What are Conventional Fire Alarms?


We at OHEAP have been in the fire safety industry for over 50 years. Additionally, we understand the importance of a fire safety system when protecting our employees within the premises.

Many business owners have limited knowledge of fire alarms and it can be confusing knowing which product to purchase. What are conventional fire alarms?

We have compiled a range of blogs to aid in your decision-making process. Therefore, without further ado, let’s discuss conventional fire alarms.

The Basics: What is a Conventional Fire Alarm?

Simply, a conventional fire alarm system is a wired fire alarm system. However, this fire alarm system uses single legs of cable from the main fire alarm panel to each zone. Each leg of cable is noted as either a zone or sounder circuit. These zones will typically hold multiple detectors and call points. Once one detector in that zone is triggered, all within that zone ONLY will sound.

Conventional Fire Alarm Wiring Diagram

Conventional Fire Alarm System

Addressable Fire Alarm Wiring Diagram

addressable fire alarm systems

How Does a Conventional Fire Alarm System Work?

As previously mentioned, the conventional system is made using single legs of wiring. Due to the simplicity of this system, there are a few restrictions.

For example, if a fire did occur, then the conventional fire alarm panel would indicate the fault/fire zone as any other system would. However, it would not give a precise location of where this was occurring.

Addressable fire alarm systems are capable of identifying exactly where the fire is occurring through the use of digital address labels.

Benefits of a Conventional Fire Alarm System

Conventional systems are very basic in their electronic build and this works especially well for smaller buildings. With their simplistic approach, conventional systems are often much more affordable. In larger buildings this system may fall short just due to the fact there is more cabling required and faults are only shown in zones which could be a large area.

Some of the major benefits of a conventional fire alarms include:

  • Low cost.
  • Simple to use.
  • Ideal for use in small buildings.
conventional fire alarm panels

Businesses That Require Conventional Fire Alarms

Businesses that are low-risk environments or that are smaller premises are able to utilise a conventional fire alarm system. If a fire is detected in your business the alarm panel displays the activated heat or smoke detector or manual call point with an LED. Basic information is shown on the panel as to where the alarm has been triggered.
The cheaper price of conventional fire alarms means that these systems are far more ideal than addressable systems for smaller projects such as shops, small offices and small schools.


Although a conventional system uses separate radial circuits for both detectors and sounders resulting in, more often than not, a higher installation cost than an addressable system, because of their basic electronics, the build cost is less. The cheaper cost to manufacture the equipment makes it less expensive for the buyer.

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