Category Archives: Richard Conner

Answers to Your Fiber Optic Questions

Fiber-optic cable is used in many industries, like Telecommunications, Video, and Fire Alarm. In Fire, for example, connections are made between the fire alarm control panels via fiber to avoid the troubles associated with running copper underground between buildings.

As the use of fiber becomes more prevalent in the Fire Alarm industry, there are many questions about different fiber specifications, power budgeting, termination, and product listings. In July 2015, we answered many of those fiber questions during our webinar, Myth Busting Fiber – Part II. You may view the entire webinar by clicking here.

To learn more about fiber and solutions that utilize fiber, please visit www.firelite.com.

 

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.

Wireless Technology Recognized in NFPA 72

A common question that arises regarding new technology in the fire industry is “Is it covered by NFPA 72”? In an industry that is highly regulated, there is always a concern about new technology. The quick answer for wireless fire alarm technology is YES! Wireless technology can solve installation challenges due to building construction, aesthetics, and hazardous materials. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) covers wireless in fire alarm technology in the 2007, 2010, and 2013 editions.

NFPA 72 2010 and 2013 cover wireless solutions for fire alarm in 9435s13Chapter 23.  Chapter 23.18 in the 2010 edition and Chapter 23.16 in the 2013 edition are titled “Special Requirements for Low-Power Radio (Wireless) Systems”. This chapter contains listing requirements, power supplies, alarm signals, and more; all specific for wireless systems. The Fire-Lite Alarms’ wireless solution, SWIFT Wireless, uses Class A mesh technology along with many other features for high reliability and to meet these standards.

For more information on regulatory approvals and how SWIFT Wireless complies, check out my previous blog post – “Is Wireless Held to a Higher Standard?”.

 

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.

 

New Fiber Choice for Lite-Connect

The Fire-Lite Alarms’ Lite-Connect solution enables Fire-Lite fire alarm control panels in multiple buildings to consolidate central station communications by allowing a “main” panel to become the communicator for the complete system. The connections between the fire alarm control panels are made via fiber to avoid the troubles associated with running copper underground between buildings. To add to this innovative solution, Lite-Connect now supports 50/125um multi-mode fiber.

Now with the choice of 62.5/125um multi-mode fiber and 50/125um multi-mode fiber (LC connectors), you can meet your installation needs on top of the benefits of consolidating the central station communications to a single MS-9050UD fire alarm control panel. Lite-Connect offers:

  • Reduce Callbacks. Running wire underground to connect panels together in remote buildings is prone to ground faults and lighting strikes. Fiber-optic cable eliminates these potential issues.
  • Less Phone Lines. Save the end user money on additional phone lines, monitoring costs, and monitor modules. Whether you are monitoring individual buildings or consolidating communications with the Signaling Line Circuit (SLC) from a main panel.
  • Faster First Responder Response. If monitoring via SLC and monitor modules, Alarm, Trouble, and Supervisory are typically what is available. Lite-Connect offers zone and point information to help first responders pinpoint the location of the alarm and leads to a faster response.
  • Central Station Reporting. Easy to read Central Station reports that are generated based on the system programming for the specific project geared towards reducing installation time.

We are also pleased to share that Lite-Connect solution has earned a Campus Safety BEST Award in the Fire/Life Safety Category! For more information, feel free to view our short video or visit www.firelite.com.

 

 

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.

Did You Know? SWIFT Wireless How-To Videos are Available

Getting started with SWIFT Wireless is just a couple of clicks away. We have made it easy to learn about the technical details of SWIFT Wireless with our online, popular How To Training Videos. Wireless technology can help you overcome installation challenges, which makes SWIFT Wireless ideal solution for your applications.

The online training videos offer valuable information for the following topics:

  • Introduction to SWIFT Tools
  • Site Survey
  • Creating a mesh network
  • Removing Profiles
  • And more…

These videos are available 24/7 and provides an excellent technical overview of the SWIFT Wireless solution. Anyone who needs a more comprehensive view on how to install a SWIFT Wireless system is also encouraged to attend a Fire-Lite Academy.

For more information, feel free to view our video library or visit www.firelite.com.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

What Should You Know About Low Frequency?

There has been quite the buzz in the fire and life safety industry regarding low frequency and what it really means. Fire alarm and building codes and standards have changed in response to studies showing that low frequency audible devices are more effective in waking individuals in sleeping areas. The new sleeping space requirements require the alarm tone of audible appliances to be of a square wave tone centered around 520Hz. Let’s take a brief look at the codes, adoption, and solutions.

Standards
The significant changes in the sleeping space requirements occurred within NFPA 72 2010 edition and 2013 edition. Here are the NFPA 72 chapters impacted and placement requirements:

• Chapter 18 (Protected Premise Fire Alarm Systems) – Requires low frequency notification in every sleeping space
• Chapter 24 (Emergency Communication Systems) – Required for voice systems in sleeping spaces
• Chapter 29 (Household Fire Alarm Systems) – Required only in sleeping spaces for those classified as having mild-to-severe hearing loss, where governed by law or code, or volunteered to provide a means for such individuals.

Adoption
The 2012 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Fire Code (IFC) indirectly reference the 2010 or 2013 editions of NFPA 72, which requires a low frequency tone in certain newly constructed Group-R occupancies. Many jurisdictions in the U.S have adopted IBC and IFC 2012. These are the applications that may be impacted:

• Transient Lodging Spaces – Hotels/Motels
• College and University Dormitories
• Assisted Living Facilities
• Apartments and Condominiums

Solutions
Fire-Lite Alarms offers a comprehensive product line-up that helps you meet the low frequency requirements in the aforementioned applications:
SpectrAlert Advance Low Frequency Sounders and Sounder Strobes
Intelligent Sounder Base with Low Frequency Capability
Emergency Command Center (ECC) Compatibility with System Sensor SpectrAlert Speakers for 520Hz

Keep Fire-Lite Alarms in mind as you design your next project with Low Frequency requirements. Visit our website for more information!

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.

SWIFT Wireless Obtains FDNY Approval

Fire-Lite’s new SWIFT Wireless solution now has FDNY approval! This approval will allow you to use SWIFT Wireless in more places and applications.

SWIFT Wireless is ideal for difficult or obtrusive applications where running wire is challenging. Based on a Class-A mesh network, it offers the same reliability that is expected from a commercial fire alarm system. Typical applications for wireless are parking garages, historical buildings, warehouses, and locations with concrete walls. Whether for new installations or retrofits, the fire alarm system can be a combination of wired and the new wireless devices.

The wireless fire detection system is gateway based and connects to the SLC of a Fire-Lite MS-9200UDLS or MS-9600(UD)LS using Lite-Speed protocol. It then communicates over a reliable mesh network to a set of detectors and/or monitor modules. The wireless devices report to the panel in the same manner as their wired counterparts, making it seamless for building owners and first responders.

Learn more about SWIFT Wireless by watching a 3 minute video and by visiting our website.

 

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.

Is Wireless Held to a Higher Standard?

Wireless technology is not new to the world or even the fire and security industry. Many products are converting to IP based and you also see a myriad of WiFi devices. However, in an industry that is highly regulated, there is always a concern about new technology. Despite the proposed benefits, adoption of new technology is typically slower. It should be comforting to know that products based on new technology still have to meet very stringent requirements due to the nature of its purpose.

The first regulatory approval / standard to look at is Underwriters Laboratories. The standard that is most common for fire and life safety systems is UL 864 (Control Units and Accessories fUL Logoor Fire Alarm Systems). UL 864 covers fire alarm control panels, like the MS-9200UDLS, and various products and accessories. The same UL standard covers the new Fire-Lite SWIFT Wireless gateway and associated products.

There are a series of UL requirements to ensure that the wireless devices meet the same performance criteria as standard wired devices (e.g., the 10 second activation to notification requirement). Although the standard is based on the performance of the devices, the actual tests are conducted with wireless technology in mind. In addition to UL 864, the standard that covers detection is UL 268 (Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems). UL 268 covers smoke detection, like the SD355, and also covers the performance of the detectors.

Next is National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA 72 2010 and 2013 cover wireless solutions for fire alarm systems in Chapter 23. Chapter 23.18 in the 2010 edition and Chapter 23.16 in theNFPA Logo 2013 edition are titled “Special Requirements for Low-Power Radio (Wireless) Systems”. Chapter 23 covers the listing requirements, power supplies, alarm signals, and more specifically for wireless systems. Is your jurisdiction currently on an earlier version? The 2007 edition of NFPA 72 also includes requirements for wireless fire alarm systems.

The final regulatory approval of interest is the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The products need to comply with part 15 of the FCC rules, meaning that operation is subjecFCC Logot to the following two conditions:

  • The device may not cause harmful interference
  • The device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation

Since the intended purpose of this type of system is to transmit information wirelessly, special care is taken not to interfere with other systems. In addition, features and functionality are built-in to mitigate the effect of external interference on the system.

So the answer is – Yes, wireless is held to a higher standard and Fire-Lite Alarms is pleased to offer a SWIFT Wireless solution that meets it. Check out our SWIFT Wireless solution on www.firelite.com.

 

 

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.