If you ever find yourself in a situation where there is a fire, the first thing you should do is pull the fire alarm. Emergency responders designed these systems to assist with every aspect of a fire emergency, from alerting the proper authorities to extinguishing the flames.
If you have ever wondered how these systems operate, let this essay be your guide to how fire alarm systems work. Here are a few things to know about these systems and their capabilities.
Two fundamental components of a fire alarm system are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These machines can identify if a fire occurs even when others fail to recognize or notice it. A smoke detector uses sensors that can trace smoke particles across light beams to tell whether or not there is smoke in a room.
Since these machines operate on a small scale, you can install a smoke detector in almost any space, including a closet. Carbon monoxide detectors are essential because the chemical is deadly yet hard to trace since it’s colorless and tasteless. These machines have sensors that can detect chemicals electronically and notify the fire alarm control panel at a moment’s notice.
When you “pull” a fire alarm, what you are doing is operating a hand pull station. Using one of these stations is relatively straightforward. All you have to do is pull down on the handle, and it triggers the alarm to send signals to the fire panel.
Pulling the fire alarm is the fastest way to sound the alarm because it can take a few minutes for smoke or carbon monoxide to reach a detector. Sometimes these hand pull stations have locked covers or boxes in front of them to prevent the alarm from going off accidentally. However, you might need to break the box/cover if you can’t open it during an emergency.
Fire alarm systems have components that notify people that they need to evacuate. Typically, these systems will have loud horns and bright strobe lights to grab everyone’s attention within the vicinity. More advanced evacuation systems will have a person’s voice instructing people on what to do during the emergency because sometimes loud alarms can be scary or distracting.
Finally, fire alarm control panels have communication networks that notify local authorities to send help. First responders use emergency responder radio communication systems (ERRCS) to communicate from the site of the emergency to headquarters so they can get additional help. An ERRCS DAS is a distributed antenna system that allows first responders to communicate in areas with limited cellular connectivity.
Overall, we couldn’t respond to fires as safely as possible without fire alarm systems. After reading this guide to how fire alarm systems work, you can appreciate these systems’ elaborate design and functionality.