Evolution of Intelligent Fire Alarm System In Homes

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The first generation of fire detection devices (1849-1940) was based on thermal detectors. But the start of fire alarm systems development began with the invention of the telegraph by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1844. The first practical fire detection systems using telegraph, was developed in U. S. by Dr. William Channing and Moses G. Farmer in 1852. Two years later, he applied for a patent for his electromagnetic telegraph fire protection system intended to be used in cities.

In Europe in 1848 the first fire alarm device was developed by C.A. von Steingel, which was operated by the firemen and used button switches and different kinds of bells to give prearranged audio signals. The first telegraph device was created three years later in Berlin and as fire alarm telegraph equipment, used a cable connection, to alert total of 37 fire stations. The development of the first temperature sensors started with the introduction of bimetallic sensors in the 19th century. The working principle of these sensors was based on the unequal expansion between the two metal stripes. These relays were reliable and durable, and are still considered ideal for many industrial applications.

Fire smoke detectors are most critical and front end component of any fire detection & alarm system. These front end sensors have also evolved over the time and its’ their advancement which has contributed in making conventional fire alarm System, intelligent & smart-because without these smart, fast, reliable and addressable front line sensors, no fire alarm system could have been made smart or intelligent. The evolution of these frontline sensors can be divided into four generations based on their developments, improvement, and merging with the electronic technology industry.

 

The first generation of smoke detectors

 started in 1930 when first electronic smoke detector was actually made by Swiss physicist named Walter Jaeger leading to the invention of the first electronic device for smoke detection. Later he developed the first patented smoke detector in the early 1940s.      

 

The second generation of smoke 

detectors was developed between early 1960s until 1975, where americium 24, a radioactive source for ionization, was used for application in the electronics industry.

In 1964 an ionization smoke detector with a 24V power supply was developed by Alert. However these detectors were to be made in accordance to international rules, and also were needed to have an appropriate radioactivity label for their functioning. After detectors are used, they were to be properly disposed as a radioactive waste.

A year after the discovery of ionizing smoke detectors, Duane Pearsall has developed a photoelectric smoke detector. Major changes in smoke detectors technology occurred during the 70s and 80s in last century.

Intelligent Fire Alarm System

The third generation of smoke detectors (1975-1990)

 is characterized by an increased interest in smoke detectors. In this period there were a number of key changes in the detectors design, including the replacement of the filament as a light source with a light emitting diode and the use of silicon. With the development of electronics and integrated circuits, there is a decrease in the volume of the detector components, which directly contributes to physical size reduction of the detector, a decrease in energy consumption and an improved reliability. In 1982, first analogue addressable detectors were introduced.

 

The fourth generation of smoke detectors (1990-present)

 is characterized by the use of multiple detectors in a loop, and application of algorithms. Development of microelectronics has enabled the application of many different functions. This was particularly important for all types of detectors which, through the utilization of microelectronics, can be produced as intelligent components.

In this way, some basic evaluation and decision-making functions can be integrated in the detector. In 1996 a first multi detector (temperature and smoke) was developed as a detector that uses smart “OR” and “AND” logic. Major changes in smoke detectors technology, were introduced by the development of smart detectors. Such smoke detectors provided option to regulate the alarm threshold via a central control panel.

 

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