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(Detector Electrical Circuits)
OBJECTIVE 1. To explain the fundamentals of detection, types of detectors electrical circuits function and operation. REFERENCE 2. a. b. Manual of Fireman ship Book 9. Fire College Notes.

CONTENTS 3. Basic Electrical Circuits. In practical situations it will be normal to have a number of detectors all connected to one or more indicator units. The basic electrical circuits used will depend upon whether the detectors are conducting or non-conducting in the non-alarms state. Simplified circuits for the two types are shown below. a. Closed Circuits. Heads normally conducting are connected in series. When a detector goes to the Alarm state the circuit is broken. This de -energies the relay and closes the alarm circuit contacts.

Series (Closed) Circuit b. This has the general advantage that any circuit fault will operate the alarm. It is therefore a self monitoring system. Because it is continuously drawing current its power consumption tends to be high. c. Open Circuit. Heads normally non-conducting and are connected in parallel. When a detector goes to the Alarm state a current flows in the detector circuit and energies the relay which then closes the alarm circuit.


Open Circuit d. Since no current flows until an alarm operates the power consumption is low. However the basic system is not self monitoring. e. Most AFD circuits employ a combination of open a closed circuit elements to secure the necessary monitoring together with low power consumption. Fig 2 shows a monitoring resistance connected in an open circuit system. 4. Indicator/Control Units (BS 3116 Part 4). The detectors may be used to operate sound, visual and external alarm system. It may also be necessary to have separate fault/alarm, of testing the system and resetting the system. These functions are performed by the Indicator/Control unit.

Control Unit 5. The control unit shown is connected to an open circuit detector system with a monitoring resistance. One an alarm/fault is indicated it will remain until the appropriate reset button is operated. The external alarm is signaled by reversing the polarity.


Combined Indicator/Control Unit with Zone and Sector Indication Fig 4 shows is in the form of a block diagram how control and indicating units are linked into the fire alarm system. 6. Fire Hazard Detection Situation. Strictly a fire detector can only operate after a fire has started. However it is better to consider all situations where appropriate detection equipment may help prevent a fire starting or developing. Listed below are seven such situations for which automatic detection devices have developed. a. Dangerous environment is developing but ignition has not yet taken place. b. Ignition has taken place and the material is generating invisible products of combustion. c. d. e. f. g. 7. Visible smoke is being produced. Visible flame is being produced. Temperature is rising at a dangerous rate. Temperature has reached a pre-determined danger figure. Heat generated is giving raise to lifting an oscillating thermal air current.

Detectors appropriate to each situation are described in subsequent paragraphs.