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Your Fire Alarm is an essential part of the life safety systems and not only detects and reports a fire but acts as a control panel for other fire auxiliary devices. In addition, the fire panel can signal to other reporting and monitoring systems if you have them installed. There are a number of different types of fire alarm, including conventional, analogue addressable systems, fixed wire and wireless systems and our knowledge experience enables to choose the most
appropriate for your needs.

All Things Fire can provide a comprehensive service and maintenance package to suit your requirements and your budget. All systems will be tested and examined by fully trained and qualified engineers. Systems will be tested in accordance to the revised code of practice for fire detection and alarm systems BS5839-1:2017. Failure to maintain your life safety system may affect your liability in accordance to the building regulations and may cause serious injury to others.

Which system is right for you?

Conventional ? Bi Wire ? Addressable ? Temporary Site Alarms ? Wireless

Conventional Fire Alarm System

This is the most common type of fire alarm system around. They are commonly used in smaller building such as stores, homes and restaurants. They are also an ideal choice for people with smaller budgets.

A conventional fire alarm consists of 1 or more circuits, connected in parallel. They are simple to setup, easily integrated with other brand name manufacturers’ devices and do not require configurations.

To indicate fire in a building, each floor is typically divided into a zone. A building with 3 floors can be subdivided into 3 zones, with each zone containing a wire connecting multiple initiating devices (e.g. detectors and call points).

The drawback of a conventional fire alarm system is its limitation in determining the exact location of the fire in the zone. Since each zone has multiple devices connected to it, a fire alarm notification would only notify a zone is triggered, without specifying the exact device that was triggered. In the event of fire, every second counts and the delay could cause serious damages to properties and persons in the building.

To indicate fire in a building, each floor is typically divided into a zone. A building with 3 floors can be subdivided into 3 zones, with each zone containing a wire connecting multiple initiating devices (e.g. detectors and call points).
The drawback of a conventional fire alarm system is its limitation in determining the exact location of the fire in the zone. Since each zone has multiple devices connected to it, a fire alarm notification would only notify a zone is triggered, without specifying the exact device that was triggered. In the event of fire, every second counts and the delay could cause serious damages to properties and persons in the building..

Pros:

  • Cheaper Alarm Panel & Devices
  • Simple setup
  • No compatibility issues between different brands
  • Suitable for smaller sites where locating each device is not
  • necessarynecessary

Cons:

  • Can not exactly pinpoint the location of the fire
  • Wiring & installation may be expensive

Addressable Fire Alarm Systems

Addressable fire alarm systems are the cousins to the conventional type. They are traditionally used for complex projects or large buildings. Nevertheless, with technological advancement, they have become more affordable and are used more frequently on smaller sites as well.

As the name states, each device in the system has an “address”. In other words, each detector, call point, interface, sounder and beacon are connected directly to the control panel. When the alarm is triggered, the controller can pinpoint the location where the fire is detected, or where the device is triggered.

Most addressable fire alarm control panel has a built-in display for event log. The detector can also report a smoke concentration value to the main panel. In some models, the detectors can adjust their sensitivity according to the environment or time of the day.

Sometimes advanced features could be set up to conduct fire analysis.
So in short, here the pros and cons of each type of alarm system:

Pros:

  • More efficient and effective method of locating fire
  • Can display event log for past events
  • Some models can adjust parameters of each device’s sensitivity
  • Suitable for larger sites where locating each device is essential, in case of fire
Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Compatibility between different brands might be an issue
  • Complicated setup, configuration required

Bi Wire

A conventional 2-wire fire alarm system is often the natural choice for smaller applications or where budget constraints exist.
For Example, Fike’s TWINFLEXpro² 2-wire fire alarm system has long been known for its adaptability and cost-effectiveness within a variety of applications, big or small making it one of the most flexible products on the market.
Bi Wire systems allow you to use the same pair of wires for the detection and the sounder circuits, thus saving installation time on cabling.

    Pros:

  • More efficient and effective method of locating fire
  • Can display event log for past events
  • Some models can adjust parameters of
    each device’s sensitivity
  • Suitable for small to medium sites
  • LCD Screen
  • Feature Rich
    Cons:

  • More expensive than conventional but faster to install
  • Compatibility between different brands might be an issue

Temporary Site Fire Alarms

When do I need a Temporary Site Fire Alarm?

Temporary buildings or temporary accommodation located:

• inside the building under construction/refurbishment
• inside another permanent building
• within 10m of such building(s)

WHAT TYPE OF FIRE ALARM SHOULD BE USED ON-SITE?

On a construction site, it’s not only the initial installation of fire alarm systems that need to be planned. A construction site is a temporary fixture that is constantly developing and being reconfigured.

The original location of a fire alarm may end up being unsuitable when the location and nature of the work changes. The application, design and operation of temporary fire alarms make them a suitable fit for these conditions.

Temporary fire alarms are wireless and therefore don’t need to be wired into the infrastructure, making them easier to move around as the site develops. Unlike the completed building that will have a fire alarm built into the management system, construction site fire alarms must be designed to adapt with the build.

When choosing a fire alarm for a construction site, any choice the Responsible Person makes must ensure the systems are compliant with fire safety standards and relevant codes of practice. Not all wireless fire safety systems are the same and so care is required in selection.

Our download section has more detailed information on Temporary Site Fire Alarms including White Papers.

Wireless Fire Alarm

Wireless fire alarms offer obvious advantages over har wired fire alarm systems, the main benefit being that there is no cabling between the field devices. So, if you are in premises where the installation of cable may be an issue then this could be the right option for you.
All Things Fire have installed wireless detection systems in a variety of places where traditional methods would have been obtrusive, these include Churches, HMO’s (Houses of Multiple Occupancy), student accommodation and may more where it wouldn’t have been practical to install cable.

Pros:

  • Just as reliable as a traditional wired system
  • Installation times are drastically reduced
  • minimum disruption to your business
  • The only cables are from the transponder to the panel and from the
  • control panel to the mains power
  • Can be easily installed in buildings with poor or limited access
  • The location of devices can be changed if you change your building layout
  • Making good and decorating costs almost eliminated
  • Will still work even if the power goes out as they are battery operated
  • Can be used as a temporary system in locations where a wired one can’t be installed e.g. building sites
  • Can be used to extend existing wired systems
  • Cons:

  • You save money on labour with a wireless alarm, however the cost of the hardware is far higher than a traditional wired system so the initial set-up may be pricier
  • Wireless fire alarms run on batteries which need to be frequently checked and replaced, most batteries will last at least 4 years