Fire Alarms are mandatory in any commercial business today and there is a legal requirement under the Fire Safety Order 2005. The fire alarm system chosen should comply with British Fire Safety Standards. A Fire Safety Specialist will be able to give you advice if the alarm system conforms to the standards.
Types of Fire Alarm Systems
Conventional Non-Addressable Fire Alarms
The least expensive option of all fire alarm systems. It is best used for smaller properties such as restaurants and smaller shops. These systems work by having automatic detectors hard wired on individual circuits (each circuit is called a zone). These circuits are then mounted on a control panel.
When the alarm goes off, the control panel lights up the zone of the trouble spot. The fire can then be easily located and isolated immediately.
Two- Wire Fire Systems
This system caters to the smaller scaled business as well. It works like the standard conventional system except that it is faster, more flexible and cheaper to install.
Analogue-addressable fire alarm systems
These systems are also known as the “intelligent” fire alarm system. Each of the detectors has a unique address within the system. Better suited for the bigger commercial buildings, in the event of the fire or a fault, the control panel can pinpoint the location in an instant.
In addition, due to the increased intelligence with the addressable system, there is a higher immunity to false alarms.
Wireless Fire Alarm Systems
Wireless fire alarm systems are more portable as they are not hardwired. Though more expensive to buy, they are perfect to be installed in temporary locations or when wired solutions are not an option. Communication to the control panel is via radio signals from call points. The benefits of these wireless systems are many:
- Ease of installation without shutting the business down</li>
- No unsightly cables</li>
- As they are battery operated, they will still work if the power is out</li>
- Is portable and can be used as a temporary system</li>
Aspirating Smoke Detection Systems
The most expensive of the types of fire systems is the Aspirating Smoke Detection System. To ensure early detection, these smoke detectors continuously draw air from the areas of protection, testing them for the presence of smoke or even particles given off by overburdened electrical cables and can detect the faintest of smouldering fires much faster than any other system.
Though expensive to install and upkeep, they are extremely reliable and perfect for environments where early detection is required.
There is a requirement by law for businesses to keep themselves and their employees safe under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the 2010 Building Regulations. The type of fire alarm system you choose is based on the size of your business, the needs of your business and a consideration of your budget. Make an informed decision by doing the required research and we hope this article has been of help to you.