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Types of commercial Fire Alarms systems

This month Target Fire Protection are here to describe the different types of commercial fire alarms systems for properties. We will briefly explain how they function, so you can be sure you’re equipped with the best system for your building.

What is a Fire Alarm?

Firstly, a fire alarm is a device that detects smoke, fire, carbon monoxide and other potentially harmful substances. These systems are activated by particular triggers and thus react with a very high pitched sound (and sometimes lights) to attract everyone’s attention so that they have enough time to get to safety.  

Types of Commercial Fire Alarms Systems - Target Fire Protection


Types of Commercial Fire Alarm Systems

Conventional Fire Alarm

A four-wired fire alarm that is generally used in smaller commercial settings such as corner shops and restaurants.

  • How it works – these alarms are split amongst a number of locations throughout the building known as ‘detection zones’. Each detector is hardwired to a main control panel. When the detector activates, the control panel picks up the location and the device that has been triggered, so that the emergency can be pinpointed to an exact area of the building.

Two-Wire Fire Alarm

A two-wired system is similar to the conventional fire alarm but with two wires, instead of four.

  • How it works – the difference with this system is that the call points, detectors and alarm functionalities are wired to the same control panel which means the single circuit can detect and enable the alarm to sound at the same time. Two-wire fire alarms are more costly but respond much quicker and are much more flexible when it comes to operation.  

Analogue-Addressable Fire Alarm

These types of systems are dependent on the protocol they operate, there are various different types of analogue systems.

  • How it works – this intelligent system is able to decide what the emergency is; whether there’s a fire, technical issue or whether it requires cleaning. This system’s main aim is to avoid false alarms. Analogue Addressable Systems can input 127 extra devices including call points, heat detectors, contact monitors, smoke detectors and various other interfaces.  

Wireless Fire Alarm

Modern alternative to your traditional wired fire alarm.

  • How it works – uses a secure wireless connection that connects to radio communications to enable both devices and sensors connect to the main controllers.

Aspirating Smoke Detectors

These alarms detects smoke early on and work to prevent an open fire. This helps prevents the build up of thick smoke inside the building which can quickly become fatal.

  • How it works – this system can detect fires incredibly fast, which means their detector is very sensitive. This Aspirating Smoke Detector has a fan device that sucks the air in from the building and filters it through a precision detector. If anything unusual, such as any signs of smoke in the air, is identified, a warning signal will emit.

Considerations when Designing a Fire Alarm System for a Building:

  • Early detection – depending on what type of building you are securing, you will want to be able to have enough time to detect the fire and evacuate.
  • Occupants and employees – false alarms can be very life threatening because too many false alarms can causes occupants and employees to become desensitised to the signal. It’s important to purchase a good enough fire alarm that will only sound when there is genuine danger.
  • Fees and false alarmsshould the fire services be notified every time your alarm goes off for a false alarm, it is possible that fees will be incurred.


Talk to Target Fire Protection today; we’re here to provide an extensive range of training and maintenance services to ensure you and your building are well protected against fire. We provide thorough fire risk assessments and can help to improve your fire safety plans and training to make sure you’re always safe at work. We work throughout a number of locations including Manchester, Rochdale, Bury and Oldham and the rest of the UK. Contact us for more information today – we’re happy to help.