Rundown of Primary Fire Protection Terms You Need to Know


Keeping your staff safe in the event of a fire is your first priority, with protecting the business a close second. Electrical fires can quickly spin out of control, and you can easily make the situation much worse unless you know how to handle this particular type of blaze long enough for everyone to get to safety. Older buildings are particularly prone to electrical fires as the wiring can degrade over time. Many years of hard use can cause outlets to become loose and wiring to lose some of the outside protective covering, which can cause sparks. When something nearby ignites, an electrical fire can grow quickly. Here are safety tips that will help minimize the possibility of this type of damaging fire.

Every business has its own standard terminology, and when you don’t know the language it can make you feel as though you are on the outside looking in. Fire protection and prevention is no different, with a full glossary of terms available from the National Fire Protection Association. Don’t want to go through the full list of fire terms? Here’s a quick breakdown of the most important terms that you need to know to keep your business safe from fires. 

Components of Fire Alarm Systems

Fire alarm systems can contain a variety of different components that are targeted to providing notifications to building occupants or fire protection teams in the event of an emergency. A fire alarm system is often made up of:


  • Alarm system with control panels, produces the audio or visual “alarms”
  • Signaling system output device
  • Device that provides identification of its unique location, also called an addressable device 
  • Sensors or detectors that respond to heat or smoke caused by fire
  • Detectors placed in your HVAC ducts to detect the location of any smoke in your building


Each of these components work together in a simple fire alarm system to quickly spread the word and get people to safety. 

Types of Fire Suppression Systems

Receiving an alert that there is a fire is only the first step in a comprehensive fire protection solution for your business. Now that the occupants of your buildings and firefighters have been notified there’s a problem, your fire suppression systems step up to the plate. At a high level, there are several different types of fire suppression systems:


  • Portable fire extinguishers and cabinets. Fire extinguishers can range in size and area coverage, but should be clearly marked and easily accessible. Fire extinguisher cabinets help cover a broader area for industrial use, too. 
  • Industrial fire systems. Providing support for your business starts with a full evaluation of where you currently are. Industrial fire systems can include everything from integrated notifications to sub-segments of your audience to sprinklers and other fire suppression equipment. 
  • Restaurant fire-suppression systems. Restaurants offer specific challenges when it comes to fires — grease fires spread quickly and may not respond well to traditional fire protection methods. Fire suppression for restaurants could include shutting down power and fuel to appliances or activating pressurized suppression agents. 
  • Fire sprinklers. While water-based sprinkler systems may be what immediately comes to mind, there are plenty of other options that won’t be as damaging to paper or sensitive electronics in a business setting. 


Expanding Your Fire Protection Vocabulary

There are a few bonus terms that will help you better understand the wide wealth of resources available to businesses. If you hear these acronyms, here’s what they mean:


  • EMT. Emergency Medical Technician.
  • IDHL. Immediate Danger to Life and Health.
  • NFIRS. National Fire Incident Reporting System. 
  • PASS. Personal Alert Safety System. 
  • PPE. Personal Protection Equipment. 
  • SCBA. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (not just for underwater use!)


Finding the right solution for your business means taking the time to work closely with your team to fully define the needs, understand the current building codes and the latest solutions in superior fire protection. When you want to ensure that your business, staff members and customers are safe from the dangers posed by fire, contact the professionals at AAA Fire Protection today at 855-356-0020 to learn more or receive a free initial estimate for your business.

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