Types of Fire Alarm Panel

There are three main types of fire alarm panel available. They are Conventional Four Wire, Conventional Two Wire and Addressable Fire alarm systems.

The information below briefly describes each panel and the differences between the three:

Conventional (Four Wire)

  • The oldest of the three types of panel available on the market.
  • Traditionally installed in all types and size of premises, conventional fire alarm panels are now used less often for larger buildings - the later developed two wire or addressable fire alarm panel may be more suited
  • Splits the fire alarm system into “zones” - 2, 4 and 8 zone panels available
  • Typically supports up to 32 devices on each zone
  • Suitable for smaller applications where the number of required fire alarm devices is low
  • Cheapest of the three fire alarm panels to purchase; however the installation costs are higher
  • Sounders and beacons are installed on a separate circuit to the detectors and manual call points
  • Identifies which zone of the fire alarm system has been activated
  • Typical applications: small schools, restaurants, sports and community halls

Conventional (Two Wire)

  • Later developed version of the traditional conventional fire alarm panel
  • Suitable for small to medium sized premises
  • Splits the fire alarm system into “zones” - 2, 4 and 8 zone panels available
  • Typically supports up to 32 devices on each zone
  • More expensive to purchase but cheaper and quicker to install
  • Allows sounders and beacons to be connected to the same circuit as the detectors and manual call points
  • Identifies which zone of the fire alarm system has been activated
  • Typical applications: small office premises, restaurants, small HMOs

Addressable

  • Most advanced fire alarm panel available
  • “Cause and effect” feature - offers greater flexibility for detection, activation and audible and visual warning
  • Ideal for more complex or high risk applications
  • Devices are connected using a “loop” system - multiple loops panels available
  • Typically supports up to 126 devices per loop - detectors, call points, sounders and beacons
  • Each device is given an individual “address”
  • Identifies the exact device that has been activated - saves time for the “appointed person” and the fire services in the event of an emergency
  • Typical applications: hospitals, hotels, large office premises, shopping centres
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Nice write-up.

Further to add, In addressable FAPs, each individual detector input status can be known in detail, for instance current temperature of HD, alarm set value can be configured, dirty optics of SD can be seen, which will be more helpful for frequent issues with any specific SD.

Individual input can be bypassed / isolated, in event of malfunction.

Line fault (open loop) of any input / output device can be easily detected.

Outputs can be directly connected to trips such as HVAC units, fire extinguishing systems etc.

Now a days VESDA is being used in big ware houses, which is more reliable, cost effective and almost ZERO maintenance.

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