Less Wire and Fewer Battery Changes

SWIFT™ Wireless is now UL listed for a two year battery life! This is twice as long as the previous one year battery life listing. This is an exciting improvement for SWIFT™ Wireless as less batteries equals less service time and costs for you; therefore, making wireless a more competitive solution. In addition, replacing batteries during the annual service allows you to plan for the service versus unscheduled visits. If the service is missed, the Fire-Lite fire alarm control panel will provide an indication before the batteries need to be replaced.

When the time comes to replace the batteries, rest assured it’s easy to do. The CR123A or DL123A batteries are widely available and the process is quick:

  1.   Have 4 CR123A (or DL123A) batteries available.
  2.   The system allows 200 seconds to replace the batteries before the device is noted as missing and will activate the Rescue Mode within the wireless system.
  3.   Remove the detector from the base. Remove the faceplate from the module.
  4.   Open the battery compartment.
  5.   Remove the used batteries and replace with new batteries. The battery compartment is designed such that the batteries can only align in the appropriate direction.
  6.   Replace the battery compartment cover.
  7.   Return the device to its original location (if detector). Replace the faceplate (if module).

 

SWIFT™ Wireless has been used in a number of installations to protect people and property. To learn more about how SWIFT™ works, check out our product videos.

 

 

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.

Detector Placement Still Going Wrong

I was surprised to learn my short blog “Detector Placement Gone Seriously Wrong,” which posted in August of last year was the most viewed blog of 2014, garnering more than twice the number of views of any other post on FireLiteBlog.com.

Whether you liked it, disliked it or really didn’t care, I think the title alone caused many people within our industry to at least peek at what this particular blog had to say – and here’s why…

How many facilities, particularly residential buildings like apartments, assisted living and even nursing homes, have you walked into and seen:

  • No detectors?
  • Malfunctioning detectors?
  • Detectors placed in locations that won’t do a thing to give adequate warning to residents to evacuate before being overcome by smoke and fire?

Case-in-point, the horrific house fire that recently took the lives of seven innocent children in Brooklyn, NY, was found to have only one smoke detector, located on the basement level.

Now my rant about detector placement gone wrong was in reference to commercial facilities that have to adhere to some kind of code. However, this tragedy underlines my point – if codes and standards prescribe where detectors should be placed then, WHY ARE SO MANY OF US STILL SEEING THESE INSTANCES OF DETECTOR PLACEMENTS GONE WRONG?

Don’t people know there are lives and liabilities at stake? Are the requirements for placement hard to find or understand? I’m still seeing chatter and crazy photos of bad detector installs on industry forums and social media – probably more now than I’ve ever seen in the past thanks to our smart phone cameras.

So what’s the cause? This is a fundamental part of building code, is it not?

 

About the Author
Beth Welch is the Manager of Public Relations for Honeywell Fire Safety.  For a decade, she has strived to raise awareness of new technologies, industry trends and information, for the benefit of engineers, integrators and end users.

 

Detectors that are Sensitive to your Budget

In any Fire Alarm installation, smoke detectors play an important role in protecting life and property. This is why it is imperative to check the sensitivity on a smoke detector to ensure that it can respond to a fire in a timely manner.

NFPA 72 2013 edition indicates that smoke detectors sensitivity ratings should be checked after the first year being installed and then every other subsequent year thereafter using any of the following methods:

(1) Calibrated test method

(2) Manufacturer’s calibrated sensitivity test instrument

(3) Listed control equipment arranged for the purpose

(4) Smoke detector/fire alarm control unit arrangement whereby the detector causes a signal at the fire alarm control unit where its sensitivity is outside its listed sensitivity range

(5) Other calibrated sensitivity test methods approved by the authority having jurisdiction

 

There are numerous devices available to check the sensitivity of a smoke detector. Some test devices introduce simulated smoke into a detector to create an alarm condition. This test proves that the detector is still able to accurately respond to a fire condition. This process of “smoking” each detector can take hours and can easily add up in labor charges for mid size to larger installations.

Fire-Lite Alarms’ Addressable Fire Alarm Panels, including the MS-9200UDLS, offer the capability to test the sensitivity of each detector without even removing the detector from the base. If there is a problem with the detector, the panel will provide a trouble along with a maintenance alert message. This message indicates that the detector needs to be serviced. Also, the test data is stored in the Fire Alarm Control panel and can be retrieved and reviewed using PS-Tools Configuration Software. Running these reports periodically can save many labor hours spent testing a system, while meeting the NFPA 72 requirements for sensitivity testing on a Fire Alarm Control Panel.

 

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.

Temporary Fire Detection – An Untapped Opportunity

Among the dangers that exist in areas under construction, fires are one of the prevalent ones.  As I wrote about in my 2014 blog “Renovation Under Fire”, fire protection is important even in areas that are under construction.  Fires can originate from an electrical problem to a spark caused by construction equipment.  In addition to unoccupied areas of a building that are under construction, temporary locations are areas that also warrant protection.

Temporary facilities can have many uses, including school classrooms, construction sites, military installations, and temporary venues hosting public events. The market for these facilities seems to be a moderately growing opportunity these days. To properly protect these temporary facilities, the wiring infrastructure would have to be installed on a temporary basis in addition to the fire alarm system. This takes a considerable amount of time and expense as a permanent installation which may not be desirable considering the temporary use.

The prospect of protecting temporary facilities offers opportunities for dealers to offer a solution like SWIFT™ Wireless.  SWIFT™ Wireless can provide fire protection in areas not previously protected.  Since the detectors and modules are wireless, this saves on most of the wiring infrastructure required for this type of fire alarm system in these applications. In addition, the expense of a fire watch could be avoided in an area under construction when fire detection is used.  When the facility is no longer occupied, then the equipment can be easily removed.

SWIFT™ Wireless gives end users the flexibility of running their operations in these temporary applications while increasing safety for the people and property.  Dealers enjoy the increased business of protecting these new areas while decreasing installation time. In addition to temporary facilities, there are many for SWIFT™ Wireless.  Check out www.firelitewireless.com to learn more about SWIFT™ Wireless and how it can solve your installation challenges.  For valuable information on conducting a SWIFT™ site survey and other installation tips, view the SWIFT Wireless Tools & Techniques Webinar on-demand.

SWIFT Applications Display FL

 

 

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.

The Basics of SWIFT Wireless Installation

The basics of installing a SWIFTTM wireless system can be summed up in several easy steps.

1.  Site Survey:
A Site Survey allows you to determine if a site is suitable for a SWIFTTM installation. Two tests are performed during this process:
a)   Link Quality Test – this test will determine if wireless devices can communicate between areas at acceptable signal strengths.
b)  RF Scan Test – A Radio Frequency scan test is conducted to assess and measure the background noise and interference from other wireless systems if any, in the site.

When the Site Survey tests are completed, the results can be viewed using SWIFTTM Tools.

2.  Mesh Formation:
If it is determined that the site is suitable, SWIFTTM Tools makes it easy to form a mesh network of devices.
a)  Create a Profile and Mesh ID – A profile is used to bind the devices in a mesh network together. The profile will contain a Mesh ID that is used when forming the associations. All devices in a mesh network require a common profile.
b) Distribute Profile – Distribute the profile to every device that will be a part of the mesh. This will enable all the devices that have that profile to form associative links when the mesh is formed.
c)  Mesh Formation – SWIFTTM Tools makes this an easy task. One click of a button will start the mesh formation and initial restructuring.

Anyone wanting a more comprehensive view on how to install a SWIFTTM wireless system is encouraged to attend a Fire-Lite Academy.

 

About the Author
Tom Rosa oversees all Fire-Lite Alarms training programs as a Training Supervisor for Honeywell Fire Systems. With more than a decade of experience as a Fire-Lite trainer and the support of a strong team of experienced, NICET-certified trainers, Tom guides the content and methods by which the company educates Fire-Lite users throughout the United States and Caribbean.