Monthly Archives: February 2015

New EVS Message Videos Now Available!

Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) should have the flexibility to control message output by floor, zones, or the whole building, to notify occupants to evacuate or lock down so the risk to human life can be minimized.  When you attend a Silent Knight Tech-Ed Knight School training class, a hands-on experience with the 5820XL-EVS panel will be provided to learn how messages are recorded and activated.

The Intelliknight 5820XL-EVEVS videosS panel has a unique feature where messages can be recorded onsite.  Silent Knight has just completed new videos on how to erase a message and how to record a message using the microphone. They are short 3 minute videos that will play on your smart device.  For these and other helpful videos, please visit the “How To Training Videos” page on SilentKnight.com.  Additional videos will be added throughout the year, so be sure to return to the website for valuable information.

Emergency communication systems are becoming a major part of our everyday lives.  Increasingly, buildings and facilities are installing combination Fire/ECS as an alternative to a dedicated fire alarm system.  ECS growth will continue to occur on a global scale over the next few years due to code requirements that, sadly, often times develop from tragic events.  Current code includes Chapter 24 in the 2010 and 2013 editions of NFPA 72 for Emergency Communication Systems and UFC (Unified Facilities Criteria) for the design of Mass Notification Systems (MNS), which is used by the Department of Defense for primarily military facilities.

About the Author
Brian Brownell joined Honeywell in 2011 and brings 30 years of fire alarm industry expertise to his current role as a Technical Trainer for Silent Knight. ​

 

The Industry’s 2015 Mantra: Slow and Steady

Coming off a slow start to 2014, the fire alarm industry certainly ended the year on a high note. And it looks like 2015 will be another period of slow and steady growth for our market.

Of course, there is always some degree of risk, but all told it looks like 2015 will be a good year. There are several trends that point toward this gradual improvement:

Higher customer confidence indexes. Although we’re still in an improvement phase, customer confidence is the highest it’s been since pre-2008. For fire alarm dealers, that means the potential for increased revenue.

A stable GDP. Gross domestic product is forecast to hold steady at about 3 percent this year, which will have promising ripple effects throughout the entire economy, including construction.

Potential influx of infrastructure spending. The U.S. is poised to focus funds on infrastructure later this year, depending on several political factors at home and abroad. If the legislation goes through, that means more construction, likely throughout the country.construction growth upward arrow

Growth in all the right areas. Construction in general is experiencing steady growth, especially when compared to last year’s slow start. The construction forecast for commercial buildings is in the high single digits, which is definitely a positive sign. For fire alarm installers, you can expect between 8 and 15 percent forecast growth in some of your strongest markets, including multi-family dwellings, hospitals, retail and education.

Improved construction employment. As the market in general improves, customers are investing in their businesses by adding employees, which is always a good sign for the fire alarm market.

Consolidation within the security industry. We’re continuing to see a trend of consolidation among installers, contractors and distributors, and that will likely continue through this year. The anticipated security spend is in line with this year’s construction forecast, which is also good news for anyone who works both the fire alarm and security ends of the market.

Planning Your Year

So, how do you make the most of this slow and steady growth trend? First, focus on the main growth drivers in the fire alarm market. Right now, these are the growth of wireless communication, the need for emergency communication and demand for advanced detection technologies. In addition, more central stations are requiring IP communication to prepare for the sunset of plain old telephone service (POTS) lines.

Another tack is to continue to develop your business around connectivity and IT. The Internet of Things (IoT) trend is just starting to take hold, and there will be a lot of opportunity around the trend of connected buildings and connected homes. Now is the time to get ahead of the game by familiarizing yourself with these devices and systems.

By most accounts, 2015 looks to be a period of steady growth for the fire alarm market. Here’s hoping the trends hold true in your area and make this a successful year for your business.
About the Author
Dave Pakech is the Vice President of Sales for Honeywell Fire Safety’s Security Equipment Distribution Channel, through which Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power and Silent Knight are sold. He joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2008 and brings over 20 years of Security Industry experience to both brands.​

Improved Waking Effectiveness for High Risk Segments of the Population (Under 100 Words)

Most fire alarm horns and integral sounders in smoke alarms produce an audible tone in the 3 KHz frequency range. Findings from numerous research studies have concluded the 3 KHz bedroomaudible signal is not as effective as a low frequency 520 Hz tone at waking up high risk segments of the population, such as people who are hard of hearing, school age children and the elderly.

To improve the waking effectiveness for high risk segments of the population, fire alarm systems will be required to install the low frequency audible alarm signal in all sleeping areas to wake up people.

 

About the Author
Richard Roberts is Industry Affairs Manager at Honeywell Fire Safety with over 30 years in the fire alarm and carbon monoxide market. His experience spans the installation, sales, and product development of code-compliant products and systems. Currently, Mr. Roberts is a member of eight NFPA Technical Committees and he serves on the Board of Directors for the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) and Chair of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Smoke & CO Committee and Building Codes Committee.

Low Frequency – Awaken to the Possibilities

Hopefully, you are aware of the latest low frequency audible requirements for sleeping areas.  The 2013 Edition of NFPA 72 requires that, effective January 1st, 2014, audible appliances for sleeping areas shall produce a low frequency signal.  The signal shall have a fundamental frequency of 520 Hz ± 10%. sleeping

Studies have found that the 520 Hz low frequency tone is much more effective at waking children, people with hearing loss, and impaired individuals than standard audible and visual devices.  This has created installation opportunities for low frequency devices.

Silent Knight has taken the lead on low frequency by providing 3 installation options for the 520 Hz audible output:

  1. Use low frequency horns and horn/strobes, such as the HR-LF, HW-LF, P2RH-LF, or P2RH-LF devices offered through System Sensor.  Although these devices can be activated by a fire alarm control panel or power supply, the typical application is interfacing with a control module, such as the Silent Knight SK-Control, as this allows for precise activation of the output devices.
  2. Use the recently released B200S-LF and B200SR-LF low frequency detector sounder bases.  These bases provide the required low frequency output while eliminating the need for additional modules, junction boxes, and wiring.  This saves money and provides a clean aesthetic.  Applications where standard detector sounder bases are required or used can now be replaced with the low frequency versions.  Additionally, all of the capabilities you are accustomed to in our sounder base portfolio, such as programmable single/multi station operation along with general alarm activation, are available in the low frequency versions.
  3. Use a 520 Hz tone for voice evacuation.  If speakers are being used to awaken people in sleeping areas, the 5820XL-EVS along with the EVS-100W amplifier is the solution.  Each EVS-100W provides up to 100 watts with the panel supporting up to 4 amplifiers.  More important, the amplifier allows programming of a 520 Hz tone in a steady output, Temporal 3 cadence, or Temporal 4 cadence.

Please contact Silent Knight at 1-800-446-6444 or www.silentknight.com for assistance on this or any other products and applications.  Remember that whatever your needs are, please be attentive to local and national codes, and work closely with the Authority Having Jurisdiction and involved shareholders to ensure that you are meeting installation and service requirements.

 

About the Author
Mark Indgjer is a Product Marketing Manager with Silent Knight.  Mark joined Silent Knight in 1988 and is responsible for new product development, product marketing and much more.  Mark is also NICET Level II certified.​

2012 Fire and Building Codes Require College Dorms to Install Automatic Smoke Detection

According to a 2011 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 3,810 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities and sororities in 2005-2009.dorm

To reduce property damage and civilian casualties, 2012 editions of the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Building Code (IBC) require an automatic smoke detection system to be installed in common spaces outside of dwelling/sleeping units of college and university buildings.

I’ve also covered where some of the bigger changes the 2012 edition of IFC and IBC will bring about, including carbon monoxide detection in new lodging and healthcare facilities; and emergency communication systems in k-12 grade schools.

 

About the Author
Richard Roberts is Industry Affairs Manager at Honeywell Fire Safety with over 30 years in the fire alarm and carbon monoxide market. His experience spans the installation, sales, and product development of code-compliant products and systems. Currently, Mr. Roberts is a member of eight NFPA Technical Committees and he serves on the Board of Directors for the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) and Chair of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Smoke & CO Committee and Building Codes Committee.