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Fire Alarm Systems

When the alarm sounds, break glass
Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer


FIRE!

Articles By Douglas Krantz

When a fire starts burning and others need to be warned, people shout "Fire!"

When people are asleep or nobody is around, a fire alarm system does the shouting automatically.

If the building is too big, the fire alarm system shouts when one person can't reach everyone.

A fire alarm system shouts "Fire!" when just one person can't.



Objective

When a fire starts burning, three objectives are essential to reduce the loss:
  • Detection -- a person sees the fire
  • Announcement -- that person shouts fire!
  • Action -- others flee danger, or others come running to help stop the fire

Fire Alarm System

  • Detection -- The fire alarm system activates when detecting a fire, or a person seeing a fire activates the fire alarm system
  • Announcement -- The fire alarm system sounds the evacuation in that and other areas, and also calls the fire department through off site monitoring
  • Action -- Those hearing the fire alarm evacuate the building, while the fire department comes to fight the fire

Can't do it Alone

The fire alarm system requires people to make it work. If you're one of those people that operate, design, install, or maintain fire alarm systems, check out these articles.

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Douglas Krantz

Describing How It Works
writer@douglaskrantz.com
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612/986-4210

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Articles

How Does Class A Fire Alarm Wiring Work?-- Fire alarm systems save lives and protect property. Fire alarm systems also break down because... Read More

Just What Is a Signaling Line Circuit (SLC)? -- The SLC (Signaling Line Circuit) is another way of saying Data and Power Circuit. Along with added power to run the sub-computers and their input and output circuits, it's a computer data-buss ... Read More

How is a Buffer Relay Wired Into a Door Holder Circuit? -- Like a door stop, a door holder keeps a fire door open. When smoke is detected, the door holder releases, allowing the door to shut. The door holder looks simple and innocuous enough... Read More

How Does One Find a Soft Ground Fault? -- Normally, we think of resistance like that of a resistor. The amount of resistance is built-in; no matter what voltage is used to drive the electrical... Read More

Can a Magnet Really be Used to Test a Smoke Detector? -- Smoke detectors usually have two ways of being tested. Smoke (smoke particles in the air, or some sort of canned smoke), and magnets (the activation of an internal magnetic... Read More



Electrical Flow


On this website, most references to electrical flow are to the movement of electrons.

Here, electron movement is generally used because it is the electrons that are actually moving. To explain the effects of magnetic forces, the movement of electrons is best.

Conventional current flow, positive charges that appear to be moving in the circuit, will be specified when it is used. The positive electrical forces are not actually moving -- as the electrons are coming and going on an atom, the electrical forces are just loosing or gaining strength. The forces appear to be moving from one atom to the next, but the percieved movement is actually just a result of electron movement. This perceived movement is traveling at a consistent speed, usually around two-thirds the speed of light. To explain the effects of electrostatic forces, the movement of positive charges (conventional current) is best.

See the explanation on which way electricity flows at www.douglaskrantz.com/
ElecElectricalFlow.html
.