High Rise Security Systems

Commercial Fire Alarm System

Fire detection systems are designed with one main purpose, to save lives when fire strikes and every second counts. Fire and life safety systems are designed to instantly alert occupants and dispatch emergency personnel. In addition to early detection and warning, evacuation procedures should be clearly understood to quickly exit a dangerous situation. Reliable commercial fire detection systems should be the main concern of business owners to protect their occupants and property.
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Chicago Fire Detection Systems

High Rise Security Systems, HRSS, caters to commercial properties in and around Chicago with different types of fire alarm systems designed specifically for your needs. Our highly specialized team offers decades of expertise in providing rapid fire detection and protection for your employees, visitors, and your property. Our comprehensive services include fire and life safety consultation, fire alarm system equipment, design, testing, inspection, maintenance, and monitoring 24/7 365 days a year for your total peace of mind.

Components of Commercial Fire Detection Systems

Commercial fire detection systems can be complex and are a critical factor in building design. Providing fire and life safety protection to high-rise buildings and multi-complex campuses such as hotels and hospitals requires an expertise of all fire safety equipment and applicable code regulations. The most important components in fire alarm systems for businesses includes:

  • Initiating devices
  • Notification devices
  • Fire alarm Control Panel(s)
  • Primary and backup power supply
  • Remote control and building safety interface

Initiating Devices

Fire detection initiating devices are defined as either manual or automatic devices that initiate a response from people and equipment, according to NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®. Initiating devices detect possible fire, smoke, or gas and activate the alarm by sending a signal to the fire alarm control panel, which sounds the alarm and calls for emergency response.

Initiating devices can be either manual such as a manual pull station, or automatic. Automatic initiating devices include:

How to Evaluate the Total Cost of Your Fire Alarm System

    • Smoke detectors – smoke detectors provide early detection of a fire since fires produce smoke prior to becoming fully developed out of control, engulfing flames. Smoke detectors are a critical component in fire detection systems, often alerting of a fire prior to the heat of a fire initiating heat detectors and sprinklers.

      Two types of smoke detectors include photoelectric and ionization. Photoelectric smoke detectors use the light to detect smoke either with light scattering or light obscuration. The light scattering method senses when light is not detected under normal conditions due to smoke causing light to scatter or reflect on a sensor. Ionization smoke detectors initiate an alarm when smoke infiltrates a chamber with ionized air and reduces the airflow current.

      Smoke detectors can be mounted in the air ducts of a building to shut down all of the fan motors and vents if smoke is detected. This prevents the smoke from flowing throughout the building.


    • Heat detectors – heat detectors have been used to detect fires for many years and are reliable although often slow to react. There are different types of heat detectors such as fixed rate which are programmed to alert when the temperature reaches a predetermined level. The problem with this is that a fire can grow prior to activating a fixed-rate heat detector device.

      A rate-of-rise heat detector will initiate the response when the temperature rises rapidly in a short period of time such as a 15° increase in one minute or less. Heat detectors are still an important part of fire detection systems although should be used in addition to other initiating devices.


    • Gas detection systems – gas detection systems activate the alarm when they sense a harmful presence of gas in any given area. Just like smoke detectors, these can be programmed to shut down HVAC systems to prevent the spread of toxic fumes.


  • Sprinkler water flow switches – these devices are located inside the fire alarm sprinkler system and are programmed to sense the flow of water activity when the sprinkler has been activated to signal the fire alarm control panel and initiate a response.

Sophisticated fire alarm equipment technology includes smart devices with extremely sensitive elements that minimize false alarms and provide early warning to occupants. Fire alarm initiating devices have saved countless lives.

Notification Devices

Notification devices include visual alerts such as flashing lights and audible alarms including customized voice messages to help occupants with a safe and quick evacuation. Emergency voice alarm communications can provide notification with prerecorded messages or real-time voice overrides for specific emergency and evacuation announcements.

HRSS can help you determine the best notification devices for your building type and design with experience in all applicable fire and life safety codes. We go above and beyond compliance to code regulations and provide the best fire detection system design to meet your needs whether protecting small businesses in low-rise structures, high-rise hotels, or sprawling campuses with multiple high-rise buildings.

Different Types of Fire Detection Systems

Fire Alarm Control Panels

There are two different types of fire alarm control panels, conventional and addressable. Conventional fire alarm systems have one single control panel with multiple devices connected to it. When a device initiates an alarm, the signal is sent to the fire alarm control panel although there is no way to determine the origination of the signal. Conventional fire alarm control panels are better suited for smaller buildings with minimal coverage areas.

Addressable fire alarm control panels are ideal for larger facilities as initiating devices have unique identifiers which makes it easier to locate the origination of the alarm. Addressable fire alarm control panels can pinpoint the exact floor of a high-rise building and location that triggered the alarm.

Proprietary vs. Non Proprietary

Proprietary fire alarm systems give building owners the least amount of flexibility with parts and programming required from a single source. Proprietary systems require an ongoing relationship with your fire alarm provider and can be more expensive when upgrades or expansions are required.

Non proprietary fire detection systems allow for the most flexibility with more options for replacement parts, service, and technology upgrades. With a nonproprietary system, building owners are not locked into one service provider.

Customized Fire Detection Systems

High Rise Security Systems offers commercial fire detection systems with local service to businesses in and around Chicago. We offer flexible installations with non proprietary fire alarm systems where each component including initiating devices, notification devices, and control panels are customized to meet the specific needs of your business and facility. You can have confidence in our decades of experience and NICET certified technicians.

HRSS is a leading provider of commercial fire and life safety systems in the Chicagoland area. We offer comprehensive services including UL listed equipment from the best names in fire alarm safety. Contact us to speak with a fire safety specialist about protecting your commercial property with a customized fire detection system.

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