I’m new to the forums and would like to know if anyone can assist me with this.
I have been working with fire alarm systems for a few years now. I am very familiar and was trained on the Simplex fire alarm systems.
A client has approached me and said that they would like to use a system from fire-lite as that is their preferred brand that they use at their other branches across the world.
This property is a luxury resort that has apartments/villas in 6 buildings that are 5 stories tall, as well as 2 main admin buildings.
What they would like done is for the system to be setup in such a way that only the 1 building (out of the 6) that detects a fire, is the only building that the horns/strobes activate in (at least initially).
Now i know how to do this with the Simplex system using the addressable devices and stuff but, is it possible with the Fire-Lite panels? Maybe assign as group of addressable devices to a different NAC to be activated? I was looking at a suitable model from their line and liked the MS-9600UDLS model but, i am not sure if this would allow me to do what the client want.
Can anyone that is familiar please advise?
Thanks in advance.
Hi, welcome to the forums!
(I will let a staff member fully welcome you)
I am not a technician so don’t take what I say to be the most accurate information. (We do have them on this forum.)
198 points seems kinda small for a residential area that size. 4 NACs might not be enough. But I think since it’s addressable you can set only certain zones to sound.
I will let a technician or staff member give you more information. I don’t want to give you any bad info.
Will the AHJ allow you to have one fire alarm panel monitor 8 buildings? 5 stories, is it over 75 feet? (ie: does it require voice?).
I’d assume you’d need a panel in each building, monitored by a panel in one of the admin buildings. I don’t think you can network fire-lite panels though so you’d only be able to get alarm/trouble from each building, not point to point information back to the admin buildings.
If you can use a single panel, you can use a control module to activate a NAC panel in each building. Check out the CMF-300.
I’m not overly familiar with the fire-lite line but i’d convince them to go with simplex if possible. that entire fire-lite line wasn’t made to do much.
Ccs46, how about we wait until somebody knowledgeable posts, instead of jumping the gun to get the first post in .
The Fire-Lite brand in general is marketed towards smaller installations, so networking several buildings together is not as easily accomplished compared to other brands, such as Simplex and Notifier. Regardless, it can still be accomplished, but it may not be the most cost-effective choice.
Fire-Lite panels do not allow intelligent networking, as compared to the Notifier NOTI-FIRE-NET, for example. All Fire-Lite multi-panel systems would be required to be linked via monitor and relay modules on the SLC loop. I do not believe any one Fire-Lite panel would be able to protect all six buildings, especially taking into account the requirements for a sleeping unit. Once again, it is possible, but the advanced control options you are probably used to on Simplex systems simply aren’t available with Fire-Lite.
The MS-9600UDLS can handle up to 636 addressable points, after installation of a secondary SLC circuit. Tentatively, this should provide protection for a building of the size you describe. However, since it contains sleeping units, depending on how the individual rooms are to be wired, this could quickly run up the point count and exceed the panel’s capabilities. If every room has several smokes that all are wired to activate the building alarm, the number of addressable points would be only around 1-3 per room. However, if an activation of a smoke in a unit is to sound a local sounder base and/or the individual notification appliance in that unit, the smokes and the sounder base/notification appliances control module will require its own point. Every room would require an additional addressable point, in addition to the amount of smoke detectors per unit. This does not take into account the common area smoke detectors, pull stations, sprinkler supervisory points, etc.
Additionally, in order to create a peered network where every panel is independent, at least 36 points per building would be dedicated to the panel connections. If one panel is designated as the central unit and the rest are wired into it, this could be reduced to 2 points per unit. However, with the latter, only the central panel would be able to “tell” which building is in alarm. The more complex grid network would annunciation the building in alarm at every panel.
With a different brand, all the panels could linked over a fiber optic line or twisted pair. Pretty simple compared to what Fire-Lite is capable of.
I would seriously consider taking into account these obstacles when determining the general outline of the system with the client. The limitations of Fire-Lite’s panels make this job way more complex than it needs to be.
So there area a total of 8 buildings - 6 of which are going to be apartment and hotel occupancies and the other two you’re saying are business occupancies (or at least a mix of business, mercantile, and assembly)? I am assuming these are each rather large building that are going to have a lot of devices? Are you going to be required to put in voice evac, firephones, room smokes? More information may be helpful.
Just looking on the surface, the MS-9600 looks like it can take up to 636 devices (via expansion) - smokes, pulls, waterflows, etc. You could place a NAC power supply in each building, fire it from a control module, and have that control module activate whenever any single device in that building goes into alarm. For example - a smoke detector in building 100 would be programmed to “Zone 1”. The control module for the NAC panel in building 100 would also be programmed to activate when “Zone 1” is active. Building 200 all devices would be on “Zone 2”, Building 300 Zone 3, etc.
Now, for the bad part. Doing this you are sort of putting all your eggs in one basket. You have one single panel for the entire campus. If that panel goes down, your entire site is down. Around here we are prone to lightning strikes. Several sites we take care of where they use one panel for several buildings (mostly small apartment complexes) we are constantly dealing with lightning taking out panels. Not to mention the ground faults that occur in the underground cabling. Plus I believe you are limited on your wire length - at some point the system may nor work - especially if you have very large buildings.
I would push for a stand alone panel in each building - and if anything, wire everything back to a main “site panel” which could monitor each building for a general alarm, supervisory, and trouble condition. Keep everything isolated - so if you ever have to chase down an issue you could keep it to that one building. I know some of the larger systems you can so a campus style system - EST and Simplex I’ve seen and I believe Siemens and Notifier can do it also, but never saw it or heard of Firelite being able to do that.
But just my professional opinion!
They’re all designed for campus’s, any of those systems could do this set up easily. (I can’t speak on notifier, but looks like it can).
Notifier is the closest equivalent to Fire-Lite due to the fact that fire-lite owned Notifier for a bit in the 90s.
What i would recommend you do is put an NFS2-640 addressable system in each building and then tie them all together with a NOTI-FIRE-NET network and use an OnyxWorks PC workstation to manage all the systems from one central location.
Exactly why I said wait till someone else posts. I just wanted to welcome him. :?
This is a campus style system. I learned a lot of lessons on campus systems over the years. From a system survivability standpoint, a panel in each building is the best position. This way if communications goes down or some worker digs up a cable all the buildings still have protection and can be evacuated. This includes the admin buildings.
One or both admin buildings can be networked to the other buildings for whole campus annunciation. Fiber optic communications is highly recommended between buildings. On a copper wired network system one
nearby lightning strike can easily damage multiple panels. This statement is based on real world experience. Each building will have its own power feed and grounding system. A lightning strike can draw 10,000 amps or more through the ground which can result in many thousands of volts potential difference between panels. Every suppressor we ever tried did not protect copper wired campus system from lightning damage.
See Duke Energy Tech Tip 15.
<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.duke-energy.com/kentucky-bus … tip-15.asp”>http://www.duke-energy.com/kentucky-business/products/tech-tip-15.asp</LINK_TEXT>
Computer graphics systems are nice and can pinpoint an alarm location quickly. However, computers graphics units should always be powered by a UPS and be backed up by a standard panel that also annunciates the entire campus. This can be the admin building panels if the point count allows or in Simplex terms an NDU.
The life safety system is not the place to cut costs. Compared to the cost of possible loss of life they are cheap.
I was posting my reply from a smartphone and did not feel like going into a lot of detail on the tiny keypad. lol.
Fiber optic networks are supported by Notifier’s NOTI-FIRE-NET networking. Your nearest Notifier distributor can work out the details of course.
Thank you guys so much for all of the helpful replies. Sorry for the late reply but I spoke to the client and tried to convince them to go with another brand based on the complexity and possible costs it would entail.
They advised me that they are not too familiar with Simplex and asked me about other brands they know of such as Bosch and Edwards. I can suggest Notifier to them as well if that is capable as mentioned above. I would prefer to give the client which ever is best suited.
Does anyone have any familiarity with the Bosch and Edwards panels? And how do they compare to the Notifier brand?
Bosch may not be the best choice. Their panels are basically glorified security panels that are usually used in small installations. They do have systems that exist for campus style installations (the FPA-1000 comes to mind), but the addressable point count for a system maxes out at around 2000. If you are familiar with older systems, they use the same basic technology that Radionics once did, but do offer newer tech such as Ethernet and fiber-optics as well. It’s unlikely in this case that the point count would be less than 2000.
Edwards/EST panels have roughly the same capabilities as the other manufactures mentioned (Simplex, Notifier) but they are extremely proprietary. Unless you have access to their products through a distributor, you won’t be able to touch their equipment. They operate with a very similar mindset as Siemens and Simplex with their products.
Notifier is still likely the best option when it comes to this system.
Bosch will also be limited.
From my experience, Edwards (EST) can do whatever you want it to do. UTC owns them now though.
The company I work for deals with a loot of different systems, so I’ve been exposed to lots of different panels since I started here. For what it’s worth, here’s what I’ve noticed:
Edwards EST3: I mostly see these in residential towers, although a couple malls use them. One is a huge mall (2nd or 3rd largest in Canada I think) tied in to a smaller mall & a hotel on neighboring lots. Pretty easy to use & maintain; everything is done via modules, so if something goes wrong you can just replace the module. Big downside is cost of everything. Modules are very pricey.
Mircom FleX-Net system: not too familiar with this system, but the ones I’ve seen are in commercial/retail/warehouse type buildings. My experience w/ older Mircom panels makes me think they are better in small to mid size applications. Very solid, dependable, & easy to work with.
Simplex 4100: my favourite of the big ones. I love the 4100es. Easy to work with & maintain, networks quite well. The PC control center for a networked system works very well. I see them often in schools, hospitals, etc. Places that are typically price-conscious which makes me think they’re not too highly priced. Not too many downsides from my view, but I’ve heard Simplex is difficult to deal with. May just be their local reps here, though.
Siemens: despite working the local licensed distributor, I don’t see many of these. Guess our sales force needs to get their act together. I’ve liked what I’ve seen, though. Reminds me a lot of Simplex as far as working with the system.
So… I hope some of that helps. If I was choosing, I’d say Simplex. But any of these should meet your needs.
This is not just because I work for a Notifier dealer ( ) but also from my own experience as a field technician.
If Fire-Lite is this company’s preferred brand, then Notifier really is the best option as the equipment – except for the larger panels – is pretty much identical. The networking capabilities of the system are solid, fast, and reliable, and fairly simple to use.
EST can do what you want to, but be warned that EST systems are very fragile and known to randomly fault. This is partially due to poor engineering and poor manufacturing. Edwards used to make high quality, very reliable systems, but now they are some of the flakiest in the industry. There’s a lot of it in my area – and increasingly more unfortunately. It’s cheap and it’s quick. However it’s also unreliable. Of the dozens of EST systems in my area I have only seen a couple that do not have any troubles on them.
Simplex definitely can do what you want but just keep in mind it is all proprietary and they will either put an outrageous price tag on it or they’ll give you lots of discounts and incentives to make the sale, then charge you an insane rate for service, since their equipment is proprietary and only Simplex can service it.
Bosch / Radionics is not designed for these large applications, they’re more commonly found in national retail chains because of their extensive remote management capabilities. They’re also not user friendly and very frustrating to use.
SIlent Knight is also a great option for single building installations like what you’d do with Fire-Lite. They’re real reliable but a tad confusing to program. Fairly simple to use though. No networking capabilities however.
I haven’t had any experience with Mircom, Summit, Secutron, etc, so I can’t weigh in on those.
Gamewell-FCI is very similar to Notifier but noticeably different. Still a decent product and has networking capabilities. Pretty user friendly and installer friendly. I rarely ever see them around here for new installations. One particular town near me has a very high amount of older Gamewell addressable systems, though, and they seem very reliable.
Siemens makes decent equipment, and before they were Siemens Fire Safety, they also had good products. Quite reliable. However very proprietary, difficult, and expensive to service. Larger systems have networking capabilities as well.
So therefore, I’d go with Notifier due to its similarity to Fire-Lite and that it can do what you need it to do. Contact a distributor near you to get information.
I just want to add a few more lines to my previous post, having read NewAgeServer’s post.
My experience with Notifier systems is limited. The few I’ve seen around here are all pretty old. I guess their sales staff needs a kick in the bum to get them going. Based on the comments, though, I’d like to see a few & play with them a bit.
Based on their proliferation, I figured Edwards must either give away their EST3 systems or have an amazingly effective sales staff. Spot on with the glitchy comment, though. We’re forever seeing Map Fault Errors, which means either going to every single smoke detector & ensuring it’s seated in the base properly or calling Edwards to send a tech w/ a laptop to plug into the panel & tell you which smoke detector is the problem. Around here, that’s a $300-600 service call.
Spot on about the price of proprietary systems, though. Unfortunately. I wish I had more experience dealing with new Notifier systems so I could offer an opinion. Based solely on my limited experience, I’d still have to suggest Simplex. If the site is several buildings to be tied into 1 system, with a central Master & nodes in each building, the 4190 is what I’ve seen most here & it works well. I think they call it TrueStation or something now.
Ok. I’ve used up my 2 cents. Best of luck with whatever you decide on.
PS: just in case you think I’m biased, I work for a Siemens distributor.
Oh the 4190! That reminds me:
My school is putting in 2 new buildings to accommodate more population and the 4100 here received a nasty lighting strike. So during the summer I have seen them Installing a new 4190 panel in the front office(I’m a counselor at the summer camp here). It looks really cool with the color screen and all. I asked the techs about it and got some real strange questions and looks. But I told them I was a enthusiast and they said oh alright. I asked them if they were replacing the notification appliances. They said not as of current but they might have to since they are replacing a good portion of it and they might as well do it all for safety reasons. Anyway back on topic!
Sorry for double post but I did some more research. (Should have done it before I posted :lol: )
The only issue is the client would need a panel in each building as others have said for safety reasons in case one goes down the others are still protected. They could install a 4005 in Each building or maybe share one for every 2 buildings.
Although looking at the 4190(which could link the 4005s together), it seems a bit overkill for this kind of setup. They could easily use Notifier system for each building and link it them to a small panel in the Administration building.To explain what I mean,it would be like using a 4100ES voice evac system for a small office building.
The 4005 is a conventional system. This is not what this system requires at all, and it may be against code in their jurisdiction, depending on what codes have been adopted.
The latest version of the 4190 product line is called the TrueSite Workstation.
Not only is a 4005 a conventional panel there is no network card for it.
I think the 4010ES is the smallest Simplex networkable panel at this time. One panel per building is the best for flexibility and survivability. However, two small buildings could be served by one 4010ES using a 4009 NAC Extender in the second building. The IDNet can be run between buildings using fiber optic modules to minimize lightning problems.
In the end, what is installed is dictated by the specifying engineer working with the customer.