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Fire Alarm Parts & Locations


The fire alarm system in your building is comprised of several components that work together seamlessly to detect fires and make building occupants aware of the emergency. If you’re looking into installing a fire alarm, you might be wondering where different devices should be located throughout your building. Due to the large size of commercial buildings and varied fire risks, many more components are needed compared to residential fire alarm systems. Installing a fire alarm system requires careful design and planning to ensure full coverage.

While every building has different needs, this guide gives you an idea of what to expect when installing a commercial fire alarm.

Smoke & Heat Detectors

Smoke and heat detectors should be spread out across the building. By including several in each main area, you ensure that when a fire starts, the system detects the smoke and the alarm goes off quickly. Installing these devices on or near the ceiling prevents tampering and improves smoke detection in a fire.

Manual Pull Stations

If someone sees flames before the alarm goes off, they can quickly spread the word by activating a manual pull station on their way out of the building. To facilitate this action and prevent backtracking toward the fire danger, manual pull stations should be installed near every building exit.

Duct Smoke Detectors

When heating, air conditioning, and ventilation equipment catches fire, flames and smoke may end up in the ductwork. That’s why many commercial buildings are required to have smoke detectors on both the supply and return ends of all air handling units.

Strobe Lights & Bells

Visible and audible alarms, including strobe lights and bells, should be installed in every public common area of your building. At least one strobe light must be visible from every location in a room or hallway. Audible alarms must be installed close enough together that occupants can hear them from every corner of the building.

Booster Panels

A booster panel is a self-contained power supply designed to supplement visible and audible alarms when the power requirement is too great. Since booster panels require no human input to function, they can be installed out of the way in an electrical room.

Fire Alarm Control Panels

As the central hub of the whole system, the fire alarm control panel works hard behind the scenes to detect changes in air quality and temperature, monitor the fire alarm’s operational integrity, and relay information necessary to prepare the building for a fire response. The control panel is typically located out of the way in an electrical room where it doesn’t create an eyesore in your building.

Annunciator Panels

The purpose of an annunciator panel is to indicate where the fire alarm was set off. This allows you to pinpoint the exact location of the fire, which is critical for a safe evacuation and helping firefighters do their job. Annunciator panels are typically installed on a wall near the building’s main entrance, at a guard shack outside the property, beside the main elevator, behind the receptionist’s desk, or near a fire sprinkler riser.

Install a Fire Alarm System in Your Houston Building

Kauffman Co. performs fire alarm installations for buildings in the Houston, TX area. To help us determine precise fire alarm locations, we follow NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. We adhere to this code carefully to ensure your building is fully protected and all occupants are notified if there’s a fire emergency.

If you need help installing fire alarm components in all the right places, please contact Kauffman Co. online.

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