How Does an Addressable Fire Alarm System Work?

How Does an Addressable Fire Alarm System Work?

fire warden addressable fire detection panelAn addressable fire alarm system works by having every detection and notification device connected to each other and to the addressable fire alarm control panel. An addressable system sends digital signals in binary code, as opposed to a conventional fire alarm system which operates through electrical currents.  Addressable systems operate like a computer and convert variations in voltage to binary code, various combinations of zeros and ones. 

This allows for an addressable fire alarm system to transfer critical information to the control panel with a broader range of information. An addressable system can pinpoint the exact location of smoke or fire, providing an increased level of safety and reliability.

Customization of Addressable Fire Alarm Systems 

Because an addressable fire alarm system consists of several devices all individually identified and connected, advanced configuration allows for greater flexibility. Various protocols can be established for any mix of detection devices, input, or output modules. Addressable fire alarm control panels employ Signaling Line Currents, commonly referred to as SLC loops or just loops, allowing monitoring of just a few devices to several hundred.  More complex fire alarm systems could employ multiple Signaling Line Currents.

Addressable systems can be customized with devices in specific areas programmed with different thresholds depending on their location. The addressable control panel recognizes the individual address of each device on the SLC. Typical initiating devices on an addressable system include:

  • Heat detectors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Manual pull stations
  • Sprinkler system inputs
  • Standard pressure and flow control switches

Output devices on an addressable system include:

  • Audible warning relays
  • Door control relays
  • Auxiliary function control

These components of an addressable fire alarm system control a range of functions including:

  • Opening or closing doors
  • Turning fans off or on
  • Activating notification appliances
  • Initiating fire suppression systems
  • Elevator recall to the designated floor
  • activating or communicating with additional fire alarm control panels

Benefits of Addressable Fire Alarms 

Quick recognition of detection location provides many benefits such as helping first responders know exactly where to go and providing quick evacuation in the most jeopardized and adjacent areas. This quicker response to saving lives has to be the greatest benefit of addressable fire alarm systems. Additional benefits of addressable fire alarm systems over conventional systems include improved reliability and reduced false alarms.

Addressable systems also help to diagnose any component malfunction with self-monitoring capabilities for quicker repairs and consistent protection.  While a conventional system may cost less up front, an addressable system could be less costly to install with less expenses for wiring, and can provide for easier, less expensive upgrades and maintenance in the future.  With the flexibility and scalability of addressable systems, you can easily add new zones without disrupting operation.

HRSS Assists in Evaluating Addressable Alarm Systems

 High Rise Security Systems assists business owners, property managers and contractors in evaluating the best type of commercial fire alarm system. We offer more than 30 years of experience in fire alarm system design, fire and life safety system consulting, providing quality UL listed fire alarm system equipment and ensuring code compliance. We are NICET certified and experienced in all building regulations including the International Building Code (IBC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and the city of Chicago Building Code regulations.

HRSS is recognized as a leading provider of fire alarm and life safety systems to businesses in commercial properties in and around Chicago. We offer comprehensive fire and life safety services including CAD design, UL listed equipment, inspections, testing, maintenance, repair, and monitoring 24/7/365. Contact us to learn more about the benefits and value provided with a commercial addressable fire alarm system.

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