What Are Fire Alarm Initiating Devices?

Fire alarm initiating devices protect us on a daily basis, no matter where we are. From family dwellings, to schools, to businesses, you can guarantee that there is a fire alarm initiating device within close proximity. And with fire alarm initiating devices being such a common part of our daily lives, we rarely put a second thought into how these devices actually work. In this article, we take a look at the complex networks of interconnected parts that are fire alarm initiating devices, as well as the different types that you may have in your home or office. 

What are Fire Alarm Initiating Devices?

So, what are fire alarm initiating devices and what do they do? Fire alarm initiating devices are installed in order to trigger an alert in the event of a fire. While your smoke detector is considered a fire alarm initiating device, it is certainly not the only device out there that can work to alert you in the event of a fire.

Fireline tells us more on how fire alarm initiating devices work:

“The initiating devices in your fire alarm system are those that detect indications of a potential fire and activate an alarm. They are the fire system’s triggers and the most visible part of your system. Initiating devices are connected to your alarm system’s control panel and are under the control panel’s constant surveillance. When an initiating device is then activated, the panel identifies the location. It then goes into an alarm condition, sounding the alarm in the building and sending a call for an emergency response through the digital communicator.”

Types of Fire Alarm Initiating Devices

There are two general types of fire alarm initiating devices: automatic initiating devices and manual initiating devices. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two. 

Automatic Initiating Devices

Automatic initiating devices are triggered automatically by the right conditions, and include smoke detectors, fire sprinkler water flow switches and heat detectors. And among these automatic initiating devices are spot type devices and linear type devices.

Koorsen Fire & Security tells us what the difference is between these two types of automatic initiating devices:

“Spot type devices are detectors that focus solely on their area where they have been installed, while linear types have a method of detection that covers a wide area of space but communicates to a single control unit. A standard ionization smoke alarm is an example of a spot type, while a light-obscuration photoelectric smoke detector is an example of a linear type.”

Manual Initiating Devices

Manual initiating devices are more commonly known as pull stations or manual fire alarm boxes. You will often have seen this type of fire alarm initiating device in schools, hospitals, and commercial buildings. As a result of this manual trigger, this device will either cause an alarm throughout the building, or signal only in a specified area in order to alert authorities to investigate the situation.

Security Sales & Integration explains more on how manual initiating devices work:

“Pull stations may be either single or dual action depending on the number of physical actions required for activation. A single action pull station only requires a single physical action to activate it. This action is typically pulling a lever. A dual action requires two physical actions to activate it. The actions may be pushing in a door, breaking glass or lifting a cover to gain access to the second device to activate the alarm.”

Fire-Alert takes pride in equipping homeowners, commercial businesses and government buildings with all necessary fire safety devices to ensure the well-being of families and employees across the nation. Reach out to us using our contact form to find out more.