West Penn Wire Blog

How Do Fire Detection Systems Work?

Posted by Samantha Bante on Feb 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

This month we focus on an important part of any business, Fire Alarm Cables and their systems. These were initially created to not only protect homes, but any business in the event that a fire does occur or hazard occurs that could be harmful. 

This article will break down how a fire detection system works and components that West Penn Wire can help provide for your business or building.


The System:

A fire alarm system is a network of three main components: an initiating device, notification device and a control panel. The purpose of any fire detection system is to send an alert immediately to the buildings occupants and the appropriate authorities. The quicker the response, the easier it is to solve any fire issue. 

Fire Alarm diagram 2.jpg

Initiating Device:

This is the sensor that detects any indication of a fire or any other hazard for the buildings occupants immediately in order to take the appropriate actions. These devices include smoke and heat detectors, fire alarm sprinkler systems, manual fire alarm pull systems, etc. (Reference Figure 1) 

Notification Device:

A notification device sounds off some type of alarm or warning sound such as a siren, horn, lights, or any other type of sensory alert to ensure any person within a facility will understand the alert that is taking place.

(Figure 1)

Control Panel:

The control panel is the intelligence of the system and it varies based on the system that is installed. There are two types of systems that a control panel will operate with, a conventional or addressable. To learn more about these systems, please click here.

With a conventional fire alarm system, the panel receives a trigger signal from a detector or an initiating device. In an addressable fire alarm system the fire alarm control panel is able to communicate with each detector individually and receives a status report so that the precise location of hazard can be identified. This allows for the issue to be handled quickly (Reference figure 2)

Fire Alarm.jpg

(Figure 2)

Any qualified professional will be able to provide valuable assistance by reviewing your businesses operations and systems and can provide guidance and recommendations the best fire alarm system to meet your safety needs. 

Our Product Line Managers, Joe and Todd go into great details explaining more about fire alarm systems and cables. Click the link below to see for yourself!

View Fire Alarm Cable Video

Topics: fire alarm cables, analog, addressable, fire alarm, fire alarm systems, fire detection systems

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