Fire Alarm System Functions

$ 29.00

Continuing Education Units (CEU): 0.10

Expected Duration: 1 Hour

This self-paced online course covers the fundamentals of alarm systems and how they function. Students will learn about signals and transmission and about the importance of interpreting those signals. For students who are responsible for checking or maintaining a fire alarm system, this course will help them focus on the requirements of their system. A key part of the course's learning will be examining case studies where students can try their knowledge in a low risk environment.

Upon completion you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between the different types of alarm system signals
  • Explain how fire alarm system signals are transmitted using timed sequences
  • Identify fire alarm system components
  • Outline how the integrity of fire alarm systems is maintained

Who Will Benefit

Anyone whose job involves designing, reviewing, evaluating or installing fire protection systems, including: designers, installers, engineers, electrical contractors, technicians, project managers, fire marshals, and architects.

Course Summary

Fire alarm systems transmit signals that fall into three categories:

  • Alarm signals indicate a situation that requires immediate action. They must be transmitted within 10 seconds after the initiating device activates.
  • Supervisory signals are initiated when some other fire protection system that is being monitored by the alarm system control unit malfunctions or becomes inoperative. An example would be the closing of a sprinkler system main control valve.
  • Trouble signals are initiated when some monitored component, circuit, or power supply of the alarm system becomes inoperative. They must be transmitted within 200 seconds and must re-sound every 24 hours until the problem is fixed.

The signals of the alarm system must be distinctive, so they are easily recognized and interpreted. Supervisory and trouble signals can share the same sound at the fire alarm control unit, but the alarm signal must be completely different from any other sound heard on the property.

Fire alarm systems always transmit their signals in order of importance.

  • Alarm signals have the highest priority and take precedence over every other signal in the system.
  • Supervisory signals take precedence over trouble signals.
  • Some systems may be combination systems, such as a system that provides security notification in addition to the fire notification signals. If permitted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) hold-up signals may take precedence over supervisory and trouble signals, but never over alarm signals.