NFPA 72 classifies fire alarm systems as follows.
HOUSEHOLD FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system of devices that produces an alarm signal in the household for the purpose of notifying the occupants of the presence of fire so that they will evacuate the premises.
PROTECTED PREMISES (LOCAL) FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system that sounds an alarm at the protected premises as the result of the manual operation of a fire alarm box or the operation of protection equipment or systems, such as water flowing in a sprinkler system, the discharge of carbon dioxide, the detection of smoke, or the detection of heat.
AUXILIARY FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system connected to a municipal fire alarm system for transmitting an alarm of fire to the public fire service communications center.
Fire alarms from an auxiliary fire alarm system are received at the public fire service communications center on the same equipment and by the same methods as alarms transmitted manually from municipal fire alarm boxes located on streets. There are three subtypes of this system; local energy, parallel telephone, and shunt.
REMOTE SUPERVISING STATION FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system installed in accordance with NFPA 72 to transmit alarm, supervisory, and trouble signals from one or more protected premises to a remote location at which appropriate action is taken.
PROPRIETARY SUPERVISING STATION FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
An installation of fire alarm systems that serves contiguous and noncontiguous properties, under one ownership, from a proprietary supervising station located at the protected property, at which trained, competent personnel are in constant attendance.
This includes the proprietary supervising station; power supplies; signal-initiating devices; initiating device circuits; signal notification appliances; equipment for the automatic, permanent visual recording of signals; and equipment for initiating the operation of emergency building control services.
CENTRAL STATION FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system or group of systems in which the operations of circuits and devices are transmitted automatically to, recorded in, maintained by, and supervised from a listed central station having competent and experienced servers and operators who, upon receipt of a signal, take action as required by NFPA 72.
Such service is to be controlled and operated by a person, firm, or corporation whose business is the furnishing, maintaining, or monitoring of supervised fire alarm systems.
MUNICIPAL FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system of alarm-initiating devices, receiving equipment, and connecting circuits (other than a public telephone network) used to transmit alarms from street locations to the public fire service communications center.