Smoke, Gas & Flame Detectors - Principle of Operation

The fourth instalment of the Principles of Fire Safety series looks at smoke, gas and flame detectors. Again, research and development has continued to improve well established detection technologies and provided an array of new technologies to improve fire detection while also being less susceptible to the causes of false alarms.

Principles of Fire Safety

Principles of Fire Safety The Principles of Fire Safety series is a suite of documents published by Firewize to promote continuing development and education amongst people working in the fire industry.

This series seeks to provide a very basic understanding of the concepts discussed, and must not be relied upon for specific technical advice.

Disabling (Isolating) Fire Systems

A fire detection & alarm system is an assembly of equipment comprising control & indicating equipment, primary and secondary power supply, cabling, fire detectors or other inputs such as pressure switches, flow switches and the like.

This document has been written to provide guidance to people on the risks, hazards, appropriate methods, procedures or actions related to disabling (isolating) zones, detectors, ancillaries or the Alarm Signalling Equipment on a fire detection & alarm system.

Emergency Warning Systems - Principle of Operation

For many of us, the first time we learn about an emergency, is when we hear the telltale signs of an emergency warning system in operation.

A emergency warning system is a life safety system installed to safeguard occupants from illness or injury by warning them of a fire or emergency and to safeguard occupants during the orderly evacuation of a building in an emergency. They assist in these two functions by;

  • providing mass notification of an emergency; and
  • providing a method to communicate with and direct building occupants in the event of an emergency.

Portable Fire Extinguishers - Principle of Operation

A portable fire extinguisher by definition is an item of equipment for the purpose of extinguishing a fire. The reality is however that a portable fire extinguisher is effective only for the type and size of a fire that it is rated for.

Portable fire extinguishers are generally provided as "first attack" units in fire fighting and should be used only in early stages of fire before the fire grows to a stage that is beyond the capacity of the extinguisher. There are broadly six types of fire extinguisher; Water, Foam, Wet Chemical, Dry Chemical Powder, Vaporising Liquid and Carbon Dioxide. The selection of an extinguisher must be made with the class of fire in mind.