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How do Fire Alarms Differ Between Residential and Commercial Buildings?

How do Fire Alarms Differ Between Residential and Commercial Buildings?

When it comes to fire safety and prevention, fire alarms are an absolute must!

Let’s cover some of the notable differences in fire safety when it comes to residential and commercial buildings. Although they both come down to keeping inhabitants safe, they have different requirements. Check out the differences below!


Residential properties are those defined as covered places where people live, including houses, single-story dwellings, and apartment buildings. Residential properties typically use one of two types of smoke detectors: photoelectric or ionization. In your home, your smoke detector will be powered by batteries that you are responsible for changing, periodically. In rental properties, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that there are smoke alarms on site that run off the mains and that each rental unit has a well-maintained smoke or heat alarm. Residential smoke and heat alarms should regularly be tested, usually by pressing the button right on the device. There are even alarm systems that provide remote monitoring that will provide extra support by automatically notifying the local fire company of the emergency. A significant difference between residential and commercial fire alarm systems is the size. Where residential smoke or heat alarms tend to be small in size and simple in operation, commercial buildings usually need a much more sophisticated and connected network of alarms to ensure that the building is covered.


Commercial properties are those buildings that are used to generate profits, including office buildings, industrial sites, retail centers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. As they vary significantly in size, layout, structure, and use, it’s essential that the fire alarm system is positioned and sized to ensure that the entire site is protected. In addition to detectors, the added factor of installing call points is important so that emergency situations can be reported as soon as possible. The different types of commercial systems include wireless or radio alarms, and VESDA and voice alarms with built-in public-address systems. Wireless or radio alarms have the advantage of covering large areas, VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus) samples air and constantly looks for smoke, public-address systems send direct communication to everyone in the building. There are legal guidelines in commercial properties pertaining to the installation, placement, testing, and maintenance of fire alarms.   

Commercial and Residential Fire Protection from Biles Fire Protection

Biles Fire Protection can help with all of your residential or commercial fire safety needs. We have the equipment and expertise to install wet sprinkler systems or dry sprinkler systems at affordable prices. We are well known for our top-notch customer service, quick response times, and reliable support and maintenance. To get a quote for your sprinkler system, fill out our online request form. For more information and to chat about how we can help meet your fire safety needs, visit us online or give us a call at (443) 701-8330. To get more fire safety tips and information, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.


This entry was posted on Friday, January 12th, 2018 at 8:42 am . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.