What is a Fire detection system?

A fire detection system (sometimes called a fire alarm system) is a system of integrated fire detection devices controlled from a central control panel. Whilst smoke and heat detectors are effective at alerting people in the immediate vicinity of where the smoke is detected. Only a fire detection system will alert people throughout your entire building, giving them enough time to get to safety. The system can also be setup to summon emergency services and broadcast emergency evacuation messages.

The legal requirement in South Africa (SANS 10400) for all buildings that exceed 30m in height (approx. 10 floors), or contain any floor exceeding 5,000m2, to be equipped with a fire detection system. The system must also be designed, installed, and maintained by competent people (SANS 10139).

By investing in a fire detection system, you’re abiding by the law and can save your compamy and your employees from becoming another statistic 


Addressable & Conventional Systems

There are two types of fire detection systems available – addressable (see image on top) and conventional (see image on bottom).

Addressable systems monitor the specific location of each device (e.g. smoke detector, call point or sounder). It means if there’s a fire or another emergency, you know exactly where the problem is. This saves critical time and helps emergency services extinguish the fire quickly and prevent serious damage.

With a conventional system, you can only determine whether the problem is in a general area, so they are only suited for small sites.

Various Fire

Fire detection systems vary depending on the specific challenges faced by a business. At Intellisec we can design and install a bespoke system made up of the following items:

Smoke Alarms/ Smoke Detectors
Can operate independently or as part of a system. We offer a wide variety which include ionization, optical (also called photoelectric) and dual optical.

Call Points / Fire Boxes
They are manually operated buttons used to trigger the fire alarm.

Fire Panel
Controls and monitors the entire fire detection system from one location.

Heat Detectors
It’s an efficient device for detecting temperature increases caused by fires. Highly recommended for places with a lot of non-smoke gases e.g. car exhaust fumes and chemical fumes.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors
CO is a toxic gas that’s completely colourless, tasteless, and odourless. These detectors can save an employee or customer’s life.

Optical Beam Detection / Smoke Detection Beams
They can detect smoke in large areas and distinguish smoke from exhaust fumes and other chemicals. Recommended for underground car parks, garages, and chemical and petrochemical facilities.

Fire Alarm / Sounders / Bells / Sirens
Provide a quick audio alert to any fire outbreaks.

Legal Compliance

Please be aware that in accordance with South African regulations (SANS 10139:2012) your fire system must be serviced every 6 months. This is a compulsory; legal requirement and the service must be recorded in a log book and signed off by a certified fire technician. Failure to comply leaves the owner liable for prosecution in the event of a fire. It can also result in your insurance company refusing to settle any claim

All our fire-detection technicians are registered and fully certified by SAQCC, who recognise us as an authorised designer, installer, and servicer of fire-detection systems. This allows us to fully certify the systems – enabling our clients to remain fully compliant in terms of fire detection requirements from municipalities and insurance companies.

We have been awarded the grading of 6SF from the CIDB, meaning we’re capable of tendering on and successfully completing fire projects of a value of up to R20 million.

We have experience installing fire-detection systems in diverse industries and understand your specific requirements e.g. the systems we install at hospitals conform to SANS 322.

Gas Suppression System

Gas Suppression systems quickly extinguish all types of fire using a stable gas (either carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, helium or a combination).

They are used in areas where water and chemicals would likely cause damage and are specifically recommended for offices, server rooms, and art installations.

Fire Aspiration Stystem

Aspirating smoke detection is an accurate method of detecting smoke.

A fan draws air through a network of sampling pipes and delivers it to a sophisticated detector to test for the presence of smoke particles.

The detector is so accurate that it recognizes the existence of smoke particles suspended in the air before it’s visible.