Monitoring and Alerter Panels – In domestic buildings it’s pretty evident when a fire alarm is triggered and due to the relatively small size of the building it’s easy for the occupants or the emergency services to identify the source of the fire. This really is not the case for bigger scale buildings such as a ten-storey workplace block, which is why the application of addressable fire systems is so essential. They can determine where precisely an alarm has been triggered in a building, right down to the extremely detector, which aids the emergency services in finding the source of the problem rapidly and safely. As mentioned previously, addressable panels may also operate a phased evacuation so as to steer clear of any panic or to reduce the disruption caused by a false alarm.
Contemporary fire alarm panels are also linked to other building management systems so as to operate or shut them down in occasion of an alarm situation. Examples consist of shut-down of air conditioning plant, activation of building exhaust ventilation systems or automatic lock release of all doors.
Typical Fire alarm Analogue addressable Panel discovered in commercial installations.
An advancement of the traditional point source smoke alarm will be the Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (or VESDA) system, which is an active smoke measurement device as opposed to the conventional detectors mentioned previously which are considered ‘passive’. VESDA systems make use of a system of pipes perforated with tiny holes that act as air samplers. The sampled air is fed to a centralized detection chamber, after becoming filtered for dust and dirt, exactly where lasers scan it for scattering of light (and thus, traces of smoke), similar in operation to an optical smoke detector. This information is then fed to a primary fire alarm panel and/or other building management system. VESDA systems have a tendency to be used in locations of high importance like computer server rooms or common escapes lobbies.
Example of VESDA system utilized for a commas room of a telecomm business.
More than the years, there have been significant developments in heat detector technology, probably the most notable of which is the use of fiber optics. Fiber optic cables can be utilized to sense modifications in temperature and force, and operate with a comparable principle to that of optical smoke detectors. In the occasion of a fire, the heat from the flames physically alters the properties of the fiber optic cable, and in doing so alter the light waves that run through it. These modifications in information from the fibers are fed back to a fire alarm panel, which in turn interprets this as an alarm signal. One of the primary advantages of using fiber optic cable is that it can sense changes in temperature at any point along its length, giving it a high level of coverage. Typical applications of Fiber Optic heat detectors are lengthy road or railway tunnels, subway systems and factory conveyor belts.