Networking fire

September 2010 Fire & Safety

High-speed fault tolerant networks for fire systems.

“The networking of fire alarm control panels for large fire detection systems is a well established practice, however few people realise how the design and performance of the network affects the overall operation of the system and, most importantly, the end-user’s experience of the system”, says Brett Birch development manager for Technoswitch.

Brett Birch, development manager for Technoswitch
Brett Birch, development manager for Technoswitch

“As the official distributor of the Advanced Electronics’ intelligent fire alarm control product range in sub-Saharan Africa, Technoswitch is in the fortunate position of being able to offer a high-speed fault tolerant network for fire systems which is robust and exceeds the requirements of the relevant EN standard.”

Advanced’s Ad-NeT+ fire network can be configured to allow the interconnection of up to 200 panels (nodes) in a fault tolerant configuration. The maximum cable length between nodes is 1,5 km, with a total loop length of 20 km. The network is capable of withstanding a single fault between nodes without loss of communications to any single panel. This is all achieved using standard two-core fire resistant cable.

The standard EN 54-13:2005 (E) states that “a fire alarm condition on a CIE shall be indicated on the main CIE within 20 sec". The typical delay on an Ad-NeT+ 50 panel network for each panel to indicate a fire from any zone is less than one second and 3,5 seconds for a full 200 panel system.

The network operates as a true peer-to-peer system allowing information from any input or output device to be passed over the network and displayed on any Mx-4000 control panel or remote terminal as required. Details include Fire, General Alarm, Pre-alarm, Fault, Control Inputs and Disablement as well as analogue values, test instructions and status information. The Ad-NeT+ systems DynamiX zoning facility allows the networked system to utilise up to 1000 zones providing non-confusing indication and allowing true peer-to-peer cross panel report, control and site-wide cause and effect functionality. No single panel is required to act as a ‘Master’ for the network to operate.

According to Birch the ability to be able to remotely interrogate the fire system is another feature which is extremely important for both the end-user and fire detection installer as it allows them to identify problems before they actually happen, saving time and money by reducing unnecessary visits to site. Furthermore, more and more clients are requesting the ability to monitor their fire system using their existing Internet infrastructure.

The new ipGateway product is a fully interactive Internet portal for the Mx-4000 range of fire alarm control panels, which allows remote monitoring of any Mx-4000 series fire system from anywhere on the Internet using a standard Web browser. A distinct advantage is gained from the use of a browser to view the information as it eliminates the need for any proprietary software to be installed on each PC that uses ipGateway.

When accessing ipGateway, the user is presented with comprehensive information about the fire network. Including a breakdown of all the zones on the network, a detailed description and current status of all devices contained within each zone and an overall indication of the current status of the network. The information displayed on the user’s web browser is updated in real-time, ensuring that any change to the status of the network is clearly identified and reported to the user as it happens.

In addition to the visual representation of the fire network, ipGateway allows the user to interact with the fire network as though they were stood in front of a fire panel. From a remote location anywhere in the world a user, with the correct authority and access rights, can enable/disable zones, enable/disable devices, reset networks, reset panels, mute networks, mute panels, silence or resound sounders on a panel or a network. By connecting the system to the Internet a higher level of security is needed due to such threats as viruses and unscrupulous access. Therefore, built-in security features of ipGateway require an authorised user to logon using a password and to connect to the remote system via a secure IP address.

ipGateway can also be configured to use an existing e-mail server to send a notification as a result of an event on the fire network. Each event can be setup to alert a number of different personnel at varying times of the day. This is useful for environments where a number of people are responsible for the fire network, but those people work various shifts throughout the day. These e-mail addresses are simply to set-up in the browser without the need to configure local e-mail clients.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Maximum fire protection for the most dangerous places
Securiton Fire & Safety Mining (Industry) Products
Africa’s heavy mining and resource processing industries are some of the continent’s leading economic lights. They also present some of its toughest fire safety challenges on the planet.

Preventing forest fires with digital intelligence
Dahua Technology South Africa Fire & Safety Products
Technologies such as dual-spectrum video monitoring, intelligent image analysis and recognition, and three-dimensional positioning, enable the smart system to detect a fire, quickly locate the fire source and automatically send alarm to on-duty personnel.

Fire safety for solar systems
Fire & Safety
Several fire safety measures should be taken into account to prevent the risk of fires when installing a solar power system; firstly, solar panels must be installed by experienced professionals to prevent fires caused by faulty wiring or overheating.

The importance of voice alarm integration with fire detection
TOA Electronics Fire & Safety
The primary purpose of a voice alarm system (or voice evacuation system) is for the safety of staff, the public, assets and property, ensuring effective, controlled and rapid evacuation of an area or building during an emergency by providing clear voice instructions to occupants.

Kidde Commercial launches as new Carrier brand
Fire & Safety News
Kidde Engineered Systems has announced its new brand identity, incorporating the Aritech, Kidde Engineered Systems, Kilsen and Ziton brands rebranded as Kidde Commercial.

DIY fire extinguisher
Fire & Safety News
A newly launched platform offers underserved communities an easy way to create cheap homemade fire extinguishers to help to tackle one of the biggest challenges in South Africa’s informal settlements: the constant threat of fire.

Technoswitch partners with UK’s Hyfire
Technoswitch Fire Detection & Suppression News Fire & Safety Products
UK-based wireless fire technology pioneer Hyfire, has confirmed partnership agreements that will see its products sold in South Africa, for the first time, through local fire and safety stalwart, Technoswitch.

Bespoke fire-risk systems for agri and food processing
Fire & Safety
ASP Fire highlights its specialised expertise in the agri and food-processing industries, where compliance is vital to save lives, reduce the costs of fire damage, and protect equipment and buildings from major damage.

Incorporate fire safety in the design phase
Fire & Safety
ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk says companies can prevent their infrastructure project from going up in flames by incorporating fire safety in the design phase.

Fire-fighting force at Vergelegen
Editor's Choice Fire & Safety Residential Estate (Industry)
Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, and its neighbours, are set to enjoy greater peace of mind this summer, thanks to the delivery of a brand new fire truck .