Business Phone Systems

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skip555 Offline OP
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customer has a small campus with a dozen or so bldgs
several of which are group homes for disabled adults .
they where having alarm line issues in one house and in tracking things down I found that the two lines feeding the fire alarm panel in the house in question also are also feeding the fire alarm in the house next door

is this ok ?

I would think each house should have its own lines


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Common sense says lines cannot be shared between buildings, but some obscure nursing home law probably applies and lets them do it. frown John C. (Not Garand)


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You are correct Skip. Sharing phone lines among fire alarms does not meet NFPA codes at all.
In fact, in some areas the Fire Marshall demands dedicated lines for the fire alarm.

John, I don't know about North Carolina but around this part of the world nursing homes are classified nearly the same as hospitals which means the rules are a lot more complicated than a grocery store for example.
And group homes are beginning to fall into the same category.

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Skip, Digital dialer for Fire is almost obsolete but when used, NFPA & NICET required that the primary line be dedicated, the secondary you could continue on to other equipment.
I would look into, (or have your client) look into
connecting those fire alarm controls into radio transmitters. That would also free up both CO lines for whatever they want to do with them.
I know that here in IL. even group homes as you mentioned are required to have an actual fire alarm, not simply something tied into a burglar alarm or a burglar alarm type control.
If these are not "required" systems then you can usally do what ever you want.
I've also found out the hard way many years ago that regardless of State or national codes, local
jurisdiction has the final say.
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skip555 Offline OP
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John

common sense told me to question it

Bobby

the norm here is to run both lines through RJ31x then out to other uses normally there isn't a line dedicated

in this case though neither line is being used beyond the alarm panel Just the same two lines split at the pedestal and running to two different houses

it just didn't seem right to me

I mentioned it to the head of maintenance and he passed it on the alarm guy but I figured would get some input from those in the know here

MrG

I'll pass the radio Idea on , personally I like it

off course since it is a non profit funding may be a issue

these are fire alarm only panels no burglar component to them

these are required systems , the fire marshal was threatening to shut the one house down because the alarm was in "trouble" due to phone line issues

thanks for the responses


Skip
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On the job I did this summer we had 2 lines feeding the fire panel and brought the second line out to the alarm panel. These are both also used as fax lines by the customer. No problems with the inspectors or anything.


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I don't think this would be allowed. In the event of an alarm activation, the panel expects to be able to seize the line to make its call out, if, for whatever reason, both panels try to dial out at the time time, for example a nightly test, then it would create a line trouble because it wasn't able to make the call out. If the timing is right, both panels would try the second line at the same time too.

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Around here, we have about 20 different jurisdictions, each with their own variations of what is actually required. The most common and acceptable practice for fire alarm systems PER BUILDING is:

One dedicated line to the first RJ31X jack, and it can't extend outward to any other device. Sort of an RJ45 without the programming resistor or an 8P8C RJ11.

One backup line to the second RJ31X jack that MAY be extended to any other destination.

There are no formal requirements for security systems since they don't involve the protection of human life according to the books.

I'll never agree with these requirements and restrictions, since the overall design of the RJ31X wiring pattern was to ensure that the alarm system had ultimate control of the line. By design, it allows other devices to be shared on the output side of the jack. If a line failure occurs, the customer will know to report the trouble. If there is an emergency, then the alarm system simply cuts off the call in progress on that line and reports it.

I see no reason why the company's main line shouldn't be used for the first alarm jack and their fax line for the second. Rest assured, if either of these lines fail, the customer will get them fixed pronto and the fire alarm system will be good to go in no time.

Having some naked, unknown number as the primary fire alarm number makes no sense to me. When a new bean counter comes along, they will audit the phone bills. They will then see that there is a line on their bill that they can't identify. Next step: They have it disconnected to save the company thousands of dollars.

The fire three-alarm fire is reported on the morning news a year later.

Granted, most current alarm equipment has the ability to detect CO line voltage and will report a trouble condition when it is absent. I still fail to understand the logic behind the requirement for a dedicated line as the PRIMARY form of communication. If it fails, who will know until it is too late?

This is just another case of people making rules who don't know what they are talking about. Anybody who has spent an hour working in our industry knows that a dedicated line is about as reliable on a 24/7 basis as a paper sack holding a quart of water.


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Ed that is how I do it around here, one dedicated line and the second running off an rj31x, we usually take the fax line for line #2. I also see no logic in the dedicated line theory, but the inspector gods want to see it so what can you do. I am interested to see what they do now with all these cellular communicators coming out. As far as security, most of the time it is one phone line and if the csr wants a backup we put in a cellular communicator. As far as teh same line on two panels, I would never do it. In a pinch you may get away with putting the line to the fire panel first, then the alarm panel, but I would not recommend this at all.


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