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A monitored fire alarm system detects the presence of smoke and fire by identifying environmental changes associated with combustion. When system devices, such as smoke or heat detectors that may be mounted on a wall, ceiling or in ductwork, determine that there is indeed a fire, local annunciators will sound and a signal is sent to EMERgency24 via the control panel to initiate the dispatch of fire fighters.
A quick dispatch of emergency responders greatly increases life-safety, plus there is a significant reduction of property damage. On the contrary, if an alarm system is not monitored, a fire will continue to double in size every 60 seconds until someone sees smoke billowing out of the eaves and calls the authorities.
Fire Alarm System Components
The control panel is the “brain” of the alarm system. When a detection device of any kind is activated the signal is transmitted to the control panel, which in turn activates an audible sounding device, and the communicator reports the alarm signal to EMERgency24.
When an alarm system is installed, the business owner is asked to select a secret password that will arm or disarm the system from a keypad, usually located near an entry door.
It is recommended that home/business owner choose a new type of keypad control panel designed to help reduce false alarms and dispatches. Based on a standard called CP-01-2000 developed by the Security Industry Association, the new generation of Keypad control panels takes aim at user error by building in extra precautions that will minimize unwarranted dispatch of emergency responders.
These are devices like bells, sirens or lights that activate when alarm system sensors detect activity within a protected area. These are intended to prompt evacuation of the commercial structure.
Most smoke detectors operate by either optical detection (photoelectric), by a physical process (ionization) or a combination of the two technologies to increase sensitivity to smoke.
Ionization Smoke Detectors are more suitable for detection of fast-flaming fires with combustion particles.
Photoelectric Smoke Detectors are better suited to detect slow, smoldering fires.
Each type of detector can detect both types of fires, but their respective response times will vary. Because protected buildings normally contain a variety of combustibles, it is often very difficult to predict what kind of particulate matter will be produced by a developing fire.
Due to the innumerable combustion profiles that are possible with various fire loads and ignition sources, Albuquerque Low Voltage with the local authority will select the type of detector best suited for a particular application in a specific area of a protected structure.Pull Stations
A pull station is an active fire protection device, usually wall-mounted, that initiates an alarm on a fire alarm system. In its simplest form, the user activates the alarm by pulling the handle down, which completes a circuit and locks the handle in the activated position, sending an alarm to the fire alarm control panel.
Alarm Transmission Modes
Signals from an alarm system are transmitted to EMERgency24 by telephone, air waves or Internet communications.
Telephone: Telephone lines are the most common medium for transmitting alarm signals, however, an alarm system can be compromised by burglars or local outages to phone service.
Airwaves: Airwaves include transmitting alarm signals via radio and/or cellular waves.
Internet: Some systems transmit signals from the alarm panel to EMERgency24 using DSL, cable modems or broad band connections.