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What is the point of having a fire panel vs using the alarm to report fires in a building?

Does the fire panel just give you a little more detail on the fire zone whereas the security alarm just reports a general fire alarm?

For some reason the fire alarm panel cost a fortune to monitor and apparently requires a dedicated phone line whereas the regular alarm cost are more reasonable.

I'm not sure why exactly.

Please let me know your thoughts on this.

Thanks.

Last edited by raidsystemtech; 05/27/17 07:51 AM.
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The town that I live in switched to an OTA monitoring system for fire panels. Establishments had the choice of converting, hiring a private monitoring service, or, going unmonitored.


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Not sure I understand your question. Are you asking what the difference is between a security system with smoke detectors and a fire system?

I'm not a fire system guy but I can give you what I understand. Basically the difference is reliability and durability but there is also initiating and notification devices that are unavailable with a simple security system. Yes, a fire system can be set up to report what zone is in alarm as well as operate annunciators for the first responders. A fire system will have supervision of all wiring and devices. Depending on the size and occupancy of a building code will dictate what type of fire system will need to be installed.

-Hal

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Originally Posted by dexman
The town that I live in switched to an OTA monitoring system for fire panels. Establishments had the choice of converting, hiring a private monitoring service, or, going unmonitored.

I know if I had a wireless communicator with a fire panel the monitoring was going to be like $120 a month, if I had an alarm that reported a fire, the monitoring was like $9 a month.

I don't know why. The fire panel required like multiple lines and to be checked every 5 minutes by the monitoring company. Something like this.

I tried to get the rules for the fire code and the agency wanted to charge me over $100 to get at the rules on PDF and $ to answer fire code questions.So I told them if they were not going to tell me, then it must not be important and I was just going to do it my way.

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Don't think of residential homes. Think of an intercity high rise or campus environment.

A fire panel is for Life Safety.

You have Smoke and Heat Detectors (addressable/conventional), Call Points (pull stations), Audible/Visual alerts, Single or Multiple Zone, Elevator Recall, Relays for Doors, Tamper Switches for Flow Control, Relays for Door Control. Sprinkler Control...and many, many more.

Also many AHJ require Fire Panels.

I would never depend on ONLY a Security Panel for life safety except for perhaps a single family home.


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Originally Posted by raidsystemtech
I tried to get the rules for the fire code and the agency wanted to charge me over $100 to get at the rules on PDF and $ to answer fire code questions.So I told them if they were not going to tell me, then it must not be important and I was just going to do it my way.

Apparently you do not work with Life Safety (Fire Alarms). If you are going to just "do it your way", then you will fail inspection and have to pay someone to install it correctly...but it's your money and I am sure no one want's to pay for your mistakes.

Here is the link to start, but it's up to you to understand what you are reading:

https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/sfm/BFP/FloridaFirePreventionCodePage.htm

Be sure to look at the Regulatory Licensing section.

I am assuming that you have your Limited Energy (Low Voltage) License.

Florida Limited Energy Low Voltage Contractor Scope of Work

(a) The scope of certification is limited to electrical circuits and equipment as set forth in Section 489.505(7), F.S.

(b) The scope of certification shall not include work performed by public utilities exempt under the terms of Section 489.503(4), F.S., or exempt due to the regulatory jurisdiction of the Florida Public Service Commission.

(c) The scope of work of this license may also be performed by the following certified and registered license categories: Unlimited Electrical Contractor, Alarm System Contractor I, Alarm System Contractor II, and Residential Electrical Contractor.

Let me know if you "if they were not going to tell me, then it must not be important and I was just going to do it my way."



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Now it gets a little deeper. I thought you were just asking a general question, but now it seems you are involved somehow in an installation. So my question is- is this for residential (your own) or a commercial job?

If it's your own house you may be able to get away with installing your own system (depending on local regulations) but you may have a problem finding a company to monitor it.

If this is for a customer especially a commercial building I can tell from your attitude that it's not your job.

-Hal


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Originally Posted by hbiss
Now it gets a little deeper...

If this is for a customer especially a commercial building I can tell from your attitude that it's not your job.

-Hal

Hal, an earlier post of his asks questions regarding Emergency Telephone in an elevator:

https://sundance-communications.com...mergency_Elevator_phone_using#Post609026

This is why I took the stance that this is his job and he should care, or he is an unlicensed worker.

Either way, I wouldn't allow him on any of my job sites.


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I agree. I meant to say that he has no business doing that kind of work.

-Hal

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If you aren't a trained life safety technician then you shouldn't be installing or servicing Fire systems. Codes here require that all devices be supervised and all wiring is to be protected in conduit or romex. Code here also requires redundant communications ie. CO and GSM Radio. Trying to get cheap with the safety of the people in the space is just irresponsible and will land you on the bad side of your local inspectors and FD.


Jason

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