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Have been told that we need new fire alarm system. Advice sought please?

Discussion in 'Alarms, CCTV & Telephones' started by neiloneil, 19 Feb 2021.

  1. neiloneil

    neiloneil

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    The alarm in the building I take care of, keeps going off. The alarm guy comes out and replaces call points , smoke sensors etc, but faults remain on the panel. a persistent fault is a double address error, which he can not remedy. Our system is a Morely ias zxa with one loop and 12 zones, it is 20 years old, and I have 3 questions;

    Is it a big job for the alarm maintenance company to reload the software for our existing system?
    Will our existing addressable devices be able to work on a different system?

    If we renew the system, what would be a good, well supported and user friendly option to choose?
     
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  3. secureiam

    secureiam

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    I don't do fire but maybe you should get some one else in to have a look if your concerned about the offers presented and see what they would recommend.

    Given its age I would suspect it would be all replaced as this is the safest option.

    That said the smokes shouldn't be 20 years old, believe smokes recommended life span is 10 years max.


    The double address error, suggests device is addressed the same or is missing from what I have just read, this can be a number of factors to which you would expect the engineer is aware of and should have looked at, but you should be able to go through the service history to see whats logged
     
  4. neiloneil

    neiloneil

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    the panel and cabling are 20 years old, but the devices have been replaced at the intervals specified. Also more frequently when problems have arisen.
     
  5. Sally2000

    Sally2000

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    You don't say what the building is used for, but the insurers may have their own requirements for maintaining/updating fire security. Is their any public access? If so there will be local authority requirements too.
     
  6. sparkymarka

    sparkymarka

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    I would get a second opinion on this , sounds like two devices are set the same ...I had this on a panel last year as water had got into one of the devices around the address switch ...
     
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  7. Gibbies

    Gibbies

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    Almost certainly water ingress causing the fault. Unless the engineer has changed a device and incorrectly addressed it.
    The lifetime of Smoke detectors depends on the environment. A stable dust-free environment the detectors can last well over 10 years. My advice would be to replace any fire & security equipment that is 15 years of age. Why wait for the problem to occur? All depends on the risk though I guess.
    I don't know much about Morley fire panels but post a photo of the type of smoke detectors it may give a clue if or not they would be compatible with a different type of fire panel.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2021
  8. neiloneil

    neiloneil

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    I will post a photo of the devices on monday.
    The property is grade 1 listed, has 7 rented flats, a staff area, and an area which opens to the public.
     
  9. scott1980

    scott1980

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    Are you getting false fire activations? Or is it just the double address faults you are having issues with? My gut feeling would be to employ a different company specialising in fire alarm systems to sort this out. It sounds like you may have employed a "part swapper" at the moment who's simply chucking new devices at the system in the hope that it'll solve the issue. A common problem with systems running Apollo equipment giving double address faults is the smoke/heat detectors not sitting in their mounting bases correctly, causing the address switches on the detector to make a poor/intermittent connection with the pips on the address card.

    I also had a fault last week where the address DIP switches on a manual call point hadn't been switched over properly on the original install 3 years ago which caused a double address/device missing fault. Working the switches back and forth a few times solved the problem. It could also be down to a faulty device or (less likely unless there are other faults displayed) problems with the field wiring (earth fault/water ingress) causing corruption on the loop. It's not likely to be an issue with the control equipment, though if you did want to look at replacing this, the Advanced MXPro 4/5 would definitely be my choice as a replacement. Rock solid panels and very easy to use. This would depend on your existing field devices though, as not all would be compatible
     
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  11. neiloneil

    neiloneil

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    These devices are the same as those on the system.
     

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  12. AdrianUK

    AdrianUK

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    Your second pic shows an XP95 sensor head. The row of 4 & row of 3 'pips' that you can see 'read' an address strip that is placed in the base. These strips have matching knockouts that press (or not) the pips in when the sensor is fitted on the base.

    Sometimes these unintentionally break off causing the sensor head to be set to the wrong address. This is a common cause of double addressing. It can be a bugger to find. It happened in the middle of the night with our system at work - the sensor head causing it was, of course, in one of the most inaccessible places!
     
  13. secureiam

    secureiam

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    It is always the case......
     
  14. Gibbies

    Gibbies

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    Wouldn’t that also result in a device missing though?
     
  15. sparkymarka

    sparkymarka

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    Depends on if the previous people did a loop relearn ...
     
  16. Gibbies

    Gibbies

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    If a device had been deleted you wouldn’t have a double address.
     
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