Tag Archives: Fire-Lite

Help With the Blinkies! SWIFT Wireless LEDs Explained

SWIFT Wireless devices contain multi-colored LEDs the combination of color, blink pattern, and duration will give you the status of the device.  While these charts are included in the Gateway manual they are also included in the Help files of the SWIFT Tools software. These files can be accessed in one of two ways, from the main screen click “Learn More” or from any screen the “Help” icon.
SWIFT Wireless 1SWIFT Wireless 2

From the Help menu you can choose Gateway, Driver, or Device LEDs
SWIFT Wireless 3

Each page shows the LED pattern specific to the device the condition of the device and an action required if applicable.

SWIFT Wireless 4SWIFT Wireless 5

 

About the Author
George Goral is a NICET Level II Fire Products Application Specialist for Honeywell Fire Safety. He has 8 years of experience in technical support of fire alarm control panels including software support and the new SWIFT Wireless product line.

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.

 

Sometimes you just can’t wait!

Although Fire-Lite strives to maintain a very short “hold” time sometimes you just can’t wait. Fire-Lite Tech Support offers a “Call Back Service” if you can’t stay on the phone waiting for a technician.

When you call Technical Support  and choose the appropriate queue to speak to a specialist on that product, you will be given the option of receiving a Call Back, while maintaining your place in the queue. When your number is up, you will automatically be called and connected with a qualified Technician ready to assist you.

You can reach Fire-Lite Technical Support Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7 pm Eastern,  at 800-627-3473.

 

About the Author
Jason Knowlton is a NICET Level II Technical Support Team Leader for Honeywell Fire Systems. He has over 12 years of experience in technical support of fire alarm systems and is the technical lead for all IP based Honeywell fire products and solutions.

 

FREE Application Support

Need help configuring your system or cross- referencing from another manufacturer, Fire-Lite Applications Support can help!

From your device count we can provide a Bill of Materials using the most common parts, providing alternatives where available, and add-ons when necessary.  We will determine how many NAC power supplies, or amplifiers are needed while maintaining the 80% load guideline, while also allowing for future expansion, and provide battery calculations.

Email your project to firelite.tech@honeywell.com and see how we can help you!

Have questions? You can reach Fire-Lite Technical Support Monday through Friday, 8 am to 7 pm Eastern,  at 800-627-3473

 

About the Author
George Goral is a NICET Level II Fire Products Application Specialist for Honeywell Fire Safety. He has 8 years of experience in technical support of fire alarm control panels including software support and the new SWIFT Wireless product line.

 

Spotlight on Software: Lite-Configurator Now Supports SWIFT™ Wireless

Lite-Configurator is an easy to use FREE program that allows you to configure a bill of materials for Fire-Lite’s addressable and conventional control panels. The Lite-Configurator tool Version 2.6.2 has been updated to include the new SWIFT™ Wireless addressable devices. In addition to SWIFT™ Wireless support, we have improved the support for low frequency by updating the B200SR-LF Low Frequency Sounder Base and the new ISO-6 Six Fault Isolator Module.

With the Lite-Configurator tool, you can:

  • Create a bill of material for addressable and conventional control panels
  • Select and edit parts from the parts catalog
  • Generate a formatted report with a customized header from your bill of materials
  • Export your bill of materials to MS Excel or MS Access
  • Create a full set of battery calculations based on your configuration
  • Print data sheets from the Bill of Materials screen.

To get started with the latest version of Lite-Configurator, click here to download the software.

Visit our website to learn more about Windows®-based software tools designed to assist Fire-Lite customers in the day-to-day business of selling and supporting fire alarm systems.

 

About the Author
George Goral is a NICET Level II Fire Products Application Specialist for Honeywell Fire Safety. He has 8 years of experience in technical support of fire alarm control panels including software support and the new SWIFT Wireless product line.

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.

Think Outside the ‘Box’

Offer fire alarm system inspections and testing

A properly installed fire alarm system is critical to satisfying the life safety requirements of your customer’s protected premises. The main control and communications must meet or exceed your local code requirements.

But once you are done specifying and installing the solution, are you looking at other possible ways to increase your recurring monthly revenue (RMR) from these systems? Of course you know regular testing and inspection is required of fire alarm systems. And if you aren’t offering testing and inspection services, you’re doing a disservice to your customer — and your cash flow.

Regular testing and inspection is mandated by NFPA 72 standards, which covers fire detection, signaling and emergency communication. Life safety systems have to operate and notify at a moment’s notice when a fire event occurs.

Testing and inspection intervals vary, depending on the applicable standard and the type of system, i.e., fire alarm versus sprinkler. Fire detection systems must be inspected at least annually, and of course the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can require more frequent testing depending on the type of occupancy that the system is installed in. The state fire alarm code sets the parameters for minimum requirements for testing and inspection, with the AHJ having the final say.

Not only does regular testing and inspection keep your customer’s solution in top running condition and able to immediately send out an alarm, warning or trouble signal, but it increases your revenue stream and keeps you in contact with the customer. There’s a good chance they will ask for peripherals or other devices when you visit them for this regular testing – or perhaps inquire about upgrades to enhance their system solution.

Carefully weigh your costs
Establishing the proper charges for testing and inspection depends on many variables and requires serious thought by the fire alarm systems company. Plan out your testing and inspection fully or you will quickly lose sight of the true costs. Assemble your costs in a spreadsheet, considering:

  • mileage, wear and tear on vehicles
  • cost to take a technician from a new job versus the inspection – if you don’t have a dedicated field representative for testing tasks
  • loaded labor rate (includes not only labor but everything you offer your technicians, including benefits, etc.)
  • time expected for the inspection
  • Additional equipment needed to effectively conduct test and inspect services, such as ladders or even lifts to properly test smoke detectors and sensors

All the little items can add up quickly, so make sure your pricing is accurate and on target.

Good planning will more than pay for itself. RMR for fire alarm testing and inspection can range from as low as $8 per month to the thousands, depending on the customer, the facility and the nature of the installed system. Make sure you have a solid plan to work with your customers regularly to keep their systems up and running.

What do you use to track your RMR? Any suggestions to those not currently planning? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

About the Author
Deborah L. O’Mara is a journalist specializing in the burglar and fire alarm and systems integration industries and the managing director of DLO Communications in Chicago.

 

Resources from Fire-Lite:
The Other Side of RMR Webinar Recording
Fire-Lite Product and Software Training

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.

Spotlight on SWIFT Wireless: Retrieving Site Survey Data using the SWIFT Tools Software

In my previous blog, we learned that the SWIFT Wireless Site Survey results can be determined visually by the LED color and blink pattern. What if more detailed results are required? SWIFT Tools can provide these results!

After completion of the Link Test and or RF Scan the devices used for the test must be brought within 20’ of the PC with the USB adaptor running SWIFT Tools and removed from the bases.

From the main screen choose Site Survey:Site Survey Image 1 From the Communicator window select the devices that you want to retrieve data from, and click “Retrieve Data”:Site Survey Image 2

When the “Progress Status” shows Data Retrieved, click the “Next” button:Site Survey Image 3

The basic informative is displayed for the 3 categories, with a “Detailed View”for each and the option to “Export to Excel”:Site Survey Image 4

Detail View – Link Quality
Shows one excellent link  between detectors 101 and 102.Site Survey Image 5

Detail View – Channel Availability
Shows no problems, during test period (1 hr.) Site Survey Image 6

Detail View – Background Noise
Shows no problems, during test period (1 hr.) Site Survey Image 7

If you would like more information on SWIFT Wireless products, please visit www.firelitewireless.com.

Have questions?  Give Tech Support a call: 800-627-3473

 

About the Author
George Goral is a NICET Level II Fire Products Application Specialist for Honeywell Fire Safety. He has 8 years of experience in technical support of fire alarm control panels including software support and the new SWIFT Wireless product line.

PDF of Blog: Spotlight on SWIFT Wireless – Retrieving Site Survey Data using the SWIFT Tools Software

Wired vs. Wireless Fire Detection

For as long as there have been fire alarm systems, a wired connection has traditionally been the go-to solution. While these wired solutions still dominate the installations, wireless systems are making significant headway in the fire alarm market.

Technology is really going to be the driver here. Right now radio and battery technologies have some limitations, but as technology evolves, solutions will improve. You’re going to see capabilities, performance and battery life increase. Eventually there will be little-to-no wiring needed.

Here are a few things to think about when considering wired or wireless systems:

Wired
Readily accessible applications: Wired is beneficial for new installations where the fire alarm system can be installed as the building is going up. The installer will usually have easy access to pull the wire and can simply run it through the new facility.                                  

High-rises, airports, stadiums: Wired is still the best bet for applications that require emergency communication systems and mass notification, including applications that need speakers for voice alarms. If there are weather alerts or dangerous events, wired systems have been the traditional solution. However, wireless has a bright future for these applications.

Wireless
Retrofit applications: Wireless is valuable when the end user has to replace a system or add on to an existing system. Wireless can make it easy to get a new system up and running without the wiring headaches.

Historic buildings: Wireless does not get in the way of beautiful, visually sensitive architecture. Instead of marring an historic building with fire alarm cables, wireless systems can protect locations where appearance is paramount.

Faster jobs/temporary structures: Wireless gives contractors the opportunity to quickly complete installations. Pulling wires can consume a large portion of time on a job. What’s more, the system can quickly be installed and removed from temporary structures. Materials are not wasted, and the end user does not have to deal with segments of wire that are tough to reuse.

Outdoor applications: Wireless is much more reliable when the system needs to go outside from building to building and the location is prone to lightning strikes or other destructive weather events. Wired systems are more readily damaged in these situations.

Have you seen a rise in the use of wireless fire alarm systems in your area? Are you planning to use a wireless system on an upcoming project? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

 

About the Author
Jesse Otis is a Design Engineer in the Honeywell Fire Safety Americas Wireless Group.  Jesse joined Honeywell in 2003 and has been the lead engineer for the Fire Systems Group for the SWIFT products which launched last October. Jesse holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and is working to finish his Masters degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Systems Engineering.