Archive for the 'Fire Alarm News' Category

Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)

Emergency Communications Systems (ECS) and Mass Notification Systems (MNS) broadcast live, up-to-the minute emergency information to everyone in a building, campus, or multiple facilities spread across a city, state, even the globe, to help prevent injuries and save lives.

A robust ECS/MNS system has the ability to provide a multi-faceted approach to notify occupants and personnel of any type of emergency or non-emergency event in real time. NOTIFIERs ECS/MNS solutions provide the ability to easily integrate indoor and outdoor voice evacuation with pre-recorded messages or live messages announcements performed locally or via wide area networking over IP. Along with the ability to integrate Distributed Recipient Mass Notification Systems (DRMNS) that deliver the appropriate message via text, email, SMS, digital displays, LED Signs and/or pc screens. NOTIFIERs ECS/MNS offering ensures that right message is received by the right people, at the right time, using the appropriate technology.

All Department of Defense (DOD) components are required to provide mass notification capability. This UFC (Unified Facilities Criteria) was developed by collecting and refining criteria from DOD antiterrorism guidance, examining previous mass notification system evaluation reports, and reviewing the capabilities of representative, commercially available mass notification products.

NOTIFIER Emergency Communications Systems Demo Site

SWIFT (Smart Wireless Integrated Fire Technology) – NOTIFIER

NOTIFIER’s SWIFT wireless mesh is integrated with current ONYX panels to create flexible wired/wireless intelligent fire detection. SWIFT Wireless devices are similar in appearance to corresponding intelligent FlashScan wired devices, and have the capabilities of ONYX intelligent sensing. A robust SWIFT wireless mesh network uses a unique protocol with redundant supervised communication paths that is UL approved for Class A operation.

Why would I use SWIFT?

Wireless fire protection has inherent advantages for many applications.


When the cost of running wire and conduit becomes prohibitive, wireless devices provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional wired devices. But the benefits of a wireless system go beyond cost savings – faster installation time, improved appearance, and ability to be installed with minimal physical impact on a structure can each be a critical factor.


SWIFT devices are closely integrated with ONYX panels. A SWIFT wireless gateway is connected to the FlashScan SLC loop of a current ONYX system, and supports a network of up to 49 wireless devices. Additional wireless gateways can be added to increase the number of wireless devices, with up to 4 gateways in the same radio space. SWIFT devices are individually programmed, annunciated, and controlled by the ONYX system. Detectors support all features of ONYX intelligent sensing, including adjustable alarm and pre-alarm settings, maintenance alert annunciations, cooperative detection options, and drift compensation. Wired and wireless devices are fully annunciated and controlled at the primary system display.


Wireless devices are in increasingly common use, but concerns about wireless fire alarm reliability are still a concern for ESDs, engineers, authorities, and customers.

SWIFT Wireless was designed to provide maximum reliability. The SWIFT system proprietary protocol uses supervised, redundant communication paths to insure that event data reaches the fire alarm control panel. Signal strength for each communication link is evaluated, and the initial system setup automatically incorporates a safe margin to insure that routine variations in the environment will not disrupt communications.

Proper installation is another critical factor in ensuring a robust, reliable wireless system. The SWIFT system includes tools for pre-qualifying a site and to determine that the signal strength of every link is well above minimum. SWIFT TOOLS, a suite of wireless tools that runs on a Windows® PC, supports sophisticated analysis of the health of a wireless network, providing technicians with detailed information that can be used to maximize system performance.

Proposed NYC fire law would require ECS in high-rises

NEW YORK—The city may mandate emergency communications systems in buildings higher than six stories after a man died in a high-rise fire this month while trying to escape down a smoke-filled stairway instead of remaining safely in his apartment. Continue reading ‘Proposed NYC fire law would require ECS in high-rises’

Low Frequency Requirements Sound Confusing, But They’re Necessary

The wording of the 520 Hz signal requirement in NFPA 72®: 2010 and 2013 has caused some confusion. In general, low frequency sounders take the place of standard sounders in commercial sleeping spaces. However, there’s far more to know about the newly enacted requirement.A significant change in NFPA 72, The National Fire Alarm Signaling Code, became effective January 1, 2014 – the 520 Hz low frequency audible fire alarm signal is required in all sleeping areas of newly constructed hotel guest rooms and dormitory sleeping rooms. What does this change mean for you? The short answer is: it depends. And confusion regarding the wording in the 2010 and 2013 editions of NFPA 72 is partly to blame for the difficulty in providing a definitive answer. Continue reading ‘Low Frequency Requirements Sound Confusing, But They’re Necessary’

Fire & Life Safety: Panel Innovations

Advancements in fire alarm control panels have seemed to evolve slowly over time. Historically, in many instances, panel changes have been born out of codes and standards changes; however, things like “the cloud” and intuitive touchscreens that have permeated our everyday lives have been incorporated into new panel designs. Continue reading ‘Fire & Life Safety: Panel Innovations’

Edwards downsizes manufacturing plant to keep competitive

PITTSFIELD, Maine—Four years after resurrecting the Edwards name for its fire and safety products, UTC is shutting down its 300-employee Edwards plant here and moving production to three other locations in order to “ensure continued competiveness.” Continue reading ‘Edwards downsizes manufacturing plant to keep competitive’

AT&T: 2017 end of the line for 2G

Cell carrier’s ‘sunset’ for GSM will force upgrade to 3G and 4G radios.

AT&T will phase out its 2G networks by 2017, setting a long-anticipated timeline for the “sunset” of the technology and giving the alarm industry a target date to upgrade cellular equipment. Continue reading ‘AT&T: 2017 end of the line for 2G’