When purchasing a fire alarm system, you should always make sure you understand the design and installation required for your device. However, before you take the plunge, you need to understand some of the fundamentals of these emergency instruments. Otherwise, you could end up purchasing the wrong type of Belden fire alarm cable option for your repair, improperly disarm your device, or even acquire a system that is unfit for your specific needs. To help ensure you choose the right option for you, make sure you understand these fire alarm basics:

What Is a Fire Alarm System?
A fire alarm and detection system is a device that provides an audible and visual notification (such as bells, horns, chimes, strobes, and/or buzzers) when it detects smoke or heat from another protective device, like a smoke detector or heat sensor system.

What Devices Are In a Fire Alarm System?
Fire alarm systems vary depending upon the particulars required by the system. In most cases, they include but are not limited to the following:

• Control Panel – the brain of the alarm system, the control panel is the center of the device and controls all functions of the system.

• Initiating Devices – when activated, this unit provides the input for the control panel

• Notification Application Units – devices that notify users of the fire condition in the building

• Primary Power Supply

• Secondary Power Supply (emergency backup)

What Are the Types of Initiating Devices?
Initiating devices include a wide assortment of designs depending upon the specific fire alarm system. However, the most common styles include:

• Fire Sprinklers with Built-in Heat Trigger
• Heat Detectors
• Pull Boxes
• Smoke Detectors
• Waterflow Switches
• And More

Does It Matter What Types of Cables I Use?
When it comes to fire alarm systems, there are plenty of different types of cables to consider. While one wire is not inferior to another, each cable design is for a specific purpose for the system. The kind of Belden Fire Alarm Cable you utilize depends on the particular section which the National Electrical Code (or NEC) determines. Specific purposes for a cable can include but are not limited to:

• Floor-to-Floor Wiring
• General Purpose
• Use in Ducts, Plenums, or Other Enclosed Air Spaces
• And More

How Can I Tell the Difference Between the Different Cable Options?
To decipher the various cable types, always look at the name of the cable. For instance, while FPLP is a type of plenum cable you utilize in air spaces and ducts, an FPLR cable is used to run your system vertically from one floor to another. In most situations, your biggest challenge will be installing the proper fire alarm cable for your unique wiring needs. If in doubt, you can always call an experienced electrician who can match the correct cable for the wiring job to ensure you meet the specific code requirements.

Can I Place the Control Panel Wherever I Want?
In theory, yes. A control panel can be placed just about anywhere. However, you should always locate the device where it is easily accessible in an emergency (no matter what time of day it is). The location could be near the telephone switchboard, in the manager’s office, next to the security headquarters, or various other easily accessible but secure sites. The entire goal is to place the device in a reasonably centralized location, so that no matter where a person is, they will be able to race to the control panel and verify the status of smoke or fire before silencing the alarm.

If you have any questions about fire alarm systems or Belden fire alarm cable options, contact EWCSWire by emailing them today at sales@ewcswire.com. Their helpful sales associates can address any concerns and can help ensure you have the best product for your boat, home, or business.

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