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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Jps1006 Offline OP
Our condo building is having problems with the alarm panel blowing out. I think we've been through 4 or 5 in the last few years. I have heard of this being a problem in other buildings around the area, and going to a wireless monitoring system to the fire dept. seems to have solved the problem for others.

My question is do you guys think it would be advatagous to put surge suppresion on the conductors that run throughout the building (the monitoring zone)? There seems to be what I would call misinformation foating about concerning static electricity possibly bringing unwanted voltage back to the panel. If lightning were to strike nearby, but not a direct hit, would that possibly induce voltage in these wires?

I have a hunch that voltage coming in from the phone system do to local strikes is the culprit. But that opinion is based completly on what kind of makes sense to me.

Any ideas on what the best way to protect this panel would be? I wish our system monitoring people were of more help, but they said they never heard of a surge supressor for the zone conductors. (Of course it only took a couple of calls to find )

I'll talk to them next week, but I value the opinions here as much if not more. Thanks.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
Two outfits that have some online applications literature areā€¦

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 12
i have worked with people on alarm systems and they state that the main culprits are lightning strikes comming in on power lines and the telephone lines. since i have surge suppressors installed on my home, i do not have that problem.

each alarm system has a set of parameters as far as sensor inputs. by placing a surge suppressor in the monitored inputs themselves, you are taking on a big responsibility.

your profile says you are an EC/installer.
i must ask the following:
are you licensed by the state to install, trouble shoot, repair alarm systems?
if your not, you void the warrenty of the system, you assume all liability for any damage caused by your modifying the alarm (fire, burglary, health request, police request, fire department request) for each unit, and you could goto jail.

if you are licensed, take it up with condo management. you also have to deal with the people who have the contract to work on the system. you would also already know about the system monitoring functions and system requirements.

sorry to be so negative,

[This message has been edited by Philip White (edited 03-05-2004).]

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
Jps1006 Offline OP
Thanks for the replies.

I am not licensed to work on alarms. I am on the board and they wouldn't let me do the work anyway. (conflict of interest so they say)

The building is a 48 unit building maybe 600-1000 linear feet of building if you were to "straighted it out" where it took corners. So there is a lot of wire strung accross those attics to get back to the panels.

My role is to look into a possible solution since we can't seem to get much direction from our monitoring service provider.

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 300
I recently went through this in my building.

We had a fire panel loose the mother board, several moduals, and the dialer over the course of a month.

I put a line monitor on the incoming power wires and never did see anything odd but all I could figure was lightning strikes or other surges.

So we had our fire alarm co. search the NFPA to see is a UPS would be allowed and they couldn't find anything preventing it.

Now we have a regular UPS made to serve one computer, on a rack providing power to our fire panel. Hopefully this will solve the problem.

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