fire alarm testing

Fire Alarm FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Fire Alarm

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Fire Alarm FAQs

  1. What is the difference between Linked and Networked fire alarm panels?
    1. In short, it’s about control and information; Linked is basic and Networked is full control
      1. Linked is basic and you won’t have any information other than the other building has a fire. To find out where this was you would have to go to the building in question and look at the control panel.
      2. Networked effectively makes the three panels one system and allows you to view any fire activation. i.e. If you were in Building 67 and a smoke detector activates in building 70 then on the display of the panel you are standing by, it would say, for example, “FIRE NODE 3 – SD 011 – ZN02 – GRD FLR DESIGN OFFICE LHS”. To explain this in more detail: –  FIRE – Node3 (this means panel 3) SD (Smoke Detector) 011 (the number of the detector) ZN 02 (Zone 2) Ground Floor Design Office LHS (The text inserted upon installation)”
  2. If I have a networked system, can I monitor all my buildings with one monitoring device?
    1. Yes, practically you only need one monitoring device. Although there may be considerations to the network wiring grade depending upon the critical nature of the signalling. There are two grades of fire alarm cable; ‘Standard’ and ‘Enhanced’ the latter is only installed if the system is distributed and there is a critical signal path. However, whether the signalling needs to be critical or not, is dependent upon your fire risk assessment. There are options on this as well, such as installing three monitoring devices, which may not cost much more than Redcare. (Redcare is a BT product and can be the most expensive compared to other alternatives).

Type of detection

If we change layouts can the type of detection (e.g. heat or smoke detector) be changed to accommodate the type of hazard in that area or would that involve changing the whole panel or the whole system?

Yes. – However, this should be considered at the design stage as the spacing for heat and smoke detectors differ greatly. i.e. Smoke detectors can cover 100m2 but heat detectors only cover 50m2

Existing Wiring

What is the cost to remove existing wiring from your building?

When we do this for other sites they often don’t want all of the wiring removed as this can create a lot of redecoration, be impacted by restrictions caused by access issues and asbestos if this is in the area and sometimes creates unnecessary work. We often just remove the old devices (Smoke detectors and manual call points etc.) and install a blanking plate to cover the hole left, leaving the wiring in place. This is often something that is agreed onsite by the client and our engineers on a practical basis following the installation.

Open or closed Protocol

Is the system Open or Closed Protocolcan anyone maintain it?

Systems we offer are open protocol and therefore anyone can maintain it. What I would advise you to check is; can anyone work on the system? (Meaning a competent and accredited company) Can they add & remove devices and change the programming? With the system, we have allowed for it is entirely your choice who you use to look after it, which includes including maintaining it.

The following statement demonstrates this. WFP can maintain (i.e. test it and carry out basic fault finding and change batteries etc) on an ADT (closed protocol) system, but we can’t make any changes to it. This means if you wanted another detector fitted or even just a simple programming change we would have to employ ADT to do that. This means that you will pay whatever they want to charge and suffer whatever service they are delivering that day.


Corroded Batteries from Radio Fire Alarm FAQs

Radio Fire Alarm FAQs

It is vitally important that you – as the user of these types of systems – are aware that the devices are powered by alkaline batteries, and have these batteries changed promptly once they had been fully used.

Failure to remove these batteries will often result in the battery leaking. This will ultimately damage the devices creating the need for costly part replacements, rather than minor battery changes.

  1. How long will the battery last for?
    This is typically 4-5 years although this depends on a number of factors that can severely impact the power sage including;

    1. The radio infrastructure upon initial installation. More power will be used by the device if this is installed incorrectly, as increased radio strength is needed.
    2. The age of the device
    3. The specific type of the device
  2. Will they always leak?
    Yes, after time, it is inevitable.
  3. How much do batteries cost?
    Approximately £2.20 per smoke detector
  4. How much does a replacement radio smoke detector cost?
    Approximately £250.
  5. How will I know that the batteries are empty?
    The system will go into fault and you have 30 days to rectify.
  6. Do I have to change all of the batteries in all devices?
    Generally, its recommended to keep the changes in sync, although it’s best to discuss this with us at the time.

Thanks for Reading

Please note that these Radio Fire Alarm FAQs are general advice and that you should contact us for more specific advice about the management of your system.

If you found this information useful on Fire Alarm FAQs, please get in touch to let us know. And if you have any feedback for this.

The post on the topic of Fire Alarm FAQs has been built up from the number of questions we receive on a regular basis from our customers.

The questions have allowed us to create a whole post on the topic of Fire Alarm FAQs. This post is also constantly being updated as we are continuously asked more questions from our customers.

If you want to find out more about Fire Alarms, or the ongoing maintenance and servicing of them, then take a look at both the links below.

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