Fire Detection and Alarm Systems: A Brief Guide (part 4)


Supervisory and Notification Devices

Many supervisory and notification devices can be linked to the fire alarm control panel. For example, a tamper switch can be put on the water control valves of the automatic sprinkler systems. If this water control valve is closed by an unauthorized person, the tamper switch will immediately send a signal to the control panel to alert your people about the problem. Supervisory devices are available for various applications.

There are two types of systems: addressable or nonaddressable.

  • In the addressable type, every system’s detector has a unique digital identifier. The fire alarm control panel can individually communicate with each device. In the non-addressable type, the system’s detectors may be divided into zones, but the control panel can’t determine any individual detector’s

Addressable systems have some advantages. Firstly, in case of fire, it can give a specific location indication of activation. This specific location indication is also a part of the second advantage of the addressable systems: trouble signals can identify specifically the component with a problem. If a single detector fails, an addressable system will be able to provide a trouble signal which indicates the specific detector.

  • In the non-addressable type, although the zone will be identified, a repair person still has to check each detector to determine which one is going wrong.

Notification appliances are the visual, audible, and other devices which are located throughout the facility warning people when the system detects a fire. Strobes, horns, bells, and combination units are examples of these devices. Fire alarm control panels usually have the features which are available to allow alarms to be activated in selected locations. For example, we can use this feature to permit staged evacuations.

Alarms should be added with communications devices which help you provide the building occupants specific information and instructions. Because people usually don’t tend to respond as they should when there is a fire alarm, an emergency voice communications system can improve your occupants’ response.