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Posted on February 14, 2011

How to Choose a Fire Alarm System

fire sprinkler systems texasIt should come as no surprise that a building that has a fire alarm system installed is safer than a building with no fire alarm system. But what many people may not know is that there is a wide variety of different types of fire alarm systems available!

While most fire alarm systems will provide similar levels of protection, there are subtle differences that you should note when choosing which kind of Houston fire alarm to install in your building.

Types of Fire Alarm Systems

Automatic fire alarm systems vs manual fire alarm systems

Automatic fire alarm systems come equipped with smoke or heat sensors that detect when a fire is present. When the sensors trip, the automatic fire alarm systems go off by themselves, alerting people to the fire and letting them escape.

It is important to make the distinction between smoke and heat sensing fire alarms – if smoke rises before flames appear, smoke detectors will sound the alarm before things get really dangerous. On the other hand, if the flames rise up before any smoke appears,  heat detecting fire alarm systems will work better. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you carefully choose the type you want.

Manual fire alarm systems are activated by pull devices on the walls. While they require a person to pull the device, they greatly reduce the risk of false alarms which can occur with automatic fire alarm systems.

Conventional fire alarm systems vs addressable fire alarm systems

If you decide on an automatic fire alarm system, you have another choice to make: do you want an addressable fire alarm system or a conventional one? With a conventional fire alarm system, buildings are divided up into “zones”, each zone having a certain number of fire alarms. Each zone is hooked up to a control panel, and when a fire breaks out in a specific zone all the fire alarms and fire sprinklers in that zone will go off.

With addressable fire alarm systems, the sensors are not arranged in zones. Instead, each individual sensor is connected to the control panel and assigned an address. This allows each sensor to activate individually, eliminating the need for every alarm and sprinkler in the zone to go off at once. It also enables the fire department to pinpoint the exact location of the fire by showing them which devices are going off and allowing them to go straight to the problem areas.

Addressable fire alarm systems are best suited for large building complexes where trying to set up individual zones would be nearly impossible. Even though they are not able to pinpoint the fire locations as well, conventional fire alarm systems are often perfect for smaller buildings.

If you own a building in the Houston, Texas area and want to keep it protected from fire, one of the smartest things you can do is install a fire alarm system. If you have any questions about which type of fire alarm system you should install, call Kauffman Co. today!

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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