Basic Components of Fire Alarm & Detection Systems

What Are the Basic Components of Fire Alarm & Detection Systems?

Fire alarm and detection systems are an essential part of the life safety system for any building. Whether you have a commercial, residential or industrial facility, it is important that all of the components of your fire alarm and detection system can work together to protect the lives of people within the facility. So, what are the components of a fire alarm system?

Basic Fire Alarm System Components

  • Fire alarm initiating devices
  • Fire notification devices
  • Fire alarm control panel
  • Primary power supply
  • Backup power supply

Fire Alarm Initiating Devices

The role of the alarm initiating devices in a fire alarm system is to activate the system when a fire occurs. There are two types of fire alarm initiating devices:

  • Manual initiating devices – These devices include pull stations, break glass stations or buttons that need to be manually activated by someone in the building when they identify a fire. Manual initiating devices need to be well marked and accessible to make it easy to identify and use.
  • Automatic initiating devices – automatic initiation devices trigger the fire alarm system automatically when a fire happens. These devices include heat, flame and smoke detection. When heat, flames or smoke is detected, the devices send a signal to a central control panel that activates the system.

Fire Notification Devices

The role of notification devices in an alarm system is to notify building occupants when a fire is detected. Some fire alarm notification devices include:

  • Bells
  • Strobes
  • Horns
  • Chimes

Fire Alarm Control Panel

The fire alarm control panel is the central hub of the fire alarm and detection system. The control panel acts as the brain of the alarm system by monitoring and managing the initiation devices. When an initiation device is triggered, a signal is sent to the control panel and the control panel activates the notification devices. The status of the system is displayed on the control panel and allows you to see when an issue is detected and allows you to control it manually.

Primary Power Supply

The primary power supply for your fire alarm system is supplied by your power company. The primary power supply is typically 120- or 240-volt AC power sources.

Backup Power Supply

In the event of a power failure, the fire alarm system still needs to work in order to alert people if a fire occurs. A backup power supply is an important part of any fire alarm and detection system. The backup power supply includes 6- or 12-volt batteries to keep the system running when a power failure happens.

Other Important Components

  • Sprinkler systems – No life safety system is complete without fire sprinklers. When a fire is detected, the fire sprinkler system is activated to suppress or extinguish a fire.
  • Exit lighting – When a fire occurs, people need to be able to get out safely. Having a lights to show people how to exit safely is very important.
  • Alarm monitoring – Having a monitored fire alarm system alerts the authorities when the fire alarm system is activated.
  • Voice communication systems – Voice communication systems give verbal commands to building occupants telling them what to do during an emergency situation. Voice communication is especially helpful in high rise buildings, arenas and hospitals.
  • Remote controls and display panels – In a larger building such as a high rise building with a lot of floors, having remote controls and display panels throughout the building can be helpful. These devices allow personnel to easily check, activate, and deactivate alarms from remote part of the building.

WSFP Installs and Services Fire Alarm Systems

Western States Fire Protection can install and service fire alarm and detection systems. We install fire alarms that fit the needs of your facility. Whether you have a small application or larger campus, we can design an alarm system for you. In addition, we inspect, service and repair all the components of your system. Contact us to learn more about our fire alarm and detection systems!