Smoke detectors are no longer the only way to indicate a fire is raging within a building. In the past, individuals would have to call the fire department once a fire was detected in order to prevent significant structural damage and loss of life. Now, fire alarm systems are complicated networks of signals and suppression systems, creating a greater likelihood of minimal property damage and personal injury.
Fire detection systems have evolved from smoke detectors to highly sensitive addressable heads. Improvements in this area have created touchpad panels or screens that allow multiple agencies to respond more quickly to true fire scenarios instead of every alarm that is raised. The addressable head plays an integral role in locating the source of the fire. In the past, panels would identify a general zone where the fire was burning. In small buildings, this isn’t such a problem. However, this can be devastating to hospitals, schools, warehouses and other large commercial structures.
In the advanced systems, the precise location of the fire is detected. This can trigger immediate responses regarding isolation or securing specific areas of a building as well as which suppression system to engage. Systems like this can help slow the spread of a fire and give more time for a building to be evacuated. In many commercial structures, there are electromagnetic doors that immediately close upon activation of fire alarm systems to prevent foot traffic into the danger zone and guide an orderly evacuation.
It is important for every business or organization to conduct regular evaluations of the fire alarm systems. If outdated, it would be wise to invest in a new fire control system and update the corresponding alarm response. An annual review of both the alarm system and the suppression system is often required for healthcare facilities, restaurants and education institutions, but no business is above having a routine inspection of fire-related response equipment. These systems can save lives and spare your structure from significant destruction.