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How Things Work

Building Alarm System
by Peter Schulz

The condominium and apartment buildings have central fire alarm systems that monitor building fire sensors and set off the building alarms and notify the fire department when a sensor is activated.

When everything is working as it should, the central fire alarm system responds to sensors that detect water flowing in the fire sprinkler system, sensors that detect heat in and around the elevators, and the pull handle alarms mounted in the hallways.

However, things can go wrong with the central fire alarm system. So, if there is a fire, always call 911.

Note 1: The fire sprinklers in the units are individually heat-activated devices and will activate in the area of the fire, even if the building alarm system is not working.

Note 2: The smoke detectors in the individual units do not activate the sprinklers nor do they set off the building alarm or notify the fire department of a fire. Instead only the effected detectors "beep" within the unit to indicate the presence of smoke.

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2007-2017 by Peter Schulz

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