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How a Commercial Fire Alarm Works


1. An Alarm is Triggered

We’re all familiar with the flashing lights and high-pitched noise that a fire alarm emits. But what actually causes this alarm to sound? That depends on the type of system you have. Commercial fire alarm systems can be manual, automatic, or a hybrid of the two.

In a manual system, someone must physically trigger the alarm. Designated pull stations (those little red levers labeled “Fire”) are positioned around the building, typically within 5 feet of any exit, to make it easy for any building occupant to trigger the alarm and notify others of the potential danger. Many buildings place fire extinguishers near these stations for added safety.

In an automatic system, no manual interference is needed (though it is still required that there be 1 manual device present in the building). Detection devices are placed around the building to pick up on the presence of fire, smoke, heat, and gas. If they detect any danger, a signal is sent to the main control panel of your fire system and the alarms are triggered.

Hybrid systems contain both detection devices and manual levers. These systems are generally seen as the safest option and are used in most commercial buildings.

2. Your New Jersey Monitoring Company is Notified