It is necessary to install a fire alarm system if you own a commercial building to help mitigate fire hazards. But the fire alarm system cannot function without a control panel. After all, a fire alarm control panel is the heart of the system.
Therefore, it is paramount to choose the right type of fire alarm control panel. After all, the control panel affects the quality of your response to fire hazards.
In this article, we will discuss the two popular types of fire alarm control panels and their notable features.
As the name implies, the control panel coordinates the activities of other devices in the system. It receives signals from the field or peripheral devices and acts accordingly. Connected field devices can be smoke detectors, heat detectors, or sprinkler systems.
After receiving a signal that indicates a fire threat, the control panel sounds an alarm. It can also perform other actions to help mitigate the fire hazard. Some control panels can call the fire department or activate the sprinkler system.
The two types of fire alarm control panels you can find on the market are addressable and conventional.
Conventional panels are simpler to operate and predate addressable panels. They function by reacting to changes in electric current.
In the conventional panel, you connect the detectors radially. Each radial circuit is a zone that can accommodate several devices.
Due to this reason, it can only detect changes in zones instead of in a specific device. Hence, a conventional panel cannot identify the exact device signaling the threat.
Addressable or intelligent panels are much more sophisticated. Unlike conventional, they possess a microprocessor. The microprocessor allows it to communicate with every device connected to it.
Instead of zones or radial circuits, addressable panels use Signalling Line Circuits. With this method, every connected device has a unique address.
Hence, the addressable control panel can identify the specific device sending the signal. Due to this reason, they are the panel of choice for complex or large buildings.
The following factors are crucial to choosing the right panel type for your building.
Conventional panels are cheaper than their addressable counterparts as they are easier to manufacture. They can save costs when installing fire alarm systems on simple buildings.
However, they are ineffective when used on complex commercial structures as they are less accurate and inflexible.
If you have a large building, it is advisable to get an addressable panel. Addressable panels are more sophisticated and offer a level of control and flexibility that conventional panels lack.
Addressable panels offer more utility when compared to conventional as they can be programmed to perform various tasks. You can even integrate it with your security system.
It can unlock or lock doors, activate sprinkler systems, call the fire department or execute evacuation measures.
Furthermore, it saves cost and time in fire-fighting as it can provide the exact location of the fire in the building.
With the addressable panel, you can also adjust the sensitivity of your detectors to reduce false alarms.
Conventional panels are basic but still fulfill their primary objective. You can choose it if you want to save costs on installing a fire alarm system in a small building.
However, an addressable panel is better if your structure is complex or if you desire greater flexibility and functionality.
Furthermore, you can have addressable panels designed for small buildings. They combine the best of both worlds, including functionality and simplicity.
Choosing the right fire alarm system can be tricky, but we've got you covered. We are a leading fire systems company with over two decades of experience in the industry.
You can't go wrong with our selection of reliable addressable fire alarm control panels.
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