A key aspect of fire protection is to identify a developing fire emergency in a timely manner, and to alert the building’s occupants and fire emergency organizations. This is the role of fire detection and alarm systems. Depending on the anticipated fire scenario, building and use type, number and type of occupants, and criticality of contents and mission, these systems can provide several main functions. First they provide a means to identify a developing fire through either manual or automatic methods and second, they alert building occupants to a fire condition and the need to evacuate. Another common function is the transmission of an alarm notification signal to the fire department or other emergency response organization. They may also shut down electrical, air handling equipment or special process operations, and they may be used to initiate automatic suppression systems.
Fire detectors sense one or more of the products or phenomena resulting from fire, such as smoke, heat, infrared and/or ultraviolet light radiation, or gas.