With the advent of the internet and networked devices, several electronic appliances have the capability to connect to other devices. This type of interconnection between several devices is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT has now found its way into commercial and home security and alarm systems too.
The fire alarm system must be connected to the control panel. This can be done with the help of wires or wirelessly. Wired connections are avoided since they can be seen as protrusions along walls and look messy. Making any form of modifications also would become a challenge, since it will require rewiring of the entire structure.
Wireless systems, on the other hand, only suffer from having a smaller range. In the case of a home fire alarm system, the range is small enough that it does not matter too much. IN case of organizations covering a vast area, the use of repeaters helps solve the problem.
Initially, communication experts found it challenging to come up with a protocol that could efficiently transmit data wirelessly. Once the gap was bridged, however, the way for cheap and robust communication modules was paved. Modules such as Zigbee, which use the IEEE 802.15.4 specification to achieve error-free transmission of data, for less than 30 USD.
Communication modules relay the information from an alarm system to a control panel. The control panel can be used to monitor these fire alarms and send certain control signals to them. In the case of a fire, it sends a message to a siren. The siren again can be connected wirelessly. It too would require a communication module to be controlled wirelessly.
No need to worry about wiring
Easy to install and access
Easy to modify or add new devices to the network
Ability to control and monitor the system wirelessly
Generally, more expensive compared to their wired counterparts
Physical interference such as objects and walls and Interference from other networks can also curtail the range
Easier for troublemakers gain access to control panel by hacking the network
Smaller range as compared to wired systems