The Two Main Types of Fire Systems

One important security system to have is a fire system. These systems are important because they let us know when we need to evacuate the building. Fires grow quickly and unsuspecting occupants could be placed in extreme danger if they are left unaware of the dangerous blaze. In many cases the smoke and flames are already so strong there is no way to escape, and that’s why we often see fire victims jumping from high windows. A good fire system will give occupants more than enough time to either extinguish the fire or escape before getting burned. There two main types of fire alarm systems which are manual and automatic. These systems can be made to protect lives only or both lives and property.

Automatic Fire System

An automatic fire system has two configuration options including addressable or conventional. These alarm systems work on a network of sensors that are actively looking out for the presence of fire. If fire or smoke is detected, an alarm will sound. Automatic systems usually have an addressable setup connected to a main control panel. An addressable system will let each sensor work for a specific address which lets firefighters know exactly where the fire is located. A conventional system includes zones with a set number of sensors. These sensors will allow the sprinkler systems to put the fire out specifically in the entire zone with the problem.

Our commercial building has pull stations on each floor that anyone can activate. We have a large fire system that we can set to test mode and then manual pull the alarm to complete a fire drill. Occasionally while the system is on standby one of the tenants will burn some popcorn and the accidentally set off the smoke alarm. Safety is a top concern for our tenants and commercial properties so one of the first things we get done when we develop a new building is find any fire alarm installation portland me service in the area of where the building is.

Manual Fire System

A manual fire alarm requires a building occupant to find a fire and then activate the alarm by hand. You might find these types of alarms in old college dormitories, but today they are typically installed in industrial and commercial buildings where no one sleeps. I’ve had to get out of bed several nights due to a late-night fire alarm prank. The pull station or call point devices are usually installed by stairwells and doors. When the device is set off it triggers the alarms on each floor all throughout the building. If there are strobes included in your system, then they will also flash to signal an emergency. Those who potentially can’t hear the alarm will notice the flashing fire strobe and will know to leave the building.


Either type of alarm system has the capability to activate sprinklers as well as contact the fire department. Usually when the fire department is contacted the alarm has to sound until they arrive, inspect the building, and give an all clear. They will then turn off the alarm and the system is reset to its monitoring mode.