Fire Alarm Systems

As a business owner, you understand that having a fire alarm system in place on your premises is a legal requirement. However, choosing the right one isn’t as straightforward as you may first think.

The most popular types of alarm systems that businesses use are either addressable or conventional ones. It is important to weigh up the pros and cons of each system before you make up your mind about which one to choose.

What’s the difference?

Basically, both types of fire alarm system do the same job. Each one links up to devices such as smoke detectors and call points to a main control panel within your premises. However, it is only with an addressable system that you can tell exactly which fire safety device has been triggered.

Addressable and conventional alarm systems differ in specific ways.  With an addressable system, each device that is connected has its own address, so when a fire is detected, that devices address is shown on the main control panel. This means you will know exactly where the fire is located, enabling you to extinguish it more quickly. This can be extremely helpful in a business that deals with highly flammable materials where there is a high risk of fires spreading fast.

When you have a conventional system installed, unless your business premises are really small, there is no guaranteed way of exactly pinpointing the location of the fire outbreak. A way around this is to wire your building up into different fire zones. This way you will get a better idea of where a fire is located.

Lets say that you have a business premises spread over three floors.  You could wire up each floor as a different zone (zone 1, zone 2, zone 3) so at least you will know which floor the fire has broken out on.

Which is the cheaper option?

While it is true that conventional fire alarm panels generally cost less than addressable ones, they often cost more to install. The reason for this is because each individual device connected to it needs a separate wire. The costs will obviously be more if you have a very large building to protect.

With addressable fire systems, there is only one single wire loop that connect up your devices. Whereas you may pay a little more to purchase the addressable system, you may end up spending more on installation with the conventional option because it requires more wire and more physical labour to install.

Which system is the best for my business?

Which fire safety system you should choose will depend on a few factors, such as the nature of your business, what sort of materials you produce or handle etc. and level of fire risk associated with your work.

It would be worth having a professional fire assessment conducted by us to establish the most cost-effective and efficient option available to you. Why not contact us today to discuss your fire safety needs.