How do fire alarm systems work?

With fire posing one of the biggest threats to property, installing a fire alarm system, whether for your home or business, makes solid sense. But with so many products to choose from, it’s worth understanding the basics of how a fire alarm system works before making your decision. At Sentinel Security, we are fire safety experts who can guide you through the tricky process of making your property as fire safe as possible. Here is our guide to how fire alarm systems work.


Fire detection

A fire alarm system may be broken down into a simple series of functions. The first step is for it to detect the fire, using sensors in order to sense heat and smoke. There are a range of detection devices available:

  • Smoke detectors – familiar to most from a domestic setting.
  • Heat detectors – mainly used in dusty environment and commercial premises.
  • Manual alarms – these can be used when someone on site spots a fire more quickly than the devices have sensed it.


Fire notification

Once the fire has been detected, the next step is to alert everyone to its presence. A range of audio and visual devices can be employed to ensure that the alarm reaches everyone. These can include:

  • Bells, horns or other audio alarms.
  • Spoken announcement – this can be arranged by pre-recording a message telling listeners that there is a fire and they need to evacuate the building. This can also be configured to allow a live message to be relayed.
  • Strobe lights – an essential point to cover to ensure that the hearing impaired are still warned about the fire.
  • Electronic signage – this can be employed as a visual aid giving the same messages that the spoken announcement gives.


Alerting the authorities

A final step can include an automatic notification being transmitted to the authorities, ensuring the emergency services attend the scene as swiftly as possible.

Are you looking for a commercial fire alarm system in Cork? Get in touch with Sentinel Security today, for expert advice from our team of fire safety professionals.



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4 South Main Street, Bandon,
Co. Cork.
P72 XV82

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