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A Guide to Fire Alarm System Product Categories

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Bob Vezzani

Fire Protection Engineer at Guardian Security Systems Inc.
Bob is the Director of Fire System Sales at Guardian Security Systems, Inc. He has over 14 years of fire alarm installation and protection experience.
Bob Vezzani
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The first step toward halting a fire and minimizing its destructive force is to properly identify the incident, raise the occupant alarm, and notify emergency response professionals. To do this, you need a comprehensive fire alarm system.

There are many devices and equipment components that comprise a building’s fire safety system. When working properly, they can alert occupants in enough time to evacuate and initiate emergency response before the fire spreads further. Understanding the fire alarm system device categories will help you evaluate your system and ensure you do not have any deficiencies that need to be addressed.

Fire Alarm System Categories

The devices that make up a fire alarm system are grouped into categories according to their form and function– detection devices, notification appliances, and manual devices.

Detection Devices

The purpose of detection devices is to detect the conditions that indicate that a fire is present or that certain system and building conditions are present or changing, and then communicate that information to the fire alarm control panel so the correct and notifications can be initiated. Devices in this category include smoke detectors, heat detectors, beam detectors, duct detectors, temperature sensors, and water flow switches.

Manual Devices

Fire alarm systems are also comprised of manual devices. Manual devices allow for human interaction and intervention to manually trigger an indication that a fire is present and then communicate that to a fire alarm control panel so that an emergency response can be initiated. Manual devices include pull stations, and button or pull style stations.

Notification Appliances

Detecting a fire is present is not enough, of course. A fire system needs a way to alert the occupants to evacuate. This is what notification devices are for, to make occupants aware of a fire emergency. Devices in this category include horns, bells, strobes, horn/strobe, and speakers.

Guardian Security is Washington’s leading systems integrator and offers fire alarm system inspection, servicing, and installation.