Fire alarm systems have devices connected to them to detect the fire/smoke or to alert the occupants of an emergency. Below is a list of common devices found on a fire alarm.

Manual Pull Stations/Manual call points – Devices to allow people to manually activate the fire alarm. Usually located near exits. Also called “manual pull boxes”. Other countries have different devices as standard, for example the UK uses ‘break-glasses’, when people break a small pane of glass to activate the alarm.

Smoke Detectors – Spot type: Photoelectric and Ionization; Line type: Projected Beam Smoke Detector; Air-Sampling type: Cloud Chamber

Water Flow Switches – Detect when water is flowing through the fire sprinkler system

Rate-of-Rise and Thermostat (heat) Detectors – Detect heat changes

Valve Supervisory Switch – Indicates that a fire sprinkler system valve that is required to be open, is now closed (off-normal).

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Detects poisonous carbon monoxide gas and usually only connected to household fire alarm systems. Very rarely seen in commercial systems.