Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 3)

 

There various types of fire detectors. The major ones are smoke, heat, and flame detectors. Within each type are a lot of additional specific types. Here we are discussing the most popularly used for building fire detection and alarm activation.

Heat detectors are the most basic type of detectors. They are produced in several types which are divided into two main categories; line and spot. Line detectors provide a continuous detector through all areas of the coverage. Spot detectors are single units which are installed in single locations of the protected area. While spot detectors are more widely used, line detectors are usually reserved for special situations.

Spot detectors are most commonly rate-of-rise, fixed temperature, or a combination. Rate-of-rise detectors are activated based on the rise speed of the temperature, not a fixed point. Fixed temperature detectors operate at a specific temperature. These two types of detectors are most suitable for the areas which may get hot even under normal conditions, for example, detectors in a warehouse which is not temperature-controlled.

Smoke detectors are available in many types. Photoelectric smoke detectors are activated based upon light scattering within the detector’s detection chamber. Light is projected through the detector’s chamber and then will be scattered if striking smoke. This light is detected by a photocell.

Ionization smoke detectors are the most common in home use. They detect the particles in smoke. When smoke passes through the detector’s chamber, the particles are ionized. These particles may be detected later by the charged plates in the detector. There are smoke detectors combined with a heat detector. The beam detector operates when obscuring smoke between the laser receiver and emitter interrupts the beam. These detectors are often used in large open spaces.

The air sampling detection system uses the tubing which is placed throughout the protected area. The tubing has small holes that are spaced out along the tube’s length and the air is drawn constantly into the unit, which can detect low levels of combustion products.

 

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 2)

Where to Start When Choosing a System

You should choose the type of fire detection and alarm system which is suitable for your fire safety objectives that flow from a risk assessment of your operation and facility. Your risk tolerance and your afford to lose is the important parts of this process.

The issues when considering the type of fire detection and alarm system for a hospital are not the same as they are for a warehouse. In a facility where human life safety is the main concern, like the hospitals where the patients mostly aren’t able to evacuate themselves, an early warning is necessary. Other facilities like hotels, dormitories where the occupants may be sleeping when a fire occurs also require an alarm system which provides more rapid notification.

Meanwhile, in a warehouse where the occupants are almost awake and aware and there are often fewer of them, the alarm system may not need to provide notice as early. In other facilities where life safety isn’t a major issue, the fire detection and alarm system can be slower.

When selecting a fire detection and alarm system, you also must consider the commitment which will be required over the system’s life. Requirements for these systems such as testing, inspection, and maintenance are extensive. Meeting these requirements over the system’s life will usually cost more than the original installation.

Initiating devices are the elements which originate the signal. This group of components also includes detectors, manual pull stations, and supervisory devices.

A manual pull station (Figure 1) may be just a switch which activates the alarm system when being operated by a building occupant. A manual pull station should be placed where it is easy for the building occupants to find. They are mostly located along travel routes which would be used while exiting the building.

Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 1)

A fire detection system is the security system designed to discover fires at an early stage so that the time is available for the safe evacuation of occupants. It also plays an important role in keeping the emergency response personnel safe. Early fire detection helps to start control efforts while the fire is still small. Therefore, we can reduce the property loss and minimize the downtime for the operation.

Fire detection systems are mainly installed in buildings especially at risk like train stations, airports, universities, business and factory premises, homes for the elderly and hospitals. Detectors should be installed with alarms to provide notice to the building occupants and sometimes transmit the signal to a staffed monitoring station. In some cases, alarms send the signal directly to the fire department, although this isn’t the typical approach.

Although the fire detection and alarm systems have many advantages, they have one major limitation is that doing nothing to control the fire. Suppression systems like the automatic sprinklers can control the fire. They also provide notification to be able to do the role of a heat detection-based system if they are connected to the notification appliances throughout the buildings. However, they cannot operate as fast as a smoke detection system. This is the reason why facilities where rapid notice is necessary still need detection and alarm systems.

The most basic alarm system, which sounds only a local alarm with manual pull stations, does not include detection. It can cause a significant delay because of relying on an occupant to discover the fire. This type of alarm system is not typically used. If you want to be more quickly notified of the fire, you must install the more expensive system. The least expensive, which is also the slowest system to detect a fire, is a heat detector. Meanwhile, the system providing the most rapid indication of fire is the air-aspirating smoke detection system, which are five to ten times as expensive.

How to Use Your Commercial Security Cameras More Effectively

A security camera is one of the most important types of protection system for your company’s premises. Although almost commercial properties use security cameras, not every company uses their camera systems effectively and appropriately.

In order for your commercial security cameras to effectively detect, deter, and help prosecute crime, you need a comprehensive system that fits well your business hours and facility.

To use your commercial security cameras as effectively as possible, read through the following guide.

Choose a Reputable Monitoring Company to Work With

Choosing the monitoring company to work with is as important as choosing the high-quality cameras to the security of your commercial property. Because even the cameras that capture every movement can’t protect your business effectively if they are not well monitored. When installing a new security camera system, you should look for a camera supplier that also offers remote monitoring or video verification.

If you have an existing system, but it isn’t professionally monitored, you should partner with a reputable monitoring company. This ensures that you’re alerted exactly the moment a security breach occurs, instead of being notified after the tape is reviewed.

You may also need to hire onsite security employees to work during off-hours in order to observe the feed and respond to it all the time.

Choose the Right Camera Type

Security cameras are not one type fits all. Businessmen who choose the wrong camera type for their facility often end up with security systems that don’t make much improvement over their in-house security team.

Tell the security camera provider what you need from a security camera system. Have them evaluate your current system. You may need a low-light, fisheye, or other types of security camera.

Keep Your Camera System Current

Like any other tech devices, your security cameras only function well when their current software and firmware are well upgraded. If you don’t take this step, there will be gaps in your video surveillance.

Choosing the most suitable home security cameras

Home security has become a tech priority. Because there are so many deliveries, packages and services now coming to your door, keeping your home secure and safe is a major tech trend. Tech companies such as Google-owned Nest, Netgear, have tried hard to make the connected home CCTV camera more prominent. Now, let’s discuss more how to choose the most suitable security camera for your home.

What to look for in a CCTV camera

Home security cameras have to be able to identify visitors and send alerts in order to keep your home safe and secure. Most smart home cameras are linked up to an app such as the Nest or Ring app, to monitor your home when you are away.

Night vision, notification alerts, plenty of cloud storage for your recorded footage, and microphones to give out voice commands are the key features to consider when choosing home security cameras.

Some home security cameras have the audio capability of listening in for unusual noise. Some advanced cameras at a premium price like the Nest IQ also have facial recognition features.

Wireless cameras and power sources

One major feature to choose a suitable home security camera is its power source. If the camera is battery powered, you can place it anywhere with no wires. Just remember to recharge the battery when it runs low, which is normally prompted through its app.

Many smart security cameras can connect wirelessly with your smartphone while many others require fitting and don’t have a battery but a wired power source. Then, you have to find a suitable spot with a power source to place them.

Indoor and outdoor CCTV cameras

The other major decision is whether you need an indoor or outdoor camera. Outdoor cameras are often more durable but are trickier to install than simple indoor security cameras because they often come with a set of screws and mounts. Some models from the Arlo come with options for several mounts to choose how you want to set up your camera.