IP-connected fire and life safety systems at NFPA 2010

June 9, 2010, Las Vegas, Nev. -- Day 2 of NFPA continued the discussion on aspiration, mass notification and gas detection with the Honeywell Press Briefing breakfast starting off the day. Presentations from the complete Honeywell brand of fire & life safety -- including System Sensor, Notifier, Gamewell FCI, Silent Knight, Fire-Lite Alarms and Honeywell Power Products -- showcased new solutions which were being debuted at the show. But possibly even more relevant were some of the key points made within each presentation that gives some indication of what we can expect coming down the technology pipeline in fire and life safety. The industry has experienced a shift towards more IP-based products and the fire & life safety sector is not exempt from that.

"Silent Knight has really moved away from the conventional panels and I believe it's about continuing to work with people to get them off the conventional panels," said Brian Griffin, southwest regional sales manager, for Silent Knight. "What's going to move our industry forward is products like these," continued Griffin in his presentation on the IFP-2000, VIP 125 panel and IFP 256 panel. "The possibilities of IP communication are evident and I think this is where the industry is going."

According to Gene Pecora, general manager for Honeywell Power Products and marketing leader for Fire-Lite Alarms, it's important to understand that questions surrounding the continued presence of POTS lines (traditional phone lines) affect the entire industry, largely because life safety systems have depended on POTS as the primary alarm communications route. The questions target the speed at which POTS lines will be eliminated and what communications method will replace them, a question that manufacturers designing fire detection systems will continue to examine and adapt their product to. Of course, there is more technical detail that adds to the discussion but customers and developers of these solutions need to be aware of such life safety communication evolution. And a multi-mode communications product that includes GSM (cellular) is one way designed for those that want more reliability than the single path offered by the Internet.

"What GSM does is that it switches to the cell phone if the Internet goes down," explained Pecora. The IPGSM-COM fire alarm communicator from Honeywell Power Products utilizes Honeywell's AlarmNet network via IP or multiple GSM/cellular pathways, offering a cost effective data reporting alternative to legacy circuit-switched phone lines.

The bottom line is while the speed of adoption for new fire alarm communication methods cannot be easily predicted, replacement of POTS is the direction it's headed and these new multi-path solutions provide the communications reliability to satisfy that need within the life safety industry.

Finally, here is a sneak peek of some other new products the Honeywell Fire Systems Group announced on the show floor:

System Sensor's FAAST Fire Alarm Aspiration Sensing Technology

System Sensor's FAAST fire alarm aspiration sensing technology

System Sensor's FAAST Fire Alarm Aspiration Sensing Technology (model 8100 pictured above) draws air samples into its sensor through a pipe network with smoke detection performance built around its dual vision sensing technology. The sensor utilizes an extremely sensitive blue LED to provide early warning fire detection up to 60 minutes before combustion.

E3Point gas and flame detection

E3Point Gas and Flame detection

The E3Point (pictured), Sensepoint XCD and FD Series are three new lines of gas and flame detection products available through Notifier. The E3Point sensors are ideal for monitoring toxic and combustible gases typically found in commercial building applications, such as parking garages, boiler rooms, battery rooms, maintenance sheds and commercial kitchens. The Sensepoint XCD detector, used to monitor industrial sites for a wide range of toxic and flammable gasses, can be used to provide complete diagnostic, alarm and gas concentration values from multiple sensors directly to a NOTIFIER fire alarm control system. The FD Series of flame detectors are designed to monitor common flame emissions in high-risk industrial applications, including oil/gas and petrochemical sites.

Look for more of Natalia Kosk's NFPA 2010 coverage on our fire/life safety systems news page and on her blog, SD&I Dispatches.