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

Remote Station and Protected Premises Fire Alarm Systems

Combination Systems

What are they?

Combination systems have been in use for quite some time.  Probably the most notable is the combination fire/burglary control unit that is very popular in small business settings and residential applications.  More and more, "fire alarm" systems are becoming something otherAnother example is the combination of a carbon monoxide detection system installed in conjunction with the fire alarm system. These are becoming more and more popular. The signals from a carbon monoxide system that annunciate through the fire alarm control unit are not necessarily indicative of a fire. Thus, they are allowed to be supervisory signals. than just a fire alarm system.  With terrorism on the rise, the fire alarm system is going to become a bigger tool in mass notification, where, quite possibly, the fire isn't the main problem.  Yet the fire alarm system is the main notification tool for the problem.

Also, as the fire alarm system is the one item that stays operating in a building when, perhaps, everything else is shut down, items that control critical processes may be combined with fire alarm systemsThere is a fine line between what is a "combination" system and something that is merely interfaced with a fire alarm system. Any system in combination with the fire alarm system will typically have the ability to operate as a "stand-alone" system if disconnected from the fire alarm system. For example, a carbon monoxide detection "system" will still operate and process and send signals if the fire alarm system was removed. This is often confused with an interfaced system. Interfaces typically rely on the fire alarm system to operate, or have components that are fire alarm system components used to initiate the action of the interfaced system. An example of this may be a computer room suppression system. The detectors in the room may well be the fire alarm system detectors, programmed to release the suppression system. Without these detectors, the suppression system loses its automatic capability. Further, don't confuse simple monitoring of a non-fire alarm system or component with combination systems. For example, many facilities will use fire pumps to increase the water supply system pressure. The fire pump system has its own controller, and it is not interfaced or combined with the fire alarm control unit. The fire alarm system is only going to receive status signals from the controller, as a means for management to monitor the readiness of the pump assembly. These inputs are simply initiating devices, and are part of the fire alarm system itself. to accomplish safe shutdowns, for example.  Or components that look for things other than fire  in an environment, such as toxins or gases, can be arranged so that sensor activation connects to the fire alarm control unit for signaling purposes, and maybe more.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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