Where conventional fire alarm systems can only give specific circuits or zones, addressable fire alarm systems installations provide details on individual detectors.
An Addressable or “intelligent” fire alarm system is designed for more significant commercial buildings with a more complex networked system, for example, large office buildings, hospitals, and large hotels. This is because they have increased intelligence, flexibility, the scope of control and speed of identification. The design compromises different types of initiating devices (smoke or heat detectors) wired in one or more single loops around the site, with a unique address for each call point or detector.
The fire control panel receives status reports and information from each device, indicating the precise location of the fire, smoke, heat, fault, or contamination. It can also provide information before a fire, called a ‘Pre alarm’. When it detects only the slightest smoke, the fire alarm control panel will send an alert notification indicating a fire. This type of system gives the earliest warning of a fire. The most advanced technology this system provides is a ’cause and effect’. This can control 3rd party equipment to activate or shut down the building when the control panel goes into an alarm. For example, a fire notification within a high-rise building would cause all the lifts to ground. However, installing an addressable system can be expensive; it is the most reliable.