Fire alarm quiz


i know some of you like to show off your knowledge about fire alarms. So i have made a quiz post your answers in the post box.

1.what is an slc loop

2.could a fire alarm system be used other then fire protection

3.what would a conventional fire panel be used for other thena hobbyest system

4 is halon a type of gas or is it a brand


1. The SLC loop is what all of the initiating devices communicate with the panel over (also known as polling; represented by a flashing LED on some systems).

2. A fire alarm system is more commonly used as a fire/security systems.

3. A conventional fire panel can be used for legitimate fire alerting. It can also be used for agent release systems. I think I’ve seen one where whenever the blue pull station is activated, it calls the building police to assist with opening a door (in a secret facility that has automatic door locks).

4. I don’t know a lot about gas, but they have notification appliances that say “HALOGEN” instead of “FIRE”.

I like this thread. Let’s see who gets these:

  1. What company manufactures the BG-12? (Bonus question: what company owned this company when the BG-12 was introduced?)
  2. True or false: EST Signature series smoke detectors can function as addressable or two-wire conventional detectors.
  3. True or false: according to NFPA 72, conduit can never enter the bottom of a panel.
  4. What company was the first to combine an audible and visual signal? (Bonus question: what year?)
  5. What company introduced the first fire alarm strobe? (Bonus question: what year?)
  6. Name something that is not required in Canada but is required in the US, and something that is not required in the US but is required in Canada.

  1. Fire-Lite (I will say Honeywell?)
  2. I don’t know much about EST or Edwards.
  3. False? There are knockouts on the bottom of the panel.
  4. NO idea.
  5. NO idea (I will guess Wheelock).
  6. Dress panels are required on control panels in Canada, but not the U.S.

  1. System Sensor developed and manufactures it, although it isn’t documented on their site. Pittway owned System Sensor, Notifier, Fire-Lite, and the other brands now owned by Honeywell.
  2. False.
  3. False, but may be true because AC input connections are on the bottom of most panels.
  4. I believe it was Faraday in the early 1970s.
  5. Wheelock, around 1977
  6. Strobes are required on all US systems but only on certain systems in Canada. In parts of Canada (especially Quebec), English/French pull stations and bilingual signals are a requirement, but not in the US.

This topic should be made into a sticky.

My turn to create some questions:

  1. What is the maximum height from the floor that pull stations are allowed to be installed? (Bonus: Minimum height?)
  2. What is the maximum pull force allowed by the NFPA, in pounds?
  3. What is meant by telephone line seizure on panels?
  4. On pull stations with LEDs and on smoke detectors installed on addressable SLC loops, what does it mean every time the LED flashes?
  5. What is the difference in the function between a fire alarm panel and a fire suppression panel? (example: ms-4424B and mrp-4424)

  1. I swear I knew this, but I forgot. I will guess 54 inches.
  2. I saw this in one of your mini system test videos, 5 pounds.
  3. Sound familiar from a Fire-Lite manual I was reading, but I don’t know what it is.
  4. The device is polling with the control panel.
  5. I’m not sure exactly, but I think fire suppression panels have an abort feature.

Here is my quiz:

  1. What is the purpose of the shield in fire alarm cable?
  2. What is positive alarm condition (PAS)?
  3. What is a control module (the terminology might be different with different brands)?
  4. What is the difference between pre-signal and two stage systems?
  5. What is the smallest wire gauge (AWG) size that can be used for fire alarm circuits (excluding AC power)?

  1. 36"?
  2. 5
  3. No dial tone?
  4. The panel has polled the initiating device testing for an alarm and normal condition.
  5. Fire suppression panels control fire supression systems, such as halon gas (not anymore) or flame retardant foam in a single zone.

  1. To protect against electromagnetic fields.
  2. An initiating device has been triggered and the panel is in alarm.
  3. The “interface” of the panel?
  4. Pre-signal does not activate NAs, two-stage does.
  5. Not sure.

  1. Correct. Bonus: What is the minimum?
  2. Correct.
  3. Basically the alarm panel needs to be wired into the phone line so all the phones installed after it run through the panel.

    When the panel enters alarm, it disconnects the second line, interrupting any phone call, then uses the line to contact the monitoring center.
  4. Correct.
  5. Correct, but incomplete. There’s something about how the NACs work that is different too.

  1. Yes, it is usually used with the SLC loop, speakers, and annunciators to prevent interference from other electrical wires. It is also recommended that electronic horns are used instead of mechanical horns, and bells. Twisted wire is also recommended. If none of those are followed, then the wires can be sent through conduit for minimum protection.
  2. That’s the basics (kind of). During PAS, whenever a detector activates, the panel will not go into alarm for 15 seconds. During this time, a control module can be used for sound PAS signals. If the ack button has not been pressed within 15 seconds to allow extra time (up to 3 minutes), the NAC’s will activate.
  3. It is a module that looks like a monitor module, but is basically like a relay. It can communicate with the panel via the SLC loop, and has input terminals for 24VDC from auxiliary power (like a power supply panel). The panel can tell it draw power from the power source and send it to something (like NA’s, for example).
  4. Correct.
  5. 18 gauge

  1. Correct!
  2. True. Signature series detectors can function in two-wire mode. This is because the EST 2 and 3 have a degrade mode that kicks in if the CPU fails so that alarms can still function conventionally.
  3. Correct! Conduit may enter the bottom of the panel, but only if it is sufficiently separated from the batteries. Supposedly a piece of cardboard is considered sufficient by many inspectors.
  4. It was Space Age Electronics in 1971. They didn’t have the first visual signal, but they were the first to market a horn and a light together as one “unit”.
  5. Correct!
  6. Correct! Canada also requires LED annunciation of zones on all panels (even addressable), which the US does not.

Cardboard? I would say something for heat resistant, and less combustible, like a slice of thermoplastic, the same material used to make many of today’s exit signs. Cardboard is practically the material we use to feed fires, lol.

I was thinking about putting that in my answer, because some panels integrate the LED annunciator into the dress panel.

My turn again

1.when did fire-lite get bought out by Honeywell

2. Will simplex panels except fire light detectors please note the system is addressable

3. What is the proper way to reset a fire lite BG 12

4. If a supervisory condition came in on the fire alarm control panel what would it most likely be

A. Fire sprinkler tamper

B. Pull station activation

  1. I do not know. I will guess 2002.
  2. If the Fire-Lite detectors have the Hockiki addressable protocol, I think some Simplex panels will accept them.
  3. The proper way to reset a BG-12 is to insert the key or allen wrench, rotate it to unlock the station, pull the cover open, close it once the handle has popped back up, and then rotate the key/wrench to lock it (and remove the key/wrench). There is no need to flip the switch inside.
  4. I don’t think some would be more likely than others, but it could be a tamper switch (as you stated), or a waterflow switch.

Waterflow switches always should come in as an alarm condition because that means there is a sprinkler head open because water is following in the main pipe that feed the sprinkler

1.48in I think

Just thought I’d give this quiz a try with a few of my questions (they might be somewhat simple).

  1. What does the white diagonal stripe seen on pull stations in many NYC buildings stand for?
  2. Two companies, one of them being Edwards, manufactured large systems with the model number “8500” in the '80s (both are unrelated). What is the name of the other company?
  3. What happens if a fire alarm panel is removed from its enclosure and directly mounted in a cabinet other than its own (different model or manufacturer)?
  4. What is the purpose of a firefighters’ telephone?
  5. What was Pyrotronics’ first addressable system called (model)?