Fire Systems (Hard-wired)

Traditional hard-wired fire systems – incorporating relevant types of fire and smoke detectors, call-points, sounders and various ancillaries – have a longstanding, tried-and-tested pedigree using mature technology. They are highly developed and stable.

Fire system schematic
Common addressable fire system. (Image courtesy claydons.org)

Mains-based fire detection and alarm systems do not operate using batteries or demand regular battery replacement. However, in the event of a power failure, backup battery power will be incorporated in the system.

Hard-wired alarms are not limited in terms of maximum distances between detectors and control panels. This reduces the risk of malfunction during an incident. Also, interference to the signal between detection and alarm is not a consideration, unless there has been damage to cabling.

Wired fire alarms are usually the first choice for a new build. The required cabling can be incorporated into the turnkey electrical installation.

Conventional vs. Analogue Addressable Options

Hard-wired fire detection and alarm systems are available in conventional and, more sophisticated, analogue addressable technologies.

Conventional systems require physical zoning of the premises being protected, as detectors are wired together to protect each zone. A fire detector going into alarm, or call-point being pressed, indicates a fire in a zone, but not where in that zone. Alarm signalling requires separately wired circuits of sounders and beacons. The zone capacity for the fire control panel is clearly critical.

Analogue addressable systems allow each device (be it a detector, call-point or sounder) to communicate directly with the control panel and thus pinpoint exactly the location of the alarm incident. The various fire system component devices can therefore be joined together on common wiring pathways and detectors, sounders and beacons have now become available in combined single-unit entities.