Wireless fire alarm system is a another shape of the original standard fire alarm system.
Wireless fire alarms are a good use of wireless radio frequency technology as they are used in certain applications:
- Applications that has very difficult rout to lay cables
- Museums and valuable historical places that don’t accept digging or installation works
- Temporary applications that not need infrastructure work
Note that most of valuable or historical palaces that use wireless fire alarm systems also use wireless security cameras (video surveillance system), applications of radio frequency wave propagation.
Typical wireless security system uses wireless alarm system and wireless CCTV video recording system.
In some countries you must take permission or pay some annual fees for using some wireless frequency ranges.
As we all know that anything in the world has advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of the wireless fire alarms are:
- They are easy installation systems.
- They require no cabling or pipes for installation.
- And of course they have no infrastructure maintenance as there are no cables or pipes.
The disadvantages of the wireless fire alarms are:
- Interference with other electromagnetic wireless waves (some electromagnetic noise may interfere with the original signal), it is measured by the signal to noise ratio (S/N), if the ratio is less than a certain value you shouldn’t use wireless fire alarms as it will not be the suitable solution for the given application.
- In steel applications you cannot use wireless fire alarms as the electromagnetic wireless waves cannot propagate in metal application.
- Typical wireless fire alarm system parts is very expensive when compared to the normal fire alarm system that uses cables, but you also will save the installation work cost for laying cables inside pipes.
The significant disadvantage of wireless fire alarm system is the wave distortion which will make actual fire signal do not reach the fire alarm control panel or it will reach the panel with distortion that will not be identified as an alarm signal.
Here is a typical fire alarm signal sine wave and the distorted alarm wave after noise interference.
If your application has no limitations and accepts both systems (wireless fire alarms & conventional cabled fire alarm system) you should make a cost study which system is cheaper to implement as both systems provide you the same function.
In the wireless fire alarm system all system parts are connected to the main fire alarm control panel individually not a loop connection,
Wireless fire alarms usually use the frequency around 800 MHz which you have to check with your local authorities about the availability of using this frequency range.
All of the fire alarm system parts are addressable points; each point is configured individually and programmed to the extreme detail you need.
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Any fire alarm system consists of subsystem parts or components no matter the system was :
1 Conventional fire alarm system or,
2 Addressable fire alarm system or,
3 Wireless fire alarm system There are some of fire alarm system parts that are essential in any design and others are optional or applied according to certain cases.
The essential fire alarm system parts are:
1- Fire alarm control panel:
Of course the fire alarm panel is essential part of any fire alarm system because it is considered the brain of the system. It receives the alarm signal from the initiating devices or detectors and send or transmit a signal to fire fighting people or activate audible devices to evacuate the building.
It could be conventional or addressable fire alarm panel depending on the system applied. See the difference between conventional and Addressable fire alarm system.
2- Fire alarm Manual Call Point ( fire alarm push button )
In any design of home fire alarm or office even factory fire alarm system; manual call points are installed.
The reason for this obligation is that in case of early fire some detectors are not yet energized so if any person was there (at place of fire initiating ) and saw the beginning of fire break out he will push immediately the manual call point to send alarm signal to the fire fighting people and don’t wait unit fire to breakout.
One more thing is recommended is to put a Polycarbonate protective cover on your manual pull station to prevent false alarms specially at home (if you have kids) and also at yards in large factories and warehouses.
This plastic cover is used to guarantee that there is a real fire and some one is removing the cover and pulling the manual pull station Any fire alarm manual pull station should be accompanied by flusher& sounder unit to indicate alarm condition for the firefighters.
3- Smoke detector:
The smoke detector is used in almost 95% of fire alarm installation. It is applied widely in houses , hotels , airports and other applications.
There is a detector that has smoke detection and self buzzer voice warning in case of alarm ,it is very useful in houses
4- Heat detector:
There are two types of heat detectors:
a- Rate of rise heat detector: This type of detector is sensing the change of the temperature in a given time (example: if there is a temperature rise of 10 degrees in one minute ;there is a fire).
b- Fixed temperature heat detector: This type of detector is sensing when the temperature reaches a certain limit (example: if the temperature reaches 60 degrees Celsius it triggers an alarm signal to the control panel) There are heat detector which combines the two types(ROR+FX) in one unit.
It is really a practical double check solution which is better than individual of each.
These are the primary and the common fire alarm parts used in any alarming system.
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