Smoke Alarm versus Smoke Detector

Recently we received a LinkedIn comment about our wireless wirelesssolution, SWIFT™, meeting IBC requirements for Smoke Alarms. This is a great topic to talk about differences in Smoke Alarms and Smoke Detectors and the latest International Building Code (IBC) requirements.

As defined by the IBC, a smoke alarm is “a single- or multiple-station alarm responsive to smoke and not connected to a system”. This is a requirement in one- and two-family dwellings and occupancies designated as Groups R-2, R-3, R-4, and I-1. Smoke alarms are generally not connected to a Fire Alarm Control Panel and they are powered by AC and/or from an integral battery. Examples of a smoke alarm solution would be a 120V and/or a battery-operated smoke detector that is typically used in residential applications and complies with UL 217.

Alternatively, there are smoke detectors that are connected to a Fire Alarm Control Panel via wired and wireless means. The standard that is most common for Fire Alarm Control Panels is UL 864 (Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems). UL 864 covers fire alarm control panels, like the MS-9200UDLS, and various products and accessories. The same standard covers the new Fire-Lite SWIFT Wireless gateway and associated products. In addition to UL 864, the standard that covers smoke detectors is UL 268 (Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems).

As SWIFT Wireless detectors are classified as a smoke detector and are covered under UL 268, SWIFT can also be used in these applications. In fact, IBC 2015 explicitly allows “Smoke detectors listed in accordance with UL 268 and provided as part of the building fire alarm system shall be an acceptable alternative…”*.

We are excited to see many applications and approved uses for SWIFT Wireless!

*IBC 2015 – Section 907.2.11.7

 

About the Author
Richard Conner is the Director of Marketing for Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight and Honeywell Power. Richard joined Honeywell in 2002 and has over 15 years of experience in the fire alarm industry in Marketing, Engineering, and Product Support positions. Richard is responsible for developing brand strategy and marketing programs for all brands.

Why is Fire Alarm Strobe Synchronization so Important?

According to the Epilepsy Foundation’s website, 1 in 26 people in the United States will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. The purpose of synchronization is to ensure that the fire alarm system visible signals do not cause a photosensitive epileptic to initiate a seizure.

NFPA 72 – 1996 edition and later editions stipulate that strobe synchronization shall comply with Americans with Disabilities Act. Consequently, the NFPA code requires that the strobes are to be synchronized when more than one is visible from any field of view. The manner in which fire alarm systems accomplish this is through strobe synchronization.

What is strobe synchronization? It is a protocol that is used on a notification appliance circuit (NAC) to allow the strobes to flash in “sync”. Today, most Fire Alarm Control Panels and NAC Power Supplies have Built-in Strobe Synchronization protocols.

Visit our website to learn more about the Built-in Strobe Synchronization protocols feature in the Conventional fire alarm panels and Addressable fire alarm panels. Also, view one of our pre-recorded webinars on NAC Strobe Sync.

 

About the Author
Bill Brosig is a Channel Product Manager for Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight and Honeywell Power with more than 25 years in the Life Safety business and a NICET IV certification. Bill focuses on the customer experience surrounding current offerings and new product applications.

How Do I Meet Low Frequency Requirements Using Voice Systems? (Part 4 of 4)

In my previous blog, we talked about the products offered by System Sensor for low frequency applications, but how can you incorporate the low frequency devices using a voice system?

Most high-rise lodging applications and R-2 occupancies, such as hotels and college dormitories, require the use of voice systems to manage the evacuation of occupants. For the majority of the low frequency discussion, the product solutions in mind have been stand alone notification appliances.

What do you do when you are required to put a voice system in the sleeping space?  Can you play an audio file that can comply with the low frequency requirement?   

The answer is yes, but you have to ensure it is UL listed as compatible system to the low frequency requirements defined in UL 464.

Why is this required for fire alarm or ECS control panels since they come with a wide variety of pre-programmed sound files that do not require compatibility?

The answer can be found in the details of the low frequency requirements as defined per UL 464. Speakers are just passive devices; they just turn on or off depending on the activation of the system and operate listed frequency ranges. A sound file goes through processing as it goes through the amplifier and out of the speaker. UL requires verification that the signal coming out of the speaker complies with the low frequency performance requirements just as a standalone low frequency device.

Fire-Lite’s ECC-50/100 is now UL listed with select System Sensor Speakers and Speaker Strobes to produce the low frequency tones for Voice Evacuation or Emergency Communications. These messages can easily be downloaded to the Control panel with our Audio programming utility.

Be sure to visit the Fire-Lite Blog for the entire 4 part series and MORE!

 

About the Author
Rebecca Peterson is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for the AV business unit of System Sensor. Rebecca has been with System Sensor for 13 years and her primary focus on new product development and voice of the customer on products that customers need and want.

 

What is an Isolator Module for an SLC Loop?

An Isolator Module automatically isolates wire-to-wire short circuits on a signaling line circuit (SLC) loop. The isolator module also limits the number of modules or detectors that may be rendered inoperative by a short circuit fault on the SLC Loop. If a wire-to-wire short occurs, the isolator module automatically creates and open-circuit (disconnect) the SLC loop. When the short circuit condition is corrected, the isolator module automatically reconnects the isolated section of the SLC loop.

NFPA 72, 2013 Edition, Chapter 23: Protected premises fire alarm systems a requirement was added in paragraph 23.6.1 that limits the maximum number of addressable devices (50) that can be out of service due to a single fault on a pathway. This will require more diligence in system layout and the potential use of isolation modules to limit the number of devices that could be affected by a single fault.

Fire-Lite Alarms offers I300 module (one circuit) and newly rISO-6 Moduleeleased ISO-6 Six Isolator Module (six circuits). The I300 and ISO-6 Fault Isolator Module is used with Fire-Lite’s addressable fire alarm control panels (FACPs) to protect the system against wire-to-wire short circuits on the SLC loop.

Don’t forget, Fire-Lite Alarms is here to help you in your endeavor! Fire-Lite Alarms has 60 years in the business, is the leader in non-proprietary, and has great tools to help you learn about the products. Visit our website to learn more about I300 module and newly released ISO-6 Six Isolator Module.

*In Canada?  You can check out the ISO-6A model!

 

About the Author
Bill Brosig is a Channel Product Manager for Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight and Honeywell Power with more than 25 years in the Life Safety business and a NICET IV certification. Bill focuses on the customer experience surrounding current offerings and new product applications.

 

 

 

Low Frequency Product Solutions to Meet Your Needs (Part 3 of 4)

Did you know System Sensor offers a wide variety of product solutions to meet your low frequency applications?

Low Freq Family Accessories

Low Frequency Sounders and Sounder Strobes
Like the entire SpectrAlert Advance product line, the low frequency sounder and sounder strobe devices include a variety of features that increases their application versatility while simplifying installation. Enabled with our System Sensor synchronization protocol you can interconnect them with our non-low frequency sounders to provide synchronization throughout the notification zone.

These devices were designed to easily integrate into new or existing panel’s notification appliance circuit (NAC) line and provide the required audibility and square wave tone, low frequency requirements needed to awaken individuals. They are UL listed as low frequency (520Hz) notification appliances.

The low frequency (520Hz) sounders come with three field selectable tones (T3, continuous, coded) and are compatible with 12 and 24 VDC/FWR Systems. Model Numbers are HR-LF and HW-LF.

The low frequency (520Hz) sounder strobe features our high-candela range: 135, 150,177, and 185 cd, it comes with two field selectable tones (T3 and continuous) and is compatible with 24 VDC/FWR systems. Model Numbers are P2RH-LF and P2WH-LF.

Low Frequency Sounder Bases
The B200SR-LF low frequency sounder base, with its attractive aesthetics is ideal for applications where appearance is critical. For example, the sounder base employs a separate mounting plate that installs to various junction box sizes to eliminate unsightly surface-mount boxes. In addition the mounting plate is locked in position with two retaining screws, which is covered by installed sensor head for added tamper resistance.

The low frequency (520Hz) sounder base features with field selectable tones (T3 and continuous) and is compatible with 24 VDC/FWR systems.

To learn more about System Sensor low frequency (520Hz) product solutions visit our website.

Want more? Check out part one and part two of this series.

Stay tuned for part four!


About the Author
Rebecca Peterson is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for the AV business unit of System Sensor. Rebecca has been with System Sensor for 13 years and her primary focus on new product development and voice of the customer on products that customers need and want.

 

Transform the Fire Panel to Meet Your Power Requirements

Since there is no such thing as a typical Fire Alarm System installation, trying to plan for every possible scenario can be difficult. Sometimes one of the more complex tasks can be trying to assess the amount of power required for a job. Even though there are many free tools offered to make this easier (such as Fire-Lite’s Lite-Configurator software) it still does not eliminate the possibility of more horn strobes or other devices being required at the end of the job. This could be a result of insufficient audibility / visibility or conflicting interpretations of the code.

This scenario can run the risk of delaying a project and pose a risk to the budget if the fire alarm control panel does not have available power to support the additional devices. In this case, the installer may need to add a NAC extender power supply. The equipment coupled with the additional labor poses a challenge to meeting the original budget.

To solve this problem, fire panel manufacturers have already recognized the need for expandable power to help insta??????????llers plan for the unexpected. Fire Alarm solutions, such as Fire-Lite Alarms MS-9200UDLS, provide expandable power options for installations where more devices might be required. If more power is required, upgrading the panel from 3 Amps to 6 Amps is as simple installing the XRM-24B accessory into the panel. If 6 amps of panel power is still not enough, Fire-Lite Alarms offers a variety of NAC Extender power supplies such as the FCPS-24FS6, 6 Amp power supply to meet the needs of every job’s power requirements.

 

About the Author
Ken Gentile is a Product Manager for Fire-Lite Alarms and Honeywell Power. Using his more than 15 years of marketing and engineering experience, Ken’s primary focus lies in the development of new products.

 

 

How Will Low Frequency Requirements Impact Me? (Part 2 of 4)

In this next blog we want to review what the low frequency requirements impact the design of the system.  (If you missed part one, click here)

Keeping people and property safe are the primary reasons we are in the life safety industry. However, when new solutions are found to protect the greater good, the impact to the design Keep In Mindmay be forgotten.

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind about designing low frequency systems:

In order for manufacturers to meet low frequency requirements, they will use speaker elements in their design. Speakers, by nature, draw more energy and are less efficient than a traditional piezo element. Don’t be surprised when you look at the datasheets and find the current draw is 2X or 3X more than the non-low frequency products. New designs require more power supplies with fewer devices on each notification circuit line.

While the lower frequency tone is more effective at waking individuals, the produced audibility is not as high as traditional notification devices. If you have higher audibility requirements or larger spaces to cover, you may find that one device will not be enough for the same area as a traditional notification device.

To learn more about the low frequency design and installation considerations visit our archived System Sensor webinar.

Be sure to check back on the Fire-Lite Blog for the next part of this series!

 

About the Author
Rebecca Peterson is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager for the AV business unit of System Sensor. Rebecca has been with System Sensor for 13 years and her primary focus on new product development and voice of the customer on products that customers need and want.