Fire systems are life safety and require specific expertise.

Sonitrol is certified for fire system design in accordance with NFPA and UL standards for system design, installation, and periodic testing in multiple states.

From the most basic system with smoke and heat detectors to the most complex voice fire, storm, and hazardous chemical evacuation system: Sonitrol can design a system to meet your needs.


  • 3,245 civilians lost their lives as the result of fire.
  • 16,400 civilian injuries occurred as the result of fire.
  • Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
  • 81 percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences.
  • Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $11.3 billion.
  • Structure fires resulted in an estimated $755 million in property damage.


  • Smoke & Heat Protection
  • Water-flow & Sprinkler Monitoring
  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Elevator Recall
  • Voice Evacuation System
  • Duct Detection


When considering the implementation of a fire alarm system for a building, it’s crucial to prioritize comprehensive design to ensure nothing essential is overlooked. A well-designed fire alarm system comprises various components, each serving a specific function. To streamline the decision-making process, it’s beneficial to conduct an initial inventory of the required elements before delving into the associated costs of procurement, installation, and maintenance.

To assist you in this endeavor, we’ve compiled a concise overview of fundamental components that a facility should consider installing. This strategic approach aims to enhance protection against potential losses and mitigate operational disruptions in the event of a fire emergency.

Heat detectors

Heat detectors operate on a similar principle to smoke detectors, with the key distinction being their response to temperature rather than airborne particles. Unlike smoke detectors, which identify smoke in the air, heat detectors are designed to activate based on temperature readings.

Typically, heat detectors function in one of two modes. They either emit an alert when the ambient temperature surpasses a predefined level, such as 135 degrees Fahrenheit, or when the temperature rises at a rate exceeding a specified threshold, like 15 degrees Fahrenheit within a minute. Regardless of the specific mode, the primary objective is to notify occupants within a building when temperatures become exceptionally high or are escalating rapidly—indicative of a potential fire.

Investing in heat detectors is crucial for timely fire detection, ensuring early warnings that can significantly enhance safety and minimize the risk of damage in the event of a fire emergency.

Smoke detectors

A common feature in our homes, these devices play a crucial role in alerting us to potential dangers. Typically, they emit a beeping sound to signal a low battery, and occasionally, they may sound off during intense cooking sessions. However, their primary function is to warn us about the presence of smoke in the building, providing a vital early alert to potential fire hazards.

In industrial settings, smoke alarms are also an integral part of fire safety systems. The specific functionality of these detectors may vary based on the nature of the facility and its activities, but the fundamental purpose remains consistent. Whether in our homes or industrial spaces, these alarms diligently detect smoke and utilize a loud beeping noise to promptly alert us when smoke is detected. While false alarms are not uncommon, the invaluable benefits of timely fire detection significantly outweigh occasional inconveniences. Understanding the variations in industrial smoke alarm systems contributes to a comprehensive approach to fire safety.


Familiar to many as the conspicuous red boxes in schools and crowded public spaces, manual pull stations play a pivotal role in fire alarm systems. Despite occasional misuse, their proper function is vital for swift and widespread fire alerts within a building.

In an effective fire alarm system, manual pull stations empower an individual in a specific location to instantly notify everyone in the building about a fire. This feature proves particularly crucial in large structures with multiple floors, where a fire on one level may go unnoticed on another until it’s too late. Even if occupants on the affected level are aware and evacuate safely, the timely dissemination of information throughout the entire building is paramount for comprehensive fire safety. Understanding the significance of manual pull stations in this context enhances overall emergency preparedness and response capabilities.

Sprinkler systems

In contrast to the preceding components we’ve discussed, sprinkler systems play a distinctive role in fire safety by focusing on fire suppression rather than alerting us to the presence of a fire. These systems are designed to either extinguish a fire or contain it for as long as possible, contributing significantly to mitigating fire damage.

Installed in buildings, fire sprinkler systems are linked to the main water line. Activated by heat, these systems are interconnected to the same water source, yet their activation is individualized based on the heat they detect. When temperatures reach a critical level, the sprinkler above the heated area releases water, effectively targeting the source of the fire. Notably, each sprinkler dispenses a controlled amount of water, minimizing water damage compared to the broader spray of a fire hose.

Understanding the unique function of sprinkler systems enhances overall fire safety awareness. Implementing these systems ensures a proactive approach to fire prevention and containment, leveraging heat activation for targeted and efficient fire suppression.

Horn and light alarms

In a home setting, a smoke detector can generate a loud enough alert, even if triggered in an upstairs room, to be heard throughout the entire residence. However, in more extensive facilities, the detectors alone cannot effectively sound the alarm due to logistical challenges posed by their proximity.

Consequently, large buildings necessitate independent equipment for comprehensive alerting. While we commonly associate loud horn alarms with alerting methods, particularly effective for waking up nearby sleepers, certain environments like construction areas or factories may require alternative solutions. In such cases, utilizing bright, strobe lights can prove more effective in ensuring widespread alertness. Often, a combination of horns and strobes is employed to maximize the chances of swiftly alerting everyone in diverse and dynamic settings. Understanding the diverse alerting methods enhances the overall fire safety strategy in large facilities.

Fire alarm monitoring

Last but not least, fire alarm systems need monitoring. Some choose the do-it-yourself approach. With technology advancing so rapidly, it’s now fairly simply to set up a system that will notify someone via cell phone whenever a fire alarm gets tripped. That way, someone from the facility knows and can decide whether to contact the fire department. All of this takes time and can cause a hassle when alarms go off at inconvenient times.

Another option is to set the alerts to go straight to a professional monitoring service. Professional services can monitor each alarm point 24/7, quickly evaluate whether or not to dispatch the fire department, and know the appropriate people to notify with the facility. This option is more suited for those who want assurance that their property and personnel will have the best response time possible. Advances in technology make this option affordable for most facilities as well. It comes down to a preference on how each building manager wants to handle it.

In addition to fire alarm system design, consider the following:

  • Lit exit signs
  • Clear, unobstructed paths to the exits
  • Maps by the primary doorways showing the best evacuation routes
  • Trained personnel who know who to contact in case of an emergency or false alarm

Each of these can further ensure everyone’s safety in case of a fire emergency.

No one expects a fire, much less wants one. But those who prepare ahead of time anyway stand the best chance of avoiding the damage a fire can cause. Taking an inventory of these considerations is a great start to that preparation.

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