emitting a loud wailing noise.
A device that warns occupants of an emergency condition by emitting a bright flashing light.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the world’s leading advocate of fire prevention and an authoritative source on public safety. The NFPA developes, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. They are the governing body for fire safety, and dictate many of the codes and standards to which Ener-Tel designs fire systems.
The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies is an organization that was established in 1961 to create a recognized certification for engineers in the United States.
Ener-Tel leads West Texas in fire alarm system design and installation. Contact one of our fire systems experts today.