Potter Electric Signal Company

Potter fire alarm system ensures safety of Polk County’s property and people

Founded in 1874, Polk County sits
in the heart of Willamette Valley
within the scenic coastal city of
Dallas, Oregon. An epicenter for equality
and justice, the Polk County Courthouse
desperately needed a fire alarm and fire
sprinkler system overhaul to ensure the
safety of their property and people.
The existing four story building built in
1899 received a three story annex addition
in 1964 and the Polk County Jail Building
in 1999. The 69,000 square foot property
houses approximately 175 employees. With
a growing facility and a rapidly increasing
employee base, the zone monitoring associated
with the courthouse’s conventional fire
alarm system proved outdated and insufficient.
This warranted the installation of an
analog addressable system. The reliability,
pinpoint accuracy, and 24/7 on-site monitoring
of an addressable system provided
greater awareness and system functionality.
With a dated, conventional system,
AllSafe Fire and Security, the contractor
for the project, had their work cut out for
them. Complicating the fire alarm system
design, the remodeling also included five
preaction fire sprinkler systems in critical
areas. A central computer server room and
a file storage room containing indispensable
court documents were part of the preaction
fire sprinkler system additions. Potter’s
P400R Analog Addressable Releasing
Panel and the PSN-1000(E) Power Expander
were used as a viable, cost-effective
solution. The Potter panel and addressable
devices easily managed the inclusion of
the new preaction systems. While many
fire alarm control panels can only handle
one preaction system, the Potter P400R
can handle multiple preaction systems at
once. This unique capability allowed the
five preaction systems to all be linked to
the single P400R, thus saving money from
having to purchase multiple panels and
subsequently linking them together.
The existing system contained two
separate fire alarm control panels—one
panel for regular system functionality
and the second for releasing capabilities.
This caused problems as both panels did
not always communicate well. Increased
initial costs and maintenance upkeep along
with additional time and labor to ensure
proper system integrity were required with
the existing two panel system. The single
Product Highlights
Potter P400R solved these problems with
its ability to serve as both an addressable
fire alarm control panel and releasing
panel. AllSafe Fire and Security reduced
installation time and costs considerably
by programming one panel instead of
synchronizing two. Additionally, Potter’s
exclusive Quadrasync multi-strobe circuit
synchronization technology alleviated
many system wide concerns, allowing for
a smooth, simple installation.
The overall process was seamless as
the PSN-1000E Power Expanders provided
power to notification appliances, auxiliary
power, and releasing circuits for preaction
Polk County Courthouse
Analog addressable fire alarm
control panel with 127 points
expandable to 2,032.
10A intelligent power supply
with expandable cabinet.
Case Study:
Polk County Courthouse
Potter Electric Signal Company, LLC
Daily Operation
Today, Polk County Courthouse
employees enjoy an increased sense of
security and awareness with a Potter fire
alarm system. The network of addressable
devices connected to the P400R fire panel
monitors every inch of the premises and
provides instant notification of emergency
situations. “The P400R sends me nightly
e-mail updates of the current status of our
system that I can disseminate to key personnel
and first responders. Also, it texts
alarm and trouble conditions straight to
my smartphone, keeping me up-to-date on
everything I need to know. If Polk County’s
needs change, system alerts can also be
sent via e-mail. The P400R can also be
programmed to send reminder messages
such as when annual tests or inspections
are due,” said Matt Hawkins, Polk County
Courthouse Administrative Services Director.
The P400R’s ability to communicate to
a central monitoring station using an IP/
Internet connection not only eliminates the
need for dedicated phone lines, but also
provides a faster and more secure means
of transmitting crucial system information
to responding personnel.
In addition to peace of mind, the
new Potter P400R analog addressable
fire alarm system saved the Polk County
Courthouse time and money while providing
them with more control over the maintenance
and operation of their system.
“With the independence of a Potter system,
we no longer require remote monitoring
services and are able to perform our
own strobe testing,” Hawkins said. The
enhanced functionality of a Potter system
provided Courthouse employees with a
more self-sufficient method of life safety
protection. The installation of a Potter
fire alarm system ensured the continued
protection of Polk County’s property and
Potter’s non-proprietary products
integrated perfectly with the existing
framework due to their Quadrasync
John Ripplinger, the head technician
from AllSafe Fire and Security, quickly identified
all addressable devices using the PFC
Series LEARN function and the included
drag and drop programming software.
With a maximum point capacity of 2,032,
the P400R easily accommodated the 220
addressable devices with the Polk County
Last minute changes in preparation
for the AHJ inspection sparked an entire
system reprogramming. “It took our tech,
John Ripplinger, fifteen minutes to rewrite
everything when it would normally take
more than four hours with other fire alarm
systems,” said Mike Beecher, Manager of
AllSafe Fire and Security. The new system
exceeded the AHJ’s inspection requirements
leaving everyone satisfied with the
end result. “Installing these Potter products
was the easiest install I have done in over
twenty-five years,” Beecher said.
...the easiest install
I have done in over
twenty-five years!
...it texts alarm and
trouble conditions
straight to my
AllSafe Fire and Security
Formed in January of 2009 in the
Pacific Northwest, AllSafe Fire & Security
established itself as the premier contractor
for providing low voltage solutions to
the region. Their corporate vision focuses
on providing craftsmanship installation of
quality equipment paired with personalized
customer service to accurately fulfill
your needs. Founded on the principles of
honesty and hard work, AllSafe Fire and
Security strives to exceed the expectations
of every customer.
Potter Electric Signal Company, LLC
As an independent company with a
focus on tailored customer service, Potter
earns its customer’s business with superior
innovation and continued dedication to
life safety. Designing and manufacturing
the best life safety products on the market
to protect lives and property drives our corporate
vision. We possess the confidence
and competence to consistently exceed
your needs for every project, every time.