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Overview of Fire Alarm and Detection Systems

COURSE NO: E04-021
Overview of Fire Alarm and Detection Systems
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides an overview of the major components which make up a fire alarm system.


A key aspect of fire detection and alarm system is to identify a developing fire emergency in a timely manner, and to alert the building's occupants and fire emergency organizations. Depending on the anticipated fire scenario, building and use type, number of occupants and criticality of contents and mission, these systems can provide several main functions. First they provide a means to identify a developing fire either through manual or automatic means and second, they alert building occupants to a fire condition and the need to evacuate. The system can be designed to simultaneously alert the fire department or other emergency response organization by means of direct or relayed alarm notification signals. In addition to the alarm function, fire alarm and detection systems can also actuate other fire safety measures in a building.


The US Fire Administration says "Don't Forget the Smoke Alarms". Even though fire sprinklers are effective life safety devices, you still need smoke alarms. Some fires can begin as smoldering fires that produce smoke and gases but don't generate enough heat to activate the sprinklers. Smoke alarms are needed to provide warning for these situations.


This 4 PDH online course is applicable architects, building designers, electrical engineers, loss prevention professionals, contractors, civil estimators, HSE staff, facility managers, students, and general audience interesting in learning more about fire alarm and detection systems.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding the reasons for installing the fire alarm system
  • Learning the relevant design standards
  • Learning about the various type of smoke & heat detectors
  • Understanding the type of alarm technology to be used
  • Ability to select and position relevant system components
  • Understanding the alarm notification arrangements (audible alarms, visual alerts and communication systems, etc.)
  • Understanding the auxiliary and emergency control features associated with fire alarm system
  • Reviewing the design such as to minimize the potential for false alarms
  • Learning few relevant definitions
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the document titled "Overview of Fire Alarm and Detection Systems".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Overview of Fire Alarm and Detection Systems (355 KB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of twenty (20) questions to earn 4 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: