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Addressable fire alarm

Addressable Fire Alarm System

Fire Safety Specialists

An Addressable fire alarm system is designed for more significant commercial buildings with a more complex networked system, for example, large office buildings, hospitals, and large hotels.

Fire Detection Systems

The Importance of an Addressable Fire Alarm Installation

Addressable fire alarm systems are required to protect life and property. When protecting life, you want to ensure that everyone can escape safely within the appropriate time if a fire occurs. When protecting property, you want to make sure that the system alerts the fire brigade as soon as possible to ensure the building takes minor damage.

All fire alarm systems need to comply with BS5839-1 to ensure the safest practice.

Addressable Fire Alarm Specialists
Addressable Fire Alarm Installation

We can supply, installmaintain, and commission all types of addressable fire detection systems to the highest standards with our BAFE accreditation and FIA membership. See our industry-leading accreditations.

Clearview can also provide 24hr monitoring of the fire alarm system through our command centre. We monitor the systems via IP and SIM networks. We also monitor faults and false alarms. 

aspirating fire alarm system

Fire Alarm Installation
Addressable Vs Conventional
Why Install an Addressable Fire Alarm?

Where conventional fire alarm systems can only give specific circuits or zones, addressable fire alarm systems installations provide details on individual detectors.

An Addressable or “intelligent” fire alarm system is designed for more significant commercial buildings with a more complex networked system, for example, large office buildings, hospitals, and large hotels. This is because they have increased intelligence, flexibility, the scope of control and speed of identification. The design compromises different types of initiating devices (smoke or heat detectors) wired in one or more single loops around the site, with a unique address for each call point or detector.

The fire control panel receives status reports and information from each device, indicating the precise location of the fire, smoke, heat, fault, or contamination. It can also provide information before a fire, called a ‘Pre alarm’. When it detects only the slightest smoke, the fire alarm control panel will send an alert notification indicating a fire. This type of system gives the earliest warning of a fire. The most advanced technology this system provides is a ’cause and effect’. This can control 3rd party equipment to activate or shut down the building when the control panel goes into an alarm. For example, a fire notification within a high rise building would cause all the lifts to ground. However, installing an addressable system can be expensive; it is the most reliable.

fire alarm installation

Conventional Fire Alarm System
How does an Addressable System work?

Addressable fire alarm signals from smoke detectors, manual call points, or other devices are identified individually at the controlling panel. Addressable fire alarm panels have technology such as a specific electronic address per detector or device. This benefit means you can identify the precise location of the fire. When programming the system, each fire alarm device is given a unique identification number and text. When a fire alarm device is activated, the pre-determined location text is displayed on the fire alarm panel, enabling the user to identify the exact location of the fire activation.
This type of system significantly reduces the “seek and search” time.

Compared to a conventional system, the advantage is the speed at which the incident can be dealt with due to knowing the exact location. Addressable fire alarm systems are normally used in higher-risk environments and large buildings.

The devices all have electronic circuits to enable the addressable fire alarm control panel to receive and transmit data from each fire alarm device (detectors, manual call points and sounders). ‘Pre-Alarm’ or ‘Fire Alarm’ analogue levels would be set within the panel. The devices and addressable panel trade data at high speed, examining the condition and analogue reading. For example, when the smoke detector indicates smoke, the analoguvalue in the detector’s chamber would start to rise. When reaching the predefined levels, the panel observing the analogue values and the rate of the increase would conclude whether it was considered a fire alarm activation and sound the alarms.

Fire Risk Assessment
Seek and Search Time

To avoid false alarms, many commercial buildings are enabling a three-minute delay before the sounder alarms, and the fire brigade are called when programming their addressable fire alarm system.

Seek and search is a countdown timer within the fire alarm systems programme. When a fire occurs, it gives the occupier an option to check if it is a false alarm before sounding an evacuation. The countdown is limited, and if it is surpassed, it will automatically sound for evacuation. Alternatively, you can extend the timer, cancel the alarm, or sound for evacuation before the time runs out.

fire alarm sounder

Fire Alarm Installation
How Many Devices can an Addressable System Hold?

Addressable fire alarm systems can connect panels using a network configuration. The standard fire alarm panel will be able to handle four loops/circuits, and each loop/circuit can accommodate 127 to 256 devices, depending on the fire alarm manufacturer. Therefore, if you multiply that by four, you will get 508 or 1024 devices, depending on your fire detection system.

As indicated, an addressable fire alarm control panel can be networked, with larger manufacturers able to utilise as many as 200,000 devices with multiple control panels on the network.

ClearView BAFE Certification
Programmable Relays

In large and more complex buildings, mainly where there are multiple buildings on-site, the need for the fire alarm to accommodate relays that operate or shut down various pieces of equipment is crucial. Examples include lifts, plants, access control, boilers, gas shut off, smoke vents, BMS, etc. This is achieved on an addressable system by programming the relays in the ’cause and effects section’ within the software or across a network of panels so that an alarm in building “A” can activate the plant in building “B”.

Fire safety in commercial establishments

Fire Alarm Installation Categories
Programmable Sounders

In some cases, such as high rise accommodations buildings, phased evacuation is required however is pre-determined in the evacuation plan. Phase evacuation requires providing two fire signals, an alert and an evacuation signal. An addressable system can operate the voice alarm system using the programmable relay outputs. If the system has bells or sounders, the addressable system can be set to pulse the bells/sounders for an alert standby signal or ring the sounders/bells constantly to indicate an evacuation signal for different building areas.

This is mainly used in large high-rise buildings to avoid overpopulation of evacuation routes and rush to evacuate.

Fire Safety Regulations
Manufactures of Addressable Fire Alarm Systems

The commonly used addressable fire alarm panel manufacturers are companies such as Kentec, Advance Electronics, and Morley. These panels will use the protocol equipment from companies such as Apollo, Hochiki and Argus.

The standard for the addressable fire alarm control panel is BS EN 54-2:1997

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