Types of Fire Alarm Systems: Conventional vs. Addressable

Before you decide to replace an antiquated fire alarm you should be aware of the different types of fire alarm systems that are on the market.  The two main types of fire alarm systems are conventional and addressable and the various components that make up the system are either automatic or manual. The following will provide you with information that should help you get started in deciding what type of fire alarm system would work best in your facility.

Conventional Fire Alarm

Conventional fire alarm systems and its components are all wired to the same cable that connects them to a fire alarm control panel. When a components is activated a signal is displayed on the control panel.  These types of systems are inexpensive and work well in small facilities.  The main problem with conventional fire alarm systems is that when a fire alarm component produces a signal and it appears on the control panel there is no way to know which component it is in the building. If you foresee this to be a problem you may want to consider an addressable fire alarm system.

Addressable Fire Alarm

Addressable fire alarm systems are the most modern type of system and its components have individual unique identifiers.  When one of the system’s components is initiated it indicates the component’s address on the fire alarm panel. Large facilities are typically equipped with these systems because they can quickly pinpoint where the trouble signal originated. This saves a lot of time because it eliminates the need to search for the component that produced the signal.

After you decide what type of system would work best in your facility you should speak with a fire alarm installation company.  They’ll evaluate your building, work with the Authority Having Jurisdiction, and the local building code requirements to determine which fire alarm components are necessary, how many are required, and where they need to be placed throughout the facility. The fire & life safety firm will ensure that the new fire alarm system meets all the local requirements and NFPA standards.