There are 2 x types of fire detection systems, Conventional and Analogue Addressable. To correctly select which system best suits your needs is based on the buildings usage, occupancy, relevant standard and the Building Code of Australia (BCA). It is important to design a detection system which quickly detects (and in some cases automatically extinguish) a fire to minimise damage.
Conventional-collective systems are generally the most cost effective option and are normally seen in such areas as strata title buildings, smaller commercial offices and industrial sites. They are essentially simple switches that are either "on" or "off". They cannot distinguish between a real fire and the various non-fire phenomena that can trigger an alarm such as tobacco smoke, dust and steam. Up to forty detectors can be installed on one circuit and, whilst they can indicate an area or zone where an alarm has been triggered, they cannot indicate a specific location in that zone.
Image 1 - Conventional Smoke Detector
Image 2 - Conventional Thermal Detector
Analogue Addressable Systems
These systems are a major advancement and can pre-warn managers of an alarm activation, allowing time to investigate and provide remedial action to prevent a false alarm. Some benefits of these systems include: Each detector sensor can be uniquely identified and located; Early warning of maintenance needs can be measured eg. Level of Contamination in individual detectors; wiring faults such as cut wires or short circuits do not generate false alarms; Adjustable sensitivity - each detector can be tailored to its environment to give optimum sensitivity and resistance to permitted activities; and On board log of system activities.
Image 3 - Analogue Smoke Detector
Image 4 - Analogue Thermal Detector
Image 5 - Addressable Sounder Bases