Conventional Versus Addressable Alarm Systems

For many years, conventional fire alarms have been used quite commonly. A few years back, not many options of fire alarms were available and it was pretty common for people to install large systems i.e. 64 zones with complex control panels with many sounder and detection circuits.

With changing times, the requirement for complex fire safety systems also arose and addressable fire alarm systems entered the market and since then have created quite a stronghold.

In recent years, many manufacturers have made an attempt to combine the advantages of high-end addressable systems into smaller systems. As a result, a wide range of fire alarm systems have appeared in the marketplace to suit the requirements of small to medium-sized businesses offering increased flexibility as well as significant cost savings.

In the 90s, switching to an addressable fire alarm system was not considered as a cost effective proposition unless more than 8 zones were needed. However, with the advancements in technology, today a system can be used for even 2 to 4 zones.

Conventional and Addressable Fire Alarm Systems

Conventional fire alarm systems make use of radial detection circuits that are installed individually into each area or zone and there are at least two sounder circuits covering the entire premises. The devices are usually simple on/off devices that make use of different levels of load resistance to send signals to the control panel.

On the other hand, addressable fire alarm systems make use of data communication technology to monitor and control many alarm and detection devices on a single circuit, typically in the form of a ring or a loop. Every device has a specific, unique identification number and the control panel is programmed to respond suitably with the location, type of alarm, zone information, etc. for the particular detection device. It also specifies when and how to activate an alarm or any other output device.

The detection device may use automatic addressing system or soft addressing, or switch binary coding also known as hard addressing. The detection devices usually use analogue technology to provide improved sensitivity to alarm conditions.

Key Advantage of Addressable Systems

Addressable systems have several advantages over conventional fire alarm technology. Addressable fire alarm systems do not require too much in the way of wiring which helps in reducing installation costs. These systems use simple loop-based wiring which is common to all devices and areas. The systems offer greater flexibility and allow you to make alterations without major rewiring. The sounding devices can be more easily integrated with the detection devices. When the alarm is activated, the system displays the point text identification rather than just the area or zone number. It is equipped with an event log which allows you to locate the faults easily and it also has other diagnostic tools.

In today’s competitive scenario, with more sophisticated technology coming into existence, choosing an appropriate fire alarm system for your worksite can be a daunting task. You must evaluate all the factors carefully before making the final choice. And remember, it is not true any longer that a small fire alarm system means a conventional one only.  A simple addressable system may be able to offer you a considerably better solution and more competitive service.

Cygnus fire alarms system offers reliable service and can be used for a long period of time, repeatedly, thereby reducing the cost of purchase, thus resulting in significant cost savings. Cygnus fire alarm systems are ideal for construction sites of any size and you can now relax knowing that the safety of your business is in good hands.