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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Auxiliary Fire Alarm Systems

Summary

Summary

Auxiliary station alarm systems are connected from the protected premises through a fire alarm box that interfaces with municipal circuits or with the municipal alarm receiving station. The municipal system is also known as the public fire reporting system and is owned and operated by the municipality.

There are a number of ways that the protected premises can connect to the alarm receiving station. 
Master fire alarm boxes are mechanical boxes that can transmit fire alarm signals using a code that is indicative of the address of the facility. A municipal box also has manual actuation abilities, so it has public access capabilities as well as alarm transmission from the protected premises. Auxiliary boxes are similar to the master box, but they have no public access capability and are specifically designed for alarm signal transmission from a protected premises fire alarm system. Radio frequency boxes are replacing many master and auxiliary boxes in communities. They, too, transmit fire alarm signals, but they use radio frequencies and have the capability to transmit other signals also, such as supervisory signals, from the protected premises. Although a fire alarm system doesn't connect to them, telephone boxes are also used in the municipal system as manual notification for the public. Fire alarm boxes are powered either by a connection at the protected premises or from the public reporting system circuits. If powered from the protected premises, they are known as local energy boxes. If connected to the municipal circuit for power, they are called shunt boxes.

Local energy boxes are preferred, because if there is a problem with the power on the municipal circuits, the local energy box senses it, a signal is generated at the protected premises and the subscriber knows about it. If the shunt box loses power, the protected premises system can't detect it.

The receiving station on the public reporting system has specific requirements for the arrangement of power, circuits, and operations, depending on the size of the station relative to the number of signals it receives.

The power is supplied in one of three forms: 4A, 4B or 4C. Each of these has different secondary power arrangements, depending on the size of the operation and the number of signals that are handled in the alarm receiving station.

The public reporting system is categorized as either Type A or Type B, depending on the number of boxes connected to it. Typically, the Type A system is  found in larger cities and Type B systems will be implemented in smaller locations.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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