Chapter 37: Fire Detection, Protection, and Suppression Systems
CHAPTER 37 _ Fire Alarms Fire Detection, Protection, and Suppression Systems (Fire Fighter II) Fire Fighter II Objectives Describe the basic components and functions
of a fire alarm system. Describe the basic types of fire alarm initiation devices and indicate where each type is most suitable. Fire Fighter II Objectives Describe the fire departments role in resetting fire alarms. Describe the basic types of alarm notification
appliances. Describe the basic types of fire alarm annunciation systems. Fire Fighter II Objectives Explain the different way that fire alarms may be transmitted to the fire department. Fire Fighter II Objectives
Identify the three types of standpipes and point out the differences among them. Describe two problems that fire fighters could encounter when using a standpipe in a highrise building. Introduction Fire prevention and building codes require that most new structures have some sort of fire protection system installed.
Understanding how these systems operate is important for fire fighter safety and effective customer service. Introduction From a safety standpoint: The operations and limitations of fire detection and suppression systems
From a customer service standpoint: Help dispel misconceptions about fire protection systems. Advise building owners and occupants after an alarm is sounded. Introduction False alarms Sensors record an error somewhere in the system
Detectors too close to the kitchen People become used to nuisance alarms and fail to respond accordingly Fire Alarm and Detection Systems A fire detection system recognizes when a fire is occurring and activates the fire alarm system. Alerts occupants
May alert the fire department May automatically activate fire suppression systems Fire Alarm and Detection Systems Fire alarm and detection systems can be very simple or very complex. These systems generally have the same basic components.
Fire Alarm System Components Three basic components in a fire alarm system: Alarm initiation device Alarm notification device Control panel Fire Alarm System Control Panels Serves as the brain of the system Manages and monitors the proper operation of
the system Can indicate the source of an alarm Also manages primary power supply and provides backup power supply for the system Fire Alarm System Control Panels May perform additional functions May interface with
other systems Vary greatly Courtesy of Honeywell/Gamewell Fire Alarm System Control Panels Used to silence alarm and reset system Many buildings have a remote annunciator In some systems, a battery will automatically
activate when the external power is interrupted. Residential Fire Alarm Systems Single-station smoke alarm most common type of residential fire alarm system Includes both a smoke detection
device and an audible alarm within a single unit Courtesy of Kidde Residential and Commercial Division Residential Fire Alarm Systems Smoke alarms can be battery powered or hardwired to a 110-volt electrical system. Up-to-date codes require a smoke alarm in
every bedroom and on every floor level. Many home fire alarm systems are part of security systems. Ionization Versus Photoelectric Smoke Detectors Ionization detectors are triggered by the invisible products of combustion. Photoelectric detectors are triggered by the
visible products of combustion. Ionization Versus Photoelectric Smoke Detectors Courtesy of Kevin Reed Brendan Byrne/age fotostock
Alarm-Initiating Devices Components that activate a fire alarm system Manual initiation devices require human activation. Automatic devices function without human intervention. Courtesy of Honeywell/Fire-Lite Alarms Designed so that
building occupants can activate the fire alarm system Primary manual initiation device is the manual fire alarm box or manual pullstation. rob casey/Alamy Images
Manual Initiation Devices Designed to prevent malicious false alarms, is covered with a piece of clear plastic Often used in areas
where malicious false alarms frequently occur Courtesy of STI-USA Double-Action Pull Stations Automatic Initiating Devices
Designed to function without human intervention Can use several different types of detectors Some detectors activated by smoke or by invisible products of combustion Others react to heat, light produced by an open flame, or specific gases. Smoke Detectors
Designed to sense the presence of smoke Most common are ionization and photoelectric detectors. Heat Detectors
Can provide property protection Used where smoke alarms cannot be used Often installed in unheated areas Generally very reliable and less prone to false
alarms than smoke alarms Fixed Temperature Heat Detectors Designed to operate at a preset temperature Usually use a metal alloy that will melt at the preset
temperature Courtesy of Firetronics Pte Ltd. Rate-of-Rise Heat Detectors Will activate if air temperature rises more than a set amount in a given period. Most are selfrestoring Generally respond faster to most fires than fixed-temperature heat detectors
Line Heat Detectors Use wires or a sealed tube to sense heat Wire-type Two wires separated by insulating material, or Measures changes in electrical resistance of a wire as it heats up Tube-type
Has a sealed metal tube filled with air Flame Detectors Specialized devices that detect the electromagnetic light waves produced by a flame Complicated and
expensive Gas Detectors Calibrated to detect the presence of a specific gas Need regular calibration Usually found only in specific commercial or industrial applications Most common is carbon monoxide detector
Air Sampling Detectors Continuously capture air samples and measure the concentrations of specific gases or products of combustion
Residential Carbon Monoxide Detectors Sound a visible alarm when concentration is high enough to pose health risk Must be investigated by personnel who can detect gas All occupants must be checked for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Alarm Initiation by Fire Suppression Systems System alerts building occupants and the fire department to a possible fire. Ensures that
someone is aware water is flowing in case of an unintentional discharge False, Unwanted, and Nuisance Alarms Malicious false alarms Individuals deliberately activate a fire alarm
Unwanted alarms Alarm is activated by a condition that is not really an emergency Nuisance alarms Improper functioning of an alarm system Alarm Notification Appliances Produce an audible
signal when fire alarm is activated Some signals play a recorded announcement in conjunction with the temporal-3 pattern. Courtesy of Honeywell/Fire-Lite Alarms
Alarm Notification Appliances Many new systems incorporate visual notification devices. Other Fire Alarm Functions May also control other building functions, such as air-handling systems, fire doors, and
elevators Responding fire personnel must understand which building functions are being controlled by the fire alarm. Fire Alarm Annunciation Systems Zoned system Alarm control panel will indicate where in the building the alarm was activated.
Coded system Zone is identified at alarm control panel and through audio notification device. Noncoded Alarm System No information indicating where in the building the fire alarm was activated Typically sounds a bell or horn
Fire department personnel must search the entire building to find which initiation device was activated. Zoned Noncoded Alarm System Most common type of system, particularly in newer buildings Building divided into multiple zones, often by floor or by wing
Alarm control panel indicates in which zone the activated device is located. Zoned Coded Alarm In addition to having all the features of a zoned alarm system, also indicates which zone has been activated over the announcement system Hospitals often use this type of system.
Master-Coded Alarm Audible notification devices for fire alarms also are used for other purposes. Most of these systems have been replaced by modern speaker systems that use the temporal-3 pattern fire alarm signal and have public address capabilities. Fire Department Notification
Fire alarm systems can be broken down into five categories based on how the fire department is notified of an alarm:
Local alarm system Remote station system Auxiliary system Proprietary system Central station Fire Department Notification Remote station system Sends signal directly to fire department or to another
monitoring location via a telephone line or a radio signal Auxiliary system Buildings fire alarm system is tied into a master alarm box located outside. Fire Department Notification Proprietary system
Buildings alarms are connected directly to monitoring site owned and operated by building owner. Fire Department Notification Central stations Third-party, off-site
monitoring facility An activated alarm transmits a signal to the central station by telephone or radio. Personnel notify the appropriate fire department.
Courtesy of www.acimonitoring.com, Doug Beaulieu. Summary Fire protection systems include fire alarms, automatic fire detection, and fire suppression systems. Fire alarm and detection systems range from simple to complex. A fire alarm system has three basic
components. Summary The most common residential alarm system is a single-station smoke alarm. There are two types of fire detection devices used in a smoke alarm to detect combustion. Alarm initiation devices begin the fire alarm process manually or automatically.
Summary There are nine types of automatic initiation devices. Residential carbon monoxide detectors create an audible or visual alarm. It is important to know how to handle false, unwanted, and nuisance alarms. There are three types of false alarms.
Summary There are two methods that can be used to reduce unwanted and nuisance alarms. Alarm communication systems are classified into four categories. There are five categories of fire department notification systems.
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