Fire Alarm control panel and device compatibility

ianmurphy

Member
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Occupation
Electrical EIT
I am an electrical designer but not super familiar with fire alarm systems. What info would an electrical contractor need in order to price out the job in terms of device comparability with an existing FACP? For a fit-up I am working on now, the FACP is a Simplex 4100ES but I think the existing devices are Edwards. Are certain device manufacturer's only compatible with certain FACPs? Any advice / opinions on how these systems work is appreciated
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
They have to be listed for use on the system.

I would be surprised if there are many things listed for use on Simplex as they do not typically play nice with others.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
I am an electrical designer but not super familiar with fire alarm systems. What info would an electrical contractor need in order to price out the job in terms of device comparability with an existing FACP? For a fit-up I am working on now, the FACP is a Simplex 4100ES but I think the existing devices are Edwards. Are certain device manufacturer's only compatible with certain FACPs? Any advice / opinions on how these systems work is appreciated
Generally speaking, as don pointed out, brand A does not play well with brand B. The exceptions are broadly of two types, notification appliances and conventional devices on a specialty module.

Simplex panels have the sync protocol for a number of providers notification appliances in addition to their own, System Sensor and Wheelock for two that I know of. They may also do Edwards.

If there was an old conventional Edwards panel previously in place, those devices may now live on an addressable module from Simplex which is designed to turn a string of conventional devices (pull stations, smoke detectors, heat detectors, etc) into a single addressable point on the Simplex panel. Likewise, an old Edwards pull station could be turned into a single addressable point by adding a mini-module to the back box, but you can't do the same for a conventional Edwards smoke detector.

What you will not see are addressable Edwards devices active on a Simplex panel. All the big boys have proprietary protocols for their addressable panels.
 

ianmurphy

Member
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Occupation
Electrical EIT
Generally speaking, as don pointed out, brand A does not play well with brand B. The exceptions are broadly of two types, notification appliances and conventional devices on a specialty module.

Simplex panels have the sync protocol for a number of providers notification appliances in addition to their own, System Sensor and Wheelock for two that I know of. They may also do Edwards.

If there was an old conventional Edwards panel previously in place, those devices may now live on an addressable module from Simplex which is designed to turn a string of conventional devices (pull stations, smoke detectors, heat detectors, etc) into a single addressable point on the Simplex panel. Likewise, an old Edwards pull station could be turned into a single addressable point by adding a mini-module to the back box, but you can't do the same for a conventional Edwards smoke detector.

What you will not see are addressable Edwards devices active on a Simplex panel. All the big boys have proprietary protocols for their addressable panels.
Okay thanks for the info. All the new devices will be addressable, so I guess Simplex devices is the way to go.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
Okay thanks for the info. All the new devices will be addressable, so I guess Simplex devices is the way to go.
You will also need to note that the EC needs to engage the local Simplex office to do the panel programming for the new devices. They should also be required to do a pre-bid walkthrough to confirm the existing field devices and locations, document any troubles or failures, and you or someone should provide them with the current as-builts.
 
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