There are two types of fire alarm systems:
For smaller builds.
Conventional fire detection system
Conventional fire systems revolve around dividing the building into a number of areas called zones. Detectors and call points within each zone are then wired on a dedicated separate circuit.
If a detector or call point is triggered, the panel can identify which circuit contains the triggered device and thereby indicate which zone the fire alarm has come from. The indicated zone can then be manually searched to locate the triggered device.
For medium to large builds.
Addressable fire detection system
Addressable fire systems overcome the limitations of conventional ones as each fire detector or call point is electronically coded with a unique 'address' programmed into the device during installation.
The control panel uses a unique address to communicate with the connected addressable devices. Interrogating each device can determine its status, if it's working correctly and the amount of smoke/heat that it's currently sensing, pinpointing exactly which device is being triggered in an alarm or fault status.
What is a Fire Alarm System?