Large Simplex customers with technicians on-staff - are they eligible for dongles?

Hello all,

My college is pretty much a Simplex school, with almost all buildings having ES panels: most on-campus buildings have 4100ES, some older ones have 4010s, there’s 1 or 2 4100Us, and the off campus apartments with systems have 4007ES. There’s also a few buildings with Siemens systems - 3 XLS, and a couple FS-250s, each of which have a 4007ES sitting right beside to act as a communicator for the network. There’s also some other cool stuff that’s configured, such as campus wide mass notification using a Digital Acoustics system. The newer buildings also use the more accurate “walk to the nearest stairway and evacuate the building” voice evac message!

The school does its own monitoring via its police station, where I suspect there is a TrueSite workstation. Also, I’m pretty sure that they do their own FA maintenance as well - I’ve seen panels open with tools nearby, and a school facilities truck parked out front but no JCI/SimplexGrinnell service van in sight. However, I think they do bring them in for new installs and larger jobs.

Does Simplex allow very large customers with technicians on staff to get their own dongles/have access to the programming software for 4100 panels? There’s a much larger university not far away from this one and it’s 100% Simplex as far as I know (mix of 4100U and 4100ES) with techs on-staff as well.

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Yes, end-users can obtain programming software and dongles, if they sign additional legal forms clearing Simplex of liability for the system.

As for the buildings on your campus that have Siemens systems, Siemens also allows DIY service - and they state it publicly on their website. Siemens Customer Choice | Fire Safety Trends and Topics | Siemens USA

For real-world installations, the vast majority of facilities would likely be unwilling to voluntarily assume all risks. Despite this, there are some circumstances where the benefits of DIY service outweigh the drawbacks - for instance, facilities with unique security requirements.

I’m not trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but a college isn’t a place that would have unique security requirements to the point of needing to keep third-party fire alarm technicians out… are there any sort of suspicious/hidden areas at your college?

It’s fine to look for such areas as long as you’re not actually entering or trying to enter them. See the warning below for why you shouldn’t do those things.

Lastly, here’s the legal stuff…
WARNING: I strongly discourage attempting to enter restricted areas, no matter how intriguing such areas may seem. Doing so risks life-changing or even fatal injuries (while I understand this may seem harsh, some restricted areas contain mechanical/electrical equipment or other things that can be extremely dangerous to unqualified individuals, and therefore I want you to understand the potential risks), and/or disciplinary action including expulsion - or worse, criminal penalties for trespassing, especially if you gained access to an area whose existence isn’t supposed to be known.
If, despite this warning, you enter or attempt to enter restricted areas, you agree that RANDOMPERSON IS NOT LIABLE, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR ANY OUTCOMES OR CONSEQUENCES THAT MAY ARISE OUT OF OR RELATE IN ANY WAY TO SUCH ENTRY.

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