Fire Alarm Glossary

Conventional or Addressable Fire Alarm Systems?

Conventional or Addressable Fire Alarm Panel

Conventional or Addressable Fire Alarm Panel

Many installers have been installing conventional fire alarm systems for some considerable time and are very familiar with the technology. Of course, in the early days there were few options available and it was not uncommon to see comparatively large systems, e.g. 64 zones and above with quite complex control panels, running conventional detection circuits and multiple sounder circuits.

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Fire Alarm Categories

There are two main types of category for fire alarm systems, and they are broken down into the following;

  • Category L
  • Category P
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Calculating the Battery Backup for your Fire Alarm System

All fire alarm systems must be fitted with a standby supply and this is achieved by using Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries.

The standards state that in the event of a mains supply failure, the backup batteries should be able to run the system for a minimum of 24hrs, followed by 30minuites in full alarm condition (all sounders running). This applies to category M & L.

If the system is category P then the above applies if the building is continuously manned. If however the building is not continuously manned, then the standby time may need to be 72hrs.

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Differences between Conventional & Addressable Fire Alarm Systems

There are several differences between conventional & addressable fire alarm systems. These differences include;

  1. Addressable fire alarm systems give information about individual detectors, whereas conventional systems only give information about specific circuits (zones).
  2. Due to this, addressable systems allow a courtesy text label to allow easy identification of any event. For instance detector 1 may be given the label “Bedroom 1”.
  3. Most addressable systems allow an early “pre-alarm” warning, which allows the responsible person to investigate potential alarms before the system activates it`s sirens
  4. Many addressable systems can alter the alarm threshold of the detectors, in order to meet the needs of different environments in different areas of the system
  5. Addressable systems are usually wired in a loop. Conventional systems are usually wired as radial circuits.
  6. Addressable systems usually have a real time clock & event log to record system events.
  7. Larger addressable systems usually have the ability to use sophisticated programming options to operate certain outputs only with specific events.
  8. Historically, addressable systems have tended to be complicated to configure, and cost between 50% to 100% more than a conventional equivalent.

We supply a complete range of convention & addressable fire alarm systems at competitive prices & free delivery. In particular the Simplicity Micro Addressable Fire Alarm System has been designed to bridge the gap between the two. Effectively offering the desirable features of an addressable system at almost the cost of a conventional one.

Discount Fire Supplies sell a range of fire alarms, fire alarm accessories and much more. Browse our online shop or contact us for a quote today.

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Introduction to Fire Alarm Systems

Fire alarm systems are used to detect a fire, and to signal a warning alarm to the appropriate source. In general, there are 3 types of system;

  • Manual Fire Alarm Systems – which relies on manual call points to signal an alarm
  • Life Protection Fire Alarm Systems – these are designed to protect the occupants of a building
  • Property Protection Fire Alarm Systems – these are designed to protect buildings

The full explanation of these systems is beyond the scope of this post, however will be covered in future. For full details, consider consulting BS 5839, which will give full details of these types of system.

The warning may be simply ringing fire alarm sirens, however if a building is likely to be unoccupied, it may be more appropriate to signal to a monitoring station, or at least send a message to the building owner via telephone.

The fire alarm control panel`s themselves fall into 2 general groups;

  • Conventional Fire Alarm Control Panels
  • Addressable Fire Alarm Control Panels

Fore more information about Fire Alarm Systems and to purchase one please visit the Fire Alarm Systems section of our website.

Discount Fire Supplies sell a range of fire alarms, fire alarm accessories and much more. Browse our online shop or contact us for a quote today.

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What is an addressable fire alarm system?

An addressble fire alarm panel communicates directly with each device. So in the event of a fire, the fire panel will display the exact device (detector or call point) that signaled the alarm, allowing the fire to be located more quickly.

On a conventional system or 2 wire systems, there are often more than 10 detectors on a zone, so by examining the main panel, the user only knows that one of these ten detectors has signaled an alarm, meaning that further investigation is required to locate the fire.

This device addressability is considered to be the main advantage of an addressable fire alarm system, however there are also other benefits including cabling, alarm history, programmability and more.

View our range of Addressable Fire Alarm Systems, which all have great prices & free delivery!

Discount Fire Supplies sell a range of fire alarms, fire alarm accessories and much more. Browse our online shop or contact us for a quote today.

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