Analogue vs Digital Addressable Fire Alarm Systems

Difference between analogue and digital addressable fire alarm systems

Fire alarm systems are a first line of defence against the threat to life and property posed by fire and smoke. Properly configured fire alarm systems give you early warning of fire or smoke, allowing you to ensure a timely response. In this article we explore digital addressable fire alarm systems and why they might be a good option for you.

Fire alarm systems come in a range of options suitable for different settings and requirements. One choice is between analogue and digital addressable fire alarm systems.

What is the difference between an analogue fire alarm system and a digital addressable system and when might one be preferable to the other?

What is an analogue fire alarm system?

An analogue fire system divides the protected area into zones. Detectors and call zones are placed in these zones and when one is triggered, the system will identify the zone affected but it cannot pinpoint the specific device.

What is a digital addressable fire alarm system?

A digital addressable fire alarm system can provide a greater degree of precision in locating the source of fire and smoke in the building. Each device, such as a manual call point, smoke or heat detector is assigned a unique address. When one of these devices is activated, the system identifies that device and its precise location. This degree of information results in a fast response time and can reduce false alarms.

Analogue vs digital addressable fire alarm system: Which is better?

Analogue and digital addressable fire alarm systems each have a range of advantages and each may be more appropriate for different installations.

An analogue fire alarm system provides an efficient and cost-effective solution. With zone-based identification, analogue fire alarm systems have been providing front-line protection against fires for decades and have a track record of reliability. They can be particularly suitable for smaller buildings with simple layouts where it is relatively easy to identify the location of fire or smoke. However, it’s important to remember that they do lack precision when compared to a digital addressable fire alarm system. They will only identify the affected zone which can result in a higher rate of false alarms.

A digital addressable fire alarm system enables more precision when it comes to device identification. This makes troubleshooting simpler, reducing the risk of false alarms. They also provide greater scalability and can be more effectively integrated with other systems. For this reason, digital addressable fire alarm systems will usually be preferred in larger properties with more complex layouts.

Because of the extra functionality as well as increased complexity in design and installation, digital addressable fire alarm systems come with a higher initial cost.

The best fire alarm system for your building from Protive Security & Surveillance

At Protive, we provide a comprehensive fire alarm system installation and maintenance service for residential and commercial properties. We can advise about the best choice of system for your property, and then design and install that system to the highest professional standards.

 Contact our experienced team for further advice and to receive an accurate quotation.