Fire systems foster positive results in reducing false alarm levels
The advent of addressable fire detection and alarm systems seems to be putting one of the industryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s biggest problems - false alarms - to rest.
Industry participants noted the increased intelligence of the sensors, detectors and addressable panels has had a positive impact on reducing the level of false fire alarms.
A big part of that, said John Haynes, director of marketing for Simplex-Grinnell, is having systems that can detect and notify users about dirty sensors. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You can schedule maintenance more effectively,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Photoelectric and heat-detecting sensors also have improved intelligence, he noted, based on more complex algorithms, to distinguish between a real fire and a non-event.
An intelligent system, said Jeff Hendrickson, director of marketing for Fire-Lite and Silent Knight, Ã¢â‚¬Å“makes maintenance easier, cheaper and more reliable.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said the key is addressability - Ã¢â‚¬Âyou can find out exactly what a sensor in a lobby is doingÃ¢â‚¬Â and bring that information to a technician.
Other advances that have helped reduce false alarms, said Nick Martello, director of marketing for Notifier, include alarm verification, which provides a short delay for verification before the alarm is sent; improved sensitivity, which compensates for special situations such as steam in a cafeteria; and day-night settings, which adjusts sensitivity for Ã¢â‚¬Å“background noiseÃ¢â‚¬Â such as dust that is higher in the daytime when people are around, but lower at night.
An addressable system with a cooperative sensing mode, Martello said, has the ability to take the information from three adjacent detectors and take the sum of the smoke in the three chambers to make a determination about an alarm.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all part of the Holy Grail of making more stable sensing devices,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
As a result, users are continuing a migration toward addressable systems, especially as prices for addressable systems become comparable with conventional installations.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re on a great wave of bringing addressable everywhere,Ã¢â‚¬Â according to Hendrickson.