Category Archives: Richard Conner

SKST Adds the Internal Amplifier and More!

The Silent Knight Selection Tool (SKST) is a powerful program that allows you to build a system with any of our IntelliKnight addressable panels. This FREE tool provides job information, bill of materials, battery calculations, and datasheets.

SKST Version 1.4 comes with the following updates:

  • Reconciled all data sheet links for all devices. Some links have been updated to correct file SKST Image 2015not found errors, some links have been added to devices that had no links before.
  • Added the EVS-INT50W internal amplifier to the program for use with the 5820XL-EVS.
  • Added the System Sensor Low Frequency Sounders and Sounder/Strobes as well as Low-Frequency bases and accessories to the program.
  • Added the new ISO-6 multiple Isolator module to the program.
  • Added the EVS-100W Amplifier and EVS-100WBU backup amplifier to the program for use with the 5820XL-EVS Control Panel.
  • Added System Sensor WFDN series Waterflow Detectors to the program.

The SKST includes the following time-saving features and functions:

  • Enter and save project information
  • Select and edit parts from the catalog
  • Generate a bill of materials
  • Export your bill of materials to MS Excel and Microsoft Access
  • Determine battery size by creating battery calculations based on your configuration
  • Print groups of data sheets for submittal packages

To download the latest version (1.4) of SKST, please visit our website: http://www.silentknight.com/support/Pages/SKST.aspx

To learn about the SKST and other tools that Silent Knight has to offer, feel free to view our webinar “Add Value Not Cost: Free Services from Silent Knight”.

 

 

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.

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 23.8.3.2 and 23.8.3.5 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.

 

Understanding Product Listings for New Dealers

Fire and life safety systems perform an important role in protecting people and property. Product listings and approvals are a critical component that ensures a fire and life safety solution meets the necessary performance criteria for this purpose. In the U.S., AHJs and other code enforcement officials typically require the equipment used in new fire and life safety system installations and upgrades to possess certain listings and approvals. Therefore, new dealers interested in getting into the fire alarm industry would benefit from understanding the regulatory requirements / listings for these systems.UL ListingFMApproved_BW.ai

One of the primary approvals agencies that is widely known in this industry is Underwriters Laboratories (UL). UL provides testing and certification services to fire alarm manufacturers, among many other services in many other industries. The UL certification, also known as a listing, is then specified by architects/engineers and end users for fire alarm solutions and enforced in jurisdictions for where the product is to be installed. Since there are different aspects of a fire alarm system, the specific products are “listed” for a specific purpose. For example, here are some common listings:

  • UL864 – Standard for Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems
  • UL 268 – Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems
  • UL 2572 – Standard for Mass Notification Systems

If a specification just says UL listed, then it’s understood that the required product is listed for its purpose. The applicable listings are typically outlined at the end of a product spec sheet (or datasheet), which is used as evidence of the listing. The spec sheet may not reflect the actual listing type, but may show the manufacturer file number, which is linked to the listing card. In addition, the listings can be researched by manufacturer and product in the Online Certifications Directory on the UL website.

Another regulatory agency that is prevalent for fire and life safety systems is Factory Mutual (FM). Factory Mutual provides insurance products, among many other services. Typically, the fire alarm system used in a facility that is insured by FM is required to be FM approved. This is also a testing and certification process that is completed by fire alarm manufacturers. Manufacturers commonly post FM approvals in the same places as UL listings. An “Approval Guide” of all FM approved products and services is also maintained by FM online.

In addition to nationally recognized agencies like UL and FM, there are local regulatory agencies, including ones such as the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) and Fire Department of New York City (FDNY).

Although the listings and approvals for fire alarm may seem complicated, it comes down to two basic questions:

1) What listings and/or approvals are required in the jurisdiction?

2) What is required for the specific application?

Once you know these answers, then you can use the product spec sheet and certification agency websites to determine if the fire and life safety solution meets your project’s regulatory needs. As an example, Silent Knight systems listings and approvals are available on SilentKnight.com.

Can’t find a particular listing? Curious about the testing process or have other questions on approvals and listings? Let us know in the comments section on this page.

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.

K-12 School Safety Series – Emergency Communication Systems

Over the years, we have seen an increase in demand for emergency communication systems (ECS). Unfortunately, natural disasters, security threats, and other harmful events are driving the demand for these systems that are capable of providing real-time information and instructions to people in a building, site, or geographic area. How do you know if the ECS system that you are considering meets your needs and applicable codes?

  1. The first areas to consider are the needs of your facility, occupants (staff, studentsclassroom of kids and guests), and stakeholders (parents). Those needs are determined by working with a Fire Protection Engineer (FPE) and Fire Alarm Designer to conduct a risk analysis. A risk analysis takes into account the probability of incidents and potential consequences of those incidents. A risk analysis then supplies critical information for the ECS design to mitigate and respond to those incidents.
  1. Secondly, you must consider the codes and standards that apply to an ECS solution. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides standards for the installation, operation and maintenance of emergency communication systems in NFPA 72 Chapter 24*. Also, products that bear a listing to the ANSI/UL 2572 standard, means they meet the strict testing guidelines of this standard, which many building officials require of these systems. Also keep in mind what is required by your local jurisdiction based on the building code’s occupancy classification. The Webinar ECS & the Code offers a great overview of the codes and standards surrounding ECS and it is available to view on demand.

When it’s time to consider implementing an ECS in your school, consider a system that combines emergency notification with the reliable supervision of a fire alarm system. The IntelliKnightTM 5820XL-EVS is a non-proprietary addressable fire alarm with integrated voice that complies with NFPA 72 and is UL 2572 listed. It has a large capacity range to fit most school needs, and its open platform allows school maintenance staff to do minor maintenance work like changing a smoke detector.

*ECS is also referenced in the NFPA 72 2007 edition, under section 6.8.4.7 and 2010 edition in Chapter 24.

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.

K-12 School Safety Series – Carbon Monoxide Detection

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a growing concern in many residential and commercial applications, including K-12 schools. The uptick in injuries and deaths related to CO poisoning has sparked calls for action. As a result, various states around the country have proposed legislation to retrofit K-12 schools with CO detectors. New York State is one of states pushing this legislation, citing the unfortunate incidents in education and retail facilities. What can be done to “retrofit” a school to protect our students, teachers, and staff? Keep reading. school hallway

The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is real and can occur in a building with a fossil fuel burning heater. This can be a result of malfunctioning equipment or improper ventilation (such as leaky flues). The good news is that it can be detected early by CO detectors, which are typically part of the fire alarm system.

The fire alarm system will receive the event and then notify the occupants on the premises (e.g., students, staff, and, teachers at a school) and the central station (monitoring station that calls the fire department). In many cases, the CO detectors can be added to the existing fire alarm system in the required areas, the same as a traditional smoke detector. Utilizing the existing fire alarm system is a more effective solution and more cost conscience vs. standalone CO detectors.

Despite the convenient options for adding CO detection, there are still challenges around legislation and funding. While some states are proactive with legislation proposals or mandating the change, there always remains the question about funding. Here’s how to start planning for adding CO detection:

  1. Determine the scope of work. This can be done during the periodic inspection of the system. Your current fire alarm service company can evaluate the state of the system and what needs to be done to add the appropriate CO detectors.
  2. Obtain an estimate for the work from the service company.
  3. Use the estimate to budget for the upgrade/retrofit at the appropriate time.

Regarding timing, the sooner the better! If it’s too late for this winter season, create a plan for the summer. As schools let out for the summer, it is prime time for building upgrades and maintenance activities.

See our recent series on facts about CO, CO detection and CO building requirements.

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.