Design of Fire Alarm Systems
The fundamental design approach to fire detection, alarm, and notification is similar to designing a fire suppression system. The design of fire alarm systems is based upon pairing the fire hazards (heat, smoke, flames, etc.) with the appropriate detection measures.
Keys of Fire and Life Safety
During any emergency evacuation of a building, the earlier fire (heat or smoke) detection occurs, the sooner alarms can be transmitted to both the occupants and local fire service. Fire alarm systems, along with appropriately design exiting, and evacuation protocols, can be the most important feature in a building for occupant’s life safety. The occupancy of a building, including the number of people and type of activities done in the building drive many of the particulars in drives many particulars in the design of a fire alarm system.
- Fire alarm monitors and controls
- Quick heat, smoke, or other indicators of fire
- Historical records of fire events
- Key source of timed sequence of events
The Fire Alarm System is the brain of fire and life safety systems of a building. It is designed to monitor, and at times, control some of fire and life safety systems. It is the source of information of emergency responders to pinpoint areas of first concern.
Pairing Fire to Detection
Similar to fire suppression systems, fire detection, alarm, and notification needs to be coordinated carefully to minimize false alarms. This analysis is best suited to individuals who are licensed fire protection engineers (FPEs).
Not only it is necessary to coordinate fire and smoke hazards with appropriate mitigation but also meeting all NFPA 72 Standard requirements. Specification of ventilation control during a fire is a critical factor.
Site Follow Ups
It is wise to include follow-ups to make sure the design intent and details have been followed correctly by the installing contractor. Also it is critical to verify that key interlocks are in place and functioning properly.