Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

imagesCAJ7YEMY-resized-600The business owners, who really value their assets, including employees and equipment, will consider installing afire protection system. Typically, this system includes passive and active fire protection. While passive protection is ensured by integral, fire-resistant doors, walls, and floors that are meant to reduce the spread of fire, active fire protection relates to automatic or manual detection and suppression of fire, and includes specific components, such as fire alarms, fire sprinklers, and fire extinguishers.

  • Fire-Resistant Door: The role of a fire-resistant door is to limit the spread of fire and smoke between two compartments. This door enables safe egress from specific structures, such as buildings and ships. Including glass sections, endothermic fillings, timber, steel, and vermiculite boards, fire/smoke seals, and hardware components that hold the door structure in place, this door is especially developed to comply with the latest Fire safety code.
  • Fire-Resistant Wall: Made of particular materials that have great fire-resistance properties, this wall provides an efficient barrier against fire. Specific ratings determined based on some tests run in accordance with the Standard Methods for Fire Tests of Building Constructions and Materials reveal the ability of particular material combinations to maintain their fire-resistance characteristics during a fire emergency.
  • Fire-Resistant Floor: Another important component of a fire protection system, the fire-resistant floor generally delivers a composite floor construction that complies with the latest fire safety regulations. Besides composite floor constructions, the fire-resistant floor manufacturers provide lightweight steel framing systems that have the same fire-resistance properties as the composite floors. Typically, these floors are able to withstand fires up to 120 minutes.
  • Fire Alarm: A fire alarm system is designed to detect and notify people about unwanted presence of fire or smoke. This system works by monitoring any environmental change associated with combustion. The fire alarm system includes a control panel that monitors system integrity together with its inputs and outputs; primary power supply that is especially designed to ensure optimal functionality of the entire system; secondary power supply that includes emergency power systems (generators) capable to supply energy when a power failure occurs; initiating devices, such as smoke detectors, heat detectors, and pull stations, which act as inputs to fire alarms; notification appliances that notify proximate personnel in the event of a fire; and safety interface that controls specific aspects, such as spread of fire and smoke.
  • Fire Sprinkler: This is one of the most reliable and efficient components of a fire protection system, being especially designed to discharge water when fire is detected. There are several sprinkler types, such as Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR), residential, Control Mode Specific Application (CMSA), standard response, and quick response. A metal link or a glass bulb applies pressure to the pip cap of the sprinkler, preventing water from flowing until specific temperature is detected. Since sprinklers activate individually, based on certain temperatures, only the units located close to a fire will go off.
  • Fire Extinguisher: A fire extinguisher is actually a cylindrical pressure vessel that contains an agent capable to put out a small fire. There are two types of fire extinguishers: cartridge-operated and stored pressure. While stored pressure extinguishers are very common, the cartridge-operated devices are usually used in industrial facilities.

Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair

Regardless of what components are included in a fire protection system, inspecting them on a regular basis is vital to make sure that they’ll provide 24-hour fire protection. Without routine testing, maintenance, and repair, business owners risk not only their equipment and critical assets, but also the lives of their employees.

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