Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
Life Safety

Why do Fire Alarm Systems Work That Way?

Fire Alarm Engineers, Installers, Technicians, and Inspectors get Answers from Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner

A fire pull box is part of a fire alarm system
Do you know the rules and codes that show what a fire alarm system does? The bottom line rules and codes showing what the fire alarm system does are important, but to fix the fire alarm system, Basic Electronic Skills are needed. Required on top of the electronic skills is an understanding of the Life Safety Upgrades to the Electronics.

Basic Electrical Skills

Basic Electronic Skills are are knowing about DC and AC electricity. Ohms Law, which shows how wire carries electricity, is part of skillset; understanding the difference between electricity flow and signal or power flow is also part of the skillset.

For greater understanding and troubleshooting, in depth explanations are found in the Book - Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms by Douglas Krantz - Check It Out

Life Safety Upgrades to the Electronics

The Life Safety Skills, in addition to the electronics, have the goals of Supervision (self-testing and letting the building owners immediately know when something's wrong with the system), Redundancy (if one method fails, another method is standing-by to take over), and Survivability (even during a fire or other disaster, the system still works).

For troubleshooting, ground faults and their causes are found in the Book - Make It Work - Hunting Ground Faults by Douglas Krantz - Check It Out

Blog and Books

Learn about how a fire alarm system works by reading the blogs and articles on the website. Books are also available for greater in-depth understanding of the electronic fire alarm system.

For troubleshooting, a greater understaning of Signaling Line Circuits (SLC) are found in the Book - Make It Work - Understanding Signaling Line Circuits, by Douglas Krantz - Check It Out
Get the Book
As a designer, installer, or technician, you want to know more about how a fire alarm system works, and why it works that way.

Codes and laws, though, only show what a fire alarm system is supposed to do, they really don't show how the system does what it does.

Improve your understanding about fire alarm systems with "Make It Work" books from Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner.
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