Monitoring your fire alarm system

Once you realize how important it is to have a fire alarm system to safeguard your property, you also would realize that to monitor, maintain, and keep the system running alright is highly important. After a fire alarm system has been laid out, how effective it is depends to a large extent on the building personnel that are supposed to monitor it. A complex fire alarm system is only as good as the people monitoring it.

On large systems, the main point of contact between humans and fire alarms is the annunciator, which enables easy monitoring. The annunciator is meant to be easily read and understood by the building staff; there is also a seperate control panel that serves up technical data regarding the status of the various fire alarm components for the reference of the technician.

When the alarm sounds, the control panel will display all the different triggers and alerts being sent back by the system devices, yet only the location of the cause of the alarm is of the most importance. If the source of the alarm turns out to be just a false alarm, the staff monitoring the system can easily shut off the sound simply by pressing the stop button on the control panel.

Besides acting and reporting on the alarm triggers, the personnel needs to conduct regular checkups on the many component devices of the fire alarm system. These devices like the smoke and heat sensors are installed in their own numbered segments (connected to the circuit mainboard) for easy identification, and should always be kept in good working condition.

The sprinkler system is setup to auto activate whenever the fire alarm system detects a potential fire. Once the fire is deemed to be put out, the sprinkler system normally shuts down. Overriding this process in the case of false alarms is only possible through the control panel.

As you can see, regular round-the-clock monitoring of the fire alarm system is important to prevent fire related incidents from occuring. This applies particularly to large buildings with high occupancy. Negligence and lackadaisical law enforcement are the main causes of many fires.