Everybody knows that fire alarms save lives. Their importance in managing fire risks and protecting lives and property cannot be overstated. The proper combination of smoke detectors, sirens, bells, and lights, will ensure that customers, employees, and tenants have plenty of time to put themselves out of harm’s way in case of fire.
They also help considerably reduce property loss. A properly functioning fire alarm system will promptly alert emergency respondents so they can dispatch fire trucks to your location. Every second counts, and the faster you get assistance, the shorter your downtime will be, allowing you to reopen for business faster.
But having just any fire alarm system installed isn’t enough. You also need to choose the right kind of alarm system for your needs.
There are several options on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. So let’s talk about conventional vs addressable fire alarm systems, so you can make an informed decision when choosing which one is best for you.
Conventional Fire Alarm Systems
Conventional systems are the most common type of system for commercial establishments, schools, and factories. They use wired detectors powered by AC supplies to detect fire outbreaks in all areas of a facility. Conventional systems usually send signals through hardwired zones and notify you that there is a fire somewhere in the zone, generating a general alarm. For example, if there are smoke and heat detectors connected to your conventional fire alarm system, you won’t be able to know if there is a fire or just smoke.
Conventional alarms take up a lot more wiring than other systems, and can drive installation costs up as each peripheral must be wired directly into the control panel. Without a looped configuration, there is no way of knowing if one of your peripherals stops working, or if the wiring got severed. Belden fire alarm cables are extremely reliable and help reduce wiring costs while increasing dependability.
These systems are excellent for small areas like retail stores.
Addressable Fire Alarm Systems
An addressable system goes one step further than conventional systems. Each detector has an address that allows fire alarms to tell which devices are active in each zone, allowing you to pinpoint the location of a fire outbreak with much more accuracy, instead of just knowing that there is a general alarm somewhere in your facility.
Addressable systems are much more thorough than conventional ones. They allow for much quicker identification of hot spots, which can make all the difference in large areas like warehouses and factories. Addressable fire alarm systems are wired in a loop, allowing you to save money on wiring and installation costs. However, setting up and programming your control panel is never cheap. This configuration allows operators to easily detect a system break by showing the last functioning device in the loop. It also allows you to accurately pinpoint the location of the event, saving time for fire responders and reducing losses.
Addressable fire alarm systems are more complicated than their conventional counterparts, but they’re well worth it when you consider all the benefits they offer. Again, using the right wiring is extremely important to make sure your alarm system functions correctly.
EWSC Wire has an ample supply of riser and plenum rated fire alarm wires and offer great pricing on Belden fire alarm cable for large projects. Visit their website and browse through their great selection of wires for all purposes, or contact them directly to find out more about their excellent products.