One thing residential, commercial, and industrial properties cannot do without is an efficient fire alarm system. A fire alarm system consists of several fire safety equipment that work together to detect and notify people or the authorities of a fire or other emergency. Commercial building fire alarm systems, however, can be complex, especially those installed in high-rise establishments with many buildings and facilities that must be connected for mass notification.

Over the years and with the advancements in safety technology, fire alarm systems have become increasingly sophisticated. To help you understand all the components in a typical fire alarm system and get the most out of this technology, we’ve put together this brief guide.

What Are the Parts of a Fire Alarm System?

At a glance, a fire alarm system has five basic components:

  • Fire alarm initiating devices
  • Fire notification devices
  • Fire alarm control panel
  • Primary power supply
  • Backup power supply

But in detail, a fire alarm can have as many as the following fire safety equipment:

  • Fire alarm control panel
  • Initiation devices
  • Pull stations
  • Smoke detectors
  • Duct detectors
  • Heat detectors
  • Beam detectors
  • Air aspirating or air sampling smoke detectors
  • Water flow switches
  • Tamper switches
  • Notification devices
  • Audible devices
  • Strobes
  • Horns
  • Dialers or communicators
  • NAC power supplies

For your easy reference, we will only be talking about the five basic parts of a fire alarm system, namely: fire alarm control panel, initiating devices, notification devices, primary power supply, and backup power supply.

Fire Alarm Control Panel

The fire alarm control panel is the center of the entire fire alarm system. It is the hub that monitors the system, inputs, outputs and relays all information. When an initiating device is triggered, it sends a signal to the fire alarm control panel, which then triggers the notification devices or the alarm. All fire alarm control panels will display the status of the system with troubleshooting codes that will alert you about what needs to be done, like making manual adjustments like disabling an alarm or resetting the system after an issue.

Initiating Devices

Initiating devices are the equipment that activate the system in case of an emergency. These devices can either be manual or automatic.


A manual pull station is an example of a manual initiating device that requires someone to physically pull the lever, push a button, or break glass to manually initiate the alarm.


Automatic initiation devices include detection devices for smoke, gas, flame, and heat. Initiation devices can be either addressable or not addressable, with addressable devices signaling the exact location of the emergency.

Your fire alarm system provider can help you determine which type of initiation devices your establishment requires and where they should be located for maximum safety and code compliance.

Notification Devices

Notification devices notify all occupants of a building when there is a fire or emergency situation. These devices include strobe lights, horns, sirens, bells, or combination strobe and horns. They may also include audible notification such as specific instructions on how to safely evacuate a building. Mass notification systems can be programmed to deliver different messages for different events

Primary Power Supply

The primary power supply for a fire alarm system is typically either on a 120- or 240- Volt AC power source supplied by the building’s power company.

Backup Power Supply

A backup power supply ensures that the fire and life safety system can still operate in the event of a power outage. The backup power supply is usually powered by 6- or 12- Volt batteries to keep the system operational in case of power failure.

Looking for a fire alarm system company based in Las Vegas, Nevada? You’re on the right page, because here at Signal Fire, we provide a wide selection of fire alarms for properties like apartment complexes, and larger commercial spaces in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ready to Protect Your Home?

If you own or live in an apartment complex in Las Vegas, Nevada, it’s important to have safeguards in place in case something untoward happens to ensure your safety. One of these safeguards is installing fire alarms in your Las Vegas home.

If you’re looking to purchase a fire alarm for your Las Vegas-area commercial business or apartments complex, look no further than Signal Fire, Inc. We are a fire safety company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. What sets us apart from other fire alarm retailers is our commitment to providing a wide selection of fire alarms for properties like apartment complexes, and larger commercial spaces. More specifically, we regularly outfit schools, hospitals, industrial buildings, and hotels with fire alarm systems.

When you hire us for your fire alarm system needs, we will immediately do a full inspection of your current fire alarm system. We will conduct an onsite assessment, reviewing maintenance and warranty records, and a variety of other tests that will determine whether your fire alarm system is in good condition or if it needs to be replaced or repaired. Interested in the services we offer? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (702) 745-8306 today.