What Makes a Complete Fire Alarm System?
Fire alarms are a life safety system first, a property protection system second, and lastly a business continuity and risk mitigation strategy. As a life safety system a "fire alarm" may contain more than just the basic fire detectors such as: smoke detectors, flame detectors, sprinkler activation detectors, other suppression systems activation monitoring and to alert and guide occupants; mass notification indicators. Fire alarm systems are now being used for the management of all types of emergencies such as earthquakes, natural disasters, and violent criminal activities in addition to fire notification. Mass notification systems allow for multiple pre-recorded voice message alerts and the microphone based voice paging instructions given directly by emergency responders.
Fire alarm systems can also monitor for CO gas, natural gas (methane), propane gas and other types of flamable and toxic gases; all of which are serious life safety threats. A more complete fire alarm system may also have property protection monitoring including: heat detection, flood detection, and temperature detection to name a few. Fire alarm systems may also include environmental controls through building management systems.
What are some unusual fire alarm system features that you know of?
Please let me know what you think,
Felix Giannini, FPE, CPP