Monthly Archives: May 2015

SLC Options – Single vs. Multiple Loops

Addressable fire alarm control panels provide a circuit called a Signaling Line Circuit (SLC) that wires to the addressable input and output devices. Panels may support a single SLC or provide expansion for multiple SLCs. One of the characteristics of an SLC is the distance of wire it supports. SLCs on Silent Knight panels run a specific distance according to the wire gauge being used, regardless of the wire type or how many devices are on the loop.

For example, 14 AWG wire can run up to 7,900 feet on a Silent Knight addressable panel.  A benefit of the SLCs on our panels is that they do not require specific wire types, such as twisted or shielded, which make them ideal for retrofit applications.

In certain installations, consideration should be given to using multiple SLCs. An obvious reason for using multiple wire runs is that the point capacity of the SLC is exceeded. However, another consideration for using multiple SLCs is shorter wire runs.  Shorter runs can provide the benefit of using less wire, which saves time and money, while making any issues easier to troubleshoot.

The 5820XL/5820XL-EVS is Silent Knight’s expandable panel that supports up to 4 SLCs. A built-in SLC is provided with support for up to 3 of the 5815XL point expander cards. An advantage of using the 5815XL expander cards is the distributed mounting capability.

For example, a multi story building may use the internal SLC to cover specific areas. A common SLC graphicpractice is to use the 5815XL with the 5895XL addressable power supply in different areas of floors of a facility (see diagram included here). The point expander and power supply are used to control both the notification outputs and the addressable devices for these different areas of floors. The 5815XL mounts in the 5895XL cabinet, making the wire run a simple 4 conductor SBUS from the panel to the 5895XL. All other wire runs originate from the 5815XL and 5895XL to the designated floors, again saving labor and wiring.

Using multiple SLCs will still allow for individual point reporting. The ID of the SLC is reported along with the point ID so that you are able to distinguish points on each SLC run. Although a single, longer SLC run may work for many installations, please consider the flexibility of multiple SLCs for specific applications.

Make sense? Confused? Ask a question or leave a suggestion in the comments below.

About the Author
Jack Grones is an Application Engineer with Silent Knight and holds a NICET Level III certification.  Jack joined Silent Knight in 1978 and is responsible for applications and technical support.

16-Digit Reporting Makes Life Easier

Our dealers spoke and we listened. Today, we are excited to announce that we have released a new version of the IPGSM-4G—Honeywell’s simple to install, dual path communicator—that will make everyone’s lives a little easier.digits

Prior to Firmware Version 3.0.2, the Contact ID reporting format was set in a 15-digit architecture. By reporting 15 digits, central stations would run into a problem identifying module IDs on the fire alarm system because the IPGSM-4G would only report the last digit of the two-digit module ID number. The new version now allows for 16-digit Contact ID reporting, effectively correcting the anomaly.

As an example, the fire alarm control panel SLC loop is set as module 33. An SBUS device, such as a point expander, is added to the system and addressed as 13. When a device activated on module 33 and communicated using previous versions of the IPGSM-4G, it reported the module as a 3. You weren’t sure if the module reporting was 3, 13, 23, or 33.

With the new Firmware version 3.0.2, this issue has been corrected as both digits of all Silent Knight addressable fire alarm control panel SBUS addresses 01-34 will now fully report to the central station. This eliminates the need for dealers to work around the issue by creating unique ideas for each device on the system loop and removes guess work in reporting.

As a dual path communicator, the IPGSM-4G has the ability to report to the central station via IP or cellular communication, eliminating the cost of two dedicated phone lines. It’s cellular function works over 2G, 3G and 4G networks and will switch between the three based on best available signal, maintaining critical connections even in the face of a natural disaster, for instance, where cell towers might be jammed. Furthermore, because the IPGSM-4G is classified under Other Transmission Technologies it fully complies with NFPA 72 requirements.

If you’re unsure of what firmware your IPGSM-4G is running on, locate the box label that will have the Firmware version documented within.

To learn more about the IPGSM-4G system, download the data sheet here.

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.​

Local Versus General Evacuation: When & Why?

Evacuation of a building is an important element of fire safety. Just as important is the detection of an emergency in the first place.

There are specific instances; however, where evacuating the building may not be the right response depending on the risks associated with the emergency and the risk associated with evacuation. The risk of an actual fire could be low and the risk of injury, Apartment layoutconfusion, disruption in the building could be high in certain situations.

Let’s look at a building with sleeping spaces or dwelling units, as an example. In a sleeping room or dwelling unit, there is a higher risk of a nuisance alarm that wouldn’t warrant evacuating the entire building. However, the local occupant needs to be informed that there could be imminent danger. The individual(s) responsible for the building’s fire safety should be notified as well.

In and of NFPA 72-2013, dwelling unit smoke detection is required to activate a local audible alarm signal and shall not display an alarm condition at the protected premises (building) fire alarm system. To accomplish this:

  • The protected premises’ fire alarm control panel can be programmed to make the response “local” only. This is accomplished by using Supervisory type code for the detection devices. Then, the sleeping unit or dwelling unit notification appliances, such as sounder bases and/or mini-horns, can be used for the local alarm notification and evacuation.
  • The protected premises’ fire alarm control panel then annunciates the supervisory event for the building personnel to respond appropriately.
  • If it is a real incident and is verified in person or automatically (e.g., smoke spreads to the common area), then a general alarm / general evacuation is initiated immediately. In these cases, the local sounder base of an activated detector will always sound, notifying the occupant.

Another situation to consider is the presence and detection of carbon monoxide (CO). Due to the deadly nature and the effects of CO, occupants in the area of its presence need to be notified. This is another area; however, where it may be decided to create a supervisory signal at the protected premises system and have local alarm notification of the event. Check out our blog on “CO Detection: Alarm or Supervisory”. When using a combination device, such as the SK-FIRE-CO, the fire portion can still be programmed for an alarm signal for general evacuation purposes during a fire condition.

Understanding the building’s use, risks, and needs are important factors in determining the proper system design and response plan. To learn more about the Fire and CO detector solution for these applications along with the sounder base, feel free to view our webinar – Better Together – Addressable Fire and CO Detector. For more technical information on programming, take our online training – SK-FIRE-CO Online Course.

About the Author
Richard Conner is the Director of Marketing for the SED Channel – Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight, and Honeywell Power. Richard joined Honeywell in 2002 and has over 15 years of experience in the fire alarm industry in Marketing, Engineering, and Product Support positions. Richard is responsible for developing brand strategy and marketing programs for all brands.


Technical Training: Invest NOW or Watch Another Year Pass By

Do not let 2015 pass you by without investing just a few days to get your field technicians and sales engineers up to speed on new fire alarm technologies – many of which are code-mandated in most jurisdictions. I’m talking about carbon monoxide detection, low frequency notification, emergency communications, and back-up power – just to name a few. These are all covered in Silent Knight’s Tech Ed Course.Training generic

A new schedule of trainings taking place in 25+ states from now through the end of 2015 has been posted and online registration is open! Due to the detailed, hands-on instruction of these courses, class sizes are limited, so find a location near you and make a plan to invest in your employees’ education. Don’t let another year pass you by!

About the Author
Beth Welch is the Manager of Public Relations & Social Outreach for Honeywell Fire Systems. For a decade, she has strived to raise awareness of new technologies, industry trends and information, for the benefit of engineers, integrators and end users.

A Powerful Voice Package – Want to Know More?

Are you looking for a fire alarm and voice evacuation system all in one package?  Silent Knight has the answer – the 5820XL-EVS. The 5820XL-EVS is an integrated fire alarm and voice system that’s robust enough to meet strict NFPA 72 standards, yet Power Voice Lionflexible enough to work in dozens of applications.  The system provides protection for people and property in fire and non-fire events, allowing real-time information to be broadcast.

I can hear you now:  “Liz, where can I get more information on this fabulous product?”

Well, on Tuesday, May 19th, Silent Knight is hosting a webinar at 11:00 am (Eastern) on the 5820XL-EVS including discussions about new components and code updates.  We’ve also invited our friends at System Sensor to show how their low frequency notification products seamlessly tie into the 5820XL-EVS.  I invite you to listen in – it’s only an hour long – and ask questions!  You can register here.

Here are a few things about this system to point out:

  • Save money! Emergency voice system and fire alarm control are combined in one cabinet, saving materials and installation time.
  • More design flexibility! Distributed amplifiers allow you to put the power where you need it. Remote control units strategically placed will allow additional voice messaging in real time. Low Frequency Sounders and Bases allow better coverage for people who are hearing-impaired.
  • Loud & clear! The 5820XL-EVS can have any combination of Silent Knight amplifiers, up to 500W total, delivering intelligible, more flexible voice communications.

This Webinar will be very educational; I hope you join us. Plus, I’m moderating it so who wouldn’t want to listen in?!?!

About the Author
Elizabeth Richards is the Manager of Communications for the SED Channel – Fire-Lite Alarms, Honeywell Power, and Silent Knight. Liz joined Honeywell Fire Systems in 2003 and is responsible for the communications, collateral, messaging, and events for all three brands.