I want to connect an existing fire alarm panel to a monitoring station supplied by burglar alarm company. Problem is that although the burglar alarm and telephone line is handy, I cannot access the FA panel to get at the auxillary contacts. I am considering using the siren circuit but I am not sure if I can hold the relay on without causing problems with the monitoring arrangement of the sounder circuit. Any comment?
I wouldn't have thought that paralleling a small relay across the sounder would be a problem for the typical panel. The extra load would be minimal. I'd probably put a diode across the coil to shunt out any back-e.m.f. from the collapsing field.
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 01-25-2007).]
#146573 - 01/25/0701:09 PMRe: fire alarm monitoring
Paul, I want the siren circuit to hold the relay on when the fire panel is in the quiescent state rather than energising the relay when in fire mode. I am concerned that the relatively low resistance of the coil would affect the monitoring of the system. A series resistor might cause bounce.
#146574 - 01/25/0710:54 PMRe: fire alarm monitoring
Adding another component into the signal circuit that is not part of the Fire Alarm system is WRONG. The supervisory current will be affected. Life Safety Systems should not be modified or added to without the manufacturer's approval. If something was to happen to that signal circuit or the whole system and somebody died in a fire because they had no warning, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.
Also, what happens when they test the Fire Alarm during maintenance? The security system will go off. If you don't have access to the FA Panel, do the people testing the FA system have access and the codes to shut off the security system?
#146575 - 01/26/0704:05 AMRe: fire alarm monitoring
Would such a modification comply with the BS certification of the fire alarm system?
and, how would the system differenciate between a test and a real alarm ? If someone were to test the alarm system, wouldn't it end up signalling the local fire authority with an alarm signal?
in the Rep. of Ireland, systems have to be certified to I.S. 3218:1989. There's another set of rules for monitoring also with an I.S. number.
Modifications to the system would have to still comply with I.S. 3218:1989 and be approved. Otherwise, you'd have all sorts of insurance and other legal complications. e.g. Buildings insurance could be seriously impacted upon, there's even a possibility that an insurer could refuse to pay out if the alarm system, which was specified in their contract, was not present / non-compliant with I.S. 3218:1989 or other specified codes.
I'd certainly make sure that it's all above board and approved before doing anything.
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 01-26-2007).]
#146576 - 01/26/0704:21 AMRe: fire alarm monitoring
lyledunn are you a third party approved contractor within the fire alarm industry ?
if not, in th UK, you have to be third party approved to be able to obtain URN (Unique Reference Numbers) for fire alarm systems that transmit an alarm status to a Alarm Receiving Centre.
also under EN54 (or even BS5839 pts 1 4 1988 amended 2000) you cannot add a device to a fire systems monitored sounder circuit,
you must connect any communications equipment IE a Digital Communicator or a Redcare (fire STU Subscriber Termination Unit) via the connections provided by the control panel manufacturer.
its a bit of a mine field out there at the moment in regard to monitoring fire systems, you would be better off talking to the SSAIB or go one line to there website, that will give you a good load of information.
if you need any further info, drop me a line.
#146577 - 01/26/0707:28 AMRe: fire alarm monitoring
Some rather good comments here from djk and RobbieD. Over here in NZ (sorry to muddy the waters), the Burglar alarms and Fire Alarms in a Commercial installation are monitored by 2 different companies. As far as Fire Alarms go, there is usually a mimic panel out to the front of any place that has an AFA system. What's more, is the fact that they are totally different systems. Some burglar alarms may have what is known as a Fire loop. If you cannot access the connections to effect a connection, it would mean that you do not have a key to unlock the panel and therefore are not qualified for the work at hand. Just my opinion.
#146579 - 01/27/0708:15 AMRe: fire alarm monitoring
I want the siren circuit to hold the relay on when the fire panel is in the quiescent state rather than energising the relay when in fire mode.
Issues of whether such modifications might invalidate insurance and such aside, is there any specific reason why the relay has to be wired this way? You can reverse the "sense" of the control circuit by just using normally-open or normally-closed contacts as appropriate.
#146580 - 03/03/0703:55 AMRe: fire alarm monitoring
I know Gent do proprietary interface devices, I assume other manufacturers do the same.
From BS 5839:
The following recommendations are applicable in the case of systems intended to actuate other fire protection systems or safety facilities (e.g. by triggering an automatic fire extinguishing system, closing fire resisting doors, shutting down an air handling system or grounding lifts).
d) The other equipment or systems should not draw power from the fire alarm system in the non-fire state, other than for indicators and interface devices (e.g. relays). The power consumption of any such indicators and interface devices should be taken into account in the calculation of battery capacity
[This message has been edited by TeesdaleSparkUK (edited 03-03-2007).]