Fire alarms are important safety equipment in any commercial or residential building. Before we get into how they work and why you need them, it’s worth taking a moment to think about the importance of fire safety in general.
There are many different types of fires, but all share some basic characteristics: smoke, heat, and flame. The smoke will be visible long before enough heat or flame for someone to feel it through their skin.
Fire alarms, whether they’re battery powered or wired directly to a power source, send out an electrical signal at regular intervals; the interval may be as often as once per second.
Once the fire alarm control panel receives this signal, it is first decoded and then sent on to the rest of the system: first checking for any possible problems with its internal components and then activating all other parts of the fire alarm that need attention.
The important thing, though, is that these signals trigger an alert before there is enough heat or smoke present for you to feel it yourself.
Alternately, sprinkler systems release water as soon as a preset temperature threshold has been reached, such as those found in areas prone to electrical fires where there is a risk of water damage.
The purpose for which you rely on your fire alarm system will vary depending on the type of building in which it’s installed, but in all cases, its primary goal is to protect human life. In commercial buildings, fire alarms are often integrated with other safety equipment such as push-bar doors and strobe lighting systems in stairwells and exits to warn people when they should evacuate the premises.
In residential settings, however, there aren’t many other pieces of equipment that can be integrated into a single unit. Smoke detectors outside each bedroom or near key parts throughout your home may also be hooked up to an interconnected alarm system which allows every detector within range to activate simultaneously.
No matter what kind of alarm system you have, it’s important to remember that they’re only effective when used in conjunction with proper planning. Make sure you know where your fire exits are and practise evacuating your home or office in a controlled setting. Knowing what to do when the alarm goes off could be the difference between life and death.
How to choose a good fire alarm?
To find the best fire alarm for your needs, you should consider the types of fires most likely to occur in your area.
Once you’ve determined the type of fire hazard you’re most at risk for, you can begin to assess the different features of available fire alarms.
Some key considerations include:
INTERCONNECTIVITY: Can all alarms within range activate simultaneously?
SMOKE DETECTION: How sensitive is it to different types of smoke?
TEMPERATURE DETECTION: Will it detect a fire before enough heat or flame is present to cause injury?
SOUND: What kind of sound will it make when activated? Is it loud enough to be heard in all parts of the building?
BATTERY BACKUP: Will the alarm continue to function in the event of a power outage?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can begin to compare different alarms and find the one that best suits your needs. Remember, fire safety is everyone’s responsibility; take the time to learn about your alarm system and how to use it properly so that you can stay safe in case of an emergency.