Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Intro to basic fire alarm technology


Published on

Fire Alarm System

Published in: Technology, Business

Intro to basic fire alarm technology

  1. 1. Intro to Basic Fire Alarm Technology Silent Knight :: 7550 Meridian Circle :: Maple Grove, MN 55369 :: 800-328-0103 1
  2. 2. Basic Fire Let’s examine the components that make a basic Fire Alarm Control System. 2
  3. 3. Main Controller • The brains of the system • Provides power to the system, monitors inputs and controls outputs through various circuits • Performs other functions as required by the appropriate code 3
  4. 4. Elements of a Control Panel Requires two Power Sources Primary (AC) Secondary (DC) 4
  5. 5. Elements of a Control Panel Inputs A fire alarm system can have a variety of input devices. Smoke Detector Manual Pull Station 5
  6. 6. Inputs • Initiating Device: A system component that originates transmission of a change of state condition, such as a smoke detector, manual fire alarm box, supervisory switch, etc... • Initiating Device Circuit (IDC): A circuit to which automatic or manual initiating devices are connected where the signal received does not identify the individual device operated 6
  7. 7. Elements of a Control Panel Outputs Horns Strobes 7
  8. 8. Outputs • Notification Appliance: A fire alarm system component such as a bell, horn, speaker, light, or text display that provides audible, tactile, or visible output, or any combination thereof. • Notification Appliance Circuit: A circuit or path directly connected to a notification appliance. 8
  9. 9. The Basic System Main Controller Inputs Primary (AC) Outputs Secondary (DC) 9
  10. 10. Basic Fire Alarm Technology • Signal Initiation/Initiating Devices  Need to understand stages of fire and what technology works best for each 10
  11. 11. The Stages of a Fire • Stage One  Incipient: Products of Combustion particles are produced (<0.3 microns). No visible smoke or detectable heat. May occur for milliseconds or days. • Use ionization detectors 11
  12. 12. The Stages of a Fire • Stage Two  Smoldering: Visible smoke particles are produced (>0.3 microns). Little visible flame or noticeable heat. • Use Photoelectric Detectors 12
  13. 13. The Stages of a Fire • Stage Three  Flame: Rapid combustion produces radiant energy in the visible, and invisible (IR, UV) spectrums. Heat begins to buildup at this stage • Use Spark or Flame Detectors 13
  14. 14. The Stages of a Fire • Stage Four  High Heat: Uncontrolled combustion is caused by the heating of nearby combustibles to their ignition point. • Use Heat Detectors  Note! Major disadvantages of using thermal energy for fire identification are • Takes a while for a fire to be recognized • The toxic gases that are produced before an alarm point is reached 14
  15. 15. Types of Detectors • Photoelectric   • • • Light Scattering Light Obscuration Ionization Duct Heat (Thermal) 15
  16. 16. Photoelectric Smoke Detectors: Light-Scattering Type • Uses a Light-Emitting Diode (LED) that sends a beam of light into a dark chambera photo diode sits on the other side of a partition within the chamber   • Smoke particles entering the chamber deflect some of the light rays into the photo cell. The photo cell generates a current when exposed to light, and if the current reaches a certain level, the detector alarms. 16
  17. 17. Photoelectric Smoke Detectors: Light Obscuration Type • In a projected Beam Detector, alarms are generated by diffusing the projected light beam by a specified percentage of obscuration. • Total beam blockage generally results in a trouble signal. 17
  18. 18. Ionization Smoke Detectors • Contain a small amount of radioactive material encapsulated in a metal chamber. Ionizing radiation develops a low, but steady electrical current.  Smoke particles entering the chamber disrupt the current and trigger the detector's alarm.  • Ion detectors react more quickly to fast flaming fires that give off little smoke. 18
  19. 19. Heat Detectors • Fixed Detectors:  Alarm when the sensing element reaches a certain set point.  Two common models have 135 and 200-degrees F range.  Fixed element is generally a non-restorable type, and when activated, must be replaced. • Rate-of-Rise Detectors:  Respond when the rate of temperature increase is greater than an allowable limit (15 degrees in 60 secs.) (placement in a stable environment) (e.g.. ovens, heating vents, etc.).  The Rate-of-Rise element is restorable when conditions return to normal. • Rate Compensation will respond regardless of the rate of temperature rise. 19
  20. 20. Duct Detectors • Photoelectric detector mounted in housing outside the ductwork that has probes that extend into the duct to sample the air inside the duct. • Primarily used as a smoke control device to control the flow of air in ductwork. 20
  21. 21. Initiating Devices Manual Fire Alarm Stations • Manually-operated device used to initiate an alarm signal  Single Action Stations require a single operation to activate it. Generally a pulling down action.  Dual Action Stations require two distinct operations. A set-up and an activating action. 21
  22. 22. Notification Appliances Types • Audible - Horns, Bells, Sounders, Sirens, Chimes, Speakers • Visual - Strobes • Physical - Bed shakers • Olfactory - Smell 22
  23. 23. Audible Devices • Bells: Used if they are only for fire, or have a distinctive sound from other bell signaling devices. Often used as an external gong to indicate the flow of water in the sprinkler system. • Horns: Loud and distinctive output. Often used in highnoise environments, such as manufacturing plants. 23
  24. 24. Audible Devices • Sounders: Electronic or mechanical audible devices, which are capable of producing a variety of tones. Often, the tone is selectable during installation of the device. • Chimes: Soft-toned appliances used where loud noises could be disruptive to other operations. Generally used where qualified personnel are continuously in attendance. 24
  25. 25. Audible Devices • Sirens: Extremely loud devices generally limited in use to outdoor or heavy industrial areas. • Speakers: Audible devices used in conjunction with voice evacuation messages. Life-Safety speakers are not generally associated with Muzak systems. 25
  26. 26. Visual Signaling Appliances Visual signaling appliances are used in high-noise environments, in areas occupied by hearingimpaired individuals, or in areas where audible devices may not be desired. 26
  27. 27. Visual Devices Strobe Chime/Strobe Horn/ Strob e Speaker/ Strobe 27
  28. 28. The Fire Alarm Systems 28
  29. 29. Types of Fire Alarm Control Panels • Conventional (hard wired)   Fixed Programmable • Addressable (multiplexed) • Intelligent (analog data transfer) 29
  30. 30. Conventional “Hard Wired” System • Simplest type of control unit. • Generally, a single circuit board contains power supply, control, initiating and notification circuitry. • Some models use auxiliary circuit boards to perform special functions. • Input/output devices connect to dedicated circuits. • Designated outputs occur when initiating signals are received. • Limited special functions and capabilities. 30
  31. 31. Conventional “Programmable” System • Basic “Designed System” • Components selected by the designer to meet the direct needs of the customer. • Initiating circuits are programmable for fire, waterflow, supervisory service, etc. • Output circuits are programmable for code selection and silenceability. • On some systems, input-to-output CIRCUIT (not device) mapping. 31
  32. 32. Addressable System • Each device (detector, pull station…) has a unique number assigned to it called the address for reporting alarms and troubles. • Employs a Signaling Line Circuit (SLC) Loop along which all addressable input and output devices are connected to the fire alarm control panel. • Addressable devices transmit an electronic message back to the Control Unit representing their state (Normal, Alarm, Trouble) when polled by the Control Unit. 32
  33. 33. Analog System • Always an Addressable System. • Processes detailed, analog data from detectors about smoke levels. • Can provide sensitivity data for each detector. • Employs Drift Compensation (self calibration) in its detectors. 33
  34. 34. Terminology • • • • • • • • • • • • FACP - Fire Alarm Control Panel. FACU - Fire Alarm Control Unit. FCC - Federal Communications Commission UL - Underwriters Laboratories NFPA - National Fire Protection Agency. AHJ, LAHJ - Authority Having Jurisdiction, Local AHJ ADAAG - Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. PoC - Products of Combustion LED - Light Emitting Diode IDC - Initiating Device Circuit NAC - Notification Appliance Circuit ELR, EOL - End of Line Resistor 34
  35. 35. Terminology • • • • • • • • • • • • NEC - National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) NEMA - National Electrical Manufacturing Association EIA - Electronics Industry Association Cd - Candela dB, dBA - Decibels FWR - Full Wave Rectified ANSI - American National Standards Institute PIV - Post Indicator Valve OS&Y - Outside Stem and Yoke Valves SFPE - Society for Fire Protection Engineers Shall - Indicates a mandatory requirement Should - Indicates a recommendation or advisement 35
  36. 36. References • • • • • • • NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code NFPA 72 - National Fire Alarm Code NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code National Electrical Code Handbook, NFPA Life Safety Code Handbook, NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, NFPA Fire Alarm Signaling Systems, NFPA 36
  37. 37. Basic Fire Alarm Technology Please visit for fire alarm system solutions for your facility Silent Knight :: 7550 Meridian Circle :: Maple Grove, MN 55369 :: 800-328-0103 37