Why Should you Buy an Addressable Fire Alarm System Over a Conventional System?
When it comes to fire alarm systems, the two main types are Conventional Fire Alarm Systems and Addressable Fire Alarm Systems.
What is a Conventional Fire Alarm System?
Conventional fire alarm systems have been around for a long time and they can be found in old residential buildings and smaller applications. In this system, all of the detectors and initiating devices such as smoke detectors, gas detectors, and heat detectors in a building are connected to one panel on one of the building’s floors in a Single Line Circuit (SLC).
Design of a Conventional Fire Alarm System
The conventional fire alarms are designed on analog technology and use only hardware to function. These systems rely on the flow of electricity to exchange signals between the central station and the devices. The detectors that initiate the function are connected in one or more parallel circuits to the central panel and there is a consistent flow of current at a controlled amperage in the circuit.
Why shouldn’t you buy a Conventional Fire Alarm System?
The detectors in a conventional fire alarm system are designed to quieten the flow of current if there is a fire-related emergency. The control panel in turn prompts the notification devices such as hooters and sounders to set off. These Notification Devices, in a conventional system, are installed in various parts of the building and in the control room. All the Sounders and Hooters are triggered at once, irrespective of the location or the magnitude of the fire. This is the major limitation of a conventional fire alarm system.
What is an Addressable Fire Alarm System?
Addressable fire alarm systems were developed in response to limitations of conventional fire alarms and newer residential buildings and larger enterprises are likely to have them installed instead. The main difference between these two types is that addressable systems allow you to pinpoint where the fire is while conventional alarms will only sound once for every location it detects smoke, heat, or another fire-related emergency at.
Why should you buy an Addressable Fire Alarm System?
Contrary to conventional fire alarm systems, addressable fire alarm systems use a software-based control panel that interprets electrical signals or radio signals and converts them into digital signals. It is identical to the functioning of a computer. The electrical signals are translated into binary codes – ones and zeroes. Multiple Single Line Circuits (SLCs) can be connected in a loop to a single intelligent control panel. And each SLC can have several hundred fire detectors, gas detectors & smoke detectors and other devices such as loop isolators connected. Each initiator device as well as the loop is attributed a special unique ID known as the address and in case there is a fire-related emergency that triggers a device or in case there is a malfunction in any loop. the specific address which is notified on the control panel.
This means the protocols to control the fire-related hazard can be targeted to the exact location of the device and be based on the nature of the device that triggered the alarm. The control panel in addressable fire alarm systems is highly flexible and programmable. The control panel can be programmed to trigger specific notification devices in an addressable system based on the location of the fire, unlike a conventional fire alarm system.
Other Advantages of an Addressable Fire Alarm System
- Quicker response time by the emergency response unit.
- Highly Programmable System.
- Reduced probability and easy administration of false alarms.
- Higher reliability, less likely to lose connection.
- Reduced overall cost of wiring.
- Reduced cost of maintenance, audit, and replacement.
- Better management of the integrity of the system, with automatic health checks of detectors.