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Types of Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Types of Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Commercial fire alarm systems are comprised of numerous, complex components.

Safety is one of the top priorities in the management of any commercial building. Whether you help run an office building, school, apartment complex, or shopping center, ensuring safety from all threats such as robbery, flooding, and fire is mandatory. When it comes to fire safety in particular, fire alarm systems aid in notification before the fire spreads. If you are searching for the right kind of protection, it may help to understand a little more about the types of commercial fire alarm systems available.

Fire Alarm Activation

One way to look at fire alarm systems is how they activate. Many buildings will come with both automatic and manual activation systems.


In automatic systems, smoke or heat detectors trigger the alarm when they sense something. There are many different types of initiating devices, so one should be sure to employ the correct Fire Protection Company to research the options and design a system that is right for your use.


Manual Stations are placed in various locations based on design criteria throughout the space that is being protected or occupied. It is important that a design professional draft plans based upon need and code to assure equipment is in the proper locations for use during an emergency.

Fire Alarm System Basics

The most costly and crucial element of any fire alarm system is its control panel. A Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) is required to electronically monitor or activate devices or notification appliances that are installed.


Conventional fire alarm systems categorize different fire alarm signals into zones. If a device is activated, a person can see in what area of coverage is affected by the hazard in progress. 


The newer version is called an addressable or intelligent system. This system gives one pinpointed knowledge of which individual device has activated. With this knowledge, Emergency Personnel can address the hazard more effectively to bring it under control.


The hybrid system, as the name suggests, combines the features from both the conventional and addressable versions. The type you choose will depend on your premises; a professional designer can help you determine which would be the best fit for you.

Fire Alarm Notifications

The sounds of a fire alarm system are probably what stand out to most people when they think of one. One should be sure to abide by any laws or codes that any individual jurisdiction might have for what type of audible notification may be required.


The siren is the traditional means of alarm and may vary depending on the manufacturer. They work well for most low-rise commercial spaces. Decibel ratings are required for each application, so it is important to consult a design professional when installing these devices.

Voice Evacuation

Voice evacuation systems may be required in some situations. Voice Evacuation in combination with normal audible devices provide advantage over basic notification in specific circumstances. For example, in buildings with high occupancy or high rise, a prerecorded message can give specific directions for egress. Voice evacuation is designed to calm people during egress and provide automated and specific instructions to minimize panic.

Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler Company Today!

Chesapeake Sprinkler Company is a leading fire sprinkler contractor in the region, which is now a 100% employee-owned (ESOP) company. As a full-service fire protection company, we offer design, fabrication, installation, testing, maintenance, and inspection of fire protection systems. Everything you need from your fire suppression specialist. 

For more information, please email or call our Odenton location at 410-674-7041, our Ashburn location at 703-729-5150, or for service / maintenance Chesapeake Protection Services at 410-674-7577. For emergencies, call 800-298-3473 (FIRE). Feel free to keep in touch through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at 12:24 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.