While it may be easy to assume that a "fire alarm" and a "fire monitoring" system are the same, they actually have very different roles to play in fire safety. It's important to know the difference between the two, especially if you are setting up a fire system for your home or your business and want to make the correct choice. Let's take a closer look at these two different systems and how they should be used.
Fire Alarm Systems
A fire alarm system is designed to detect the presence of a fire, and let everyone know about it. The most common example is the average home smoke detector. If it detects a significant amount of smoke in the air, it starts a siren that lets everyone know there is a problem.
All fire alarm systems are designed to work like this. Larger versions typically use multiple sirens and even flashing lights or other notifications. These are all designed so that people understand there is a fire threat, and that they should evacuate the building. These systems pair particularly well with a comprehensive and well-designed evacuation plan and meet-up location that your employees or family should practice.
However, a fire alarm system does not do anything about the fire itself. It doesn't try to put the fire out all on its own — it has to be connected to a separate sprinkler system or another method of controlling the fire for that to happen. It will not try to contact emergency services or the fire department.
Fire Monitoring Systems
The "monitoring" part of these systems refers to outside monitoring. In other words, the system is connected to an outside agency or service. Its job is not to alert people inside the building about a potential fire hazard. Instead, the system sends a message about the detected fire to someone else who can help.
Obviously, these messages can do a lot of good when sent to local fire departments. However, there's always the chance of a false detection warning, so direct connections are not always encouraged these days. Instead, security companies offer monitoring services that send the alert to private services that process the issue, try to contact the building, and make a choice whether to contact authorities or potentially send help of their own.
As you can see, the ideal fire system includes both alarm services to alert people in the building, and monitoring services to automatically alert local professionals about the problem. Most modern fire hazard systems include both sides. However, it's worth noting that alarm systems are very passive — they only activate in the presence of a fire. Monitoring systems, on the other hand, must maintain a constant connection to other services, which is why they typically come with a monthly fee.
Request more information about fire protection, proper fire security, and the solutions that you need by contacting us at Acme Protective Systems!