What is an Addressable Fire Alarm System


Addressable Fire Alarm System, magine a multi-story building or a sprawling hospital campus with hundreds of independent smoke detection devices and fire alarms. When a fire starts and begins to spread, a single alarm goes off. Soon the smoke spreads, a second alarm activates, and more alarms are sounding. By the time the firefighting units arrive, many alarms are sounding, and the emergency crew has no idea where the problem began nor the source of the problem. This situation can lead to a prolonged event, excessive property damage and possibly unnecessary injury and loss of life.

* Diagram of addressable fire alarm system

One solution is an addressable fire alarm control panel system.

What is an Addressable Fire Alarm System?

Addressable Fire Alarm Control Panel system

* Why an Addressable Fire Alarm System?

An addressable fire alarm system is one in which all fire and smoke detection devices in a system are connected and communicate both with each other and a central control monitoring location. This interconnectivity allows the control personnel to identify the location or “address” where the initial detection occurred. The information directs the emergency response team to pinpoint their efforts immediately to the precise location of the developing problem.

Linking all devices offers several advantages that are not possible with traditional independent fire alarms. Some of the benefits of an addressable system are:

- Accurate identification of where the problem started and where it may be spreading

- Specificactions can be programmed such as delaying evacuations from areas not immediately threatened, thereby reducing bottlenecks of evacuating occupants

- Reduces potential for false alarms

- Each element of the system can be monitored routinely for operational health

* How Does an Addressable Fire Alarm System Work?

Each detection and notification device is connected to each other. Moreover, each device is connected directly to the central addressable fire alarm control panel which is continually sending messages to check on the functionality of each instrument. In response, each element sends back a report that informs the control panel of its current health. If for any reason a device does not respond, the control panel indicates a problem at that particular address. Authorized technicians from the fire alarm maintenance company can immediately proceed to the location, fix or replace the problem device, and the issue is solved.

* Quick Recognition Outbreak Location

Direct identification of the site of the outbreak is beneficial for several reasons. Occupants can initiate immediate evacuation from the adjacent areas while others receive notification to evacuate in the opposite direction from that location to prevent crowding.

What is an Addressable Fire Alarm System?

Addressable Fire Alarm System Hochiki

* Configuring an Addressable Fire Alarm Control System

An additional advantage of an addressable fire alarm system is that elements can be programmed to respond in particular ways with specific responses. Systems can be programmed to create a “cause and effect” response. In large buildings with several stories, wings or sections, it is possible to program alarms that are some distance away from the activated alarm to delay sounding to evacuate the building in orderly sequences.

* How Can Addressable Fire Alarm Systems Reduce False Alarms?

False alarms cause interruptions in business activity and unnecessary emergency responses by local authorities. Sometimes accumulations of dust and grime can set off an alarm. With addressable, connected alarm systems, each device is monitored from a central location. If dust accumulations begin to affect the atmosphere around the sensors, a warning is transmitted to the central control area. The location is noted, and the device can be serviced without the alarm ever sounding.

* Reliability of Addressable Fire Alarms Systems

Addressable fire alarm systems are wired in a loop with each device directly connected to the central addressable fire alarm control panel. If a disruption should result from a break in a wire or the destruction of one or more device, the remaining sensors and alarms continue to function and communicate with the control panel.

* Testing and Monitoring Each Device

Addressable fire alarm systems allow for routine monitoring of the health of each connected device. Alarms will transmit a signal to indicate weakness or malfunction of any component. The source of the problem is identifiable by address and can be serviced easily. The ability to self-diagnose and repair ensures the system will properly function when needed. With independently wired alarms, each device must be checked separately to ensure functionality, and neglect can result in disaster.

* Should You Install an Addressable Fire Alarm Control Panel and System?

What is an Addressable Fire Alarm System

Addressable Fire Alarm Control Panel Hochiki

Addressable fire alarm control panels with detection, notification and communications capability are designed with the latest technology. Reverting to decades-old processes and equipment to protect the occupants and assets within a large building or campus puts everyone at greater risk than necessary. The technology facilitates quicker detection, faster recognition, smoother evacuations, and guides firefighters to the precise location of the problem sooner. Whether designing a new building or initiating a retrofit of all security systems, an addressable fire alarm system is the most important element.

Whether a new installation or retrofit, an addressable fire alarm control panel and all of the necessary detection and notification devices require less wiring than with conventional independent alarm systems. The savings in installation alone will offset some of the cost of installing an addressable system.




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