New combined fire/CO detector is ‘what the industry needs’

A N.Y. fire company predicts the cost-effective solution will appeal to building owners in light of new CO laws
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— A new combined fire/carbon monoxide detector recently introduced by Gamewell-FCI has already netted Syracuse Time & Alarm several jobs because the product saves money and has high functionality, according to Mark Simpson, sales manager of the systems integrator, which is based here and whose business is about 60 percent fire.

And as more laws are passed around the country requiring CO detectors in residential and institutional buildings, Simpson believes building owners and managers will opt for the new cost-effective combination device.

“This is what the industry needs to move forward to provide good detection,” he told Security Systems News. “Because it’s all one device the cost of labor is brought down, the cost of equipment is brought down, and it makes it extremely competitive.”

The new 4-Warn/CO detector is a “multi-criteria fire and CO detector [that] incorporates four sensing elements in one [unit to] detect smoke, CO, flame and heat, verifying a true emergency and deterring false alarms,” according to Gamewell-FCI by Honeywell.

The Northford, Conn.-based company announced the introduction of the device in April and said that “the traditional method of wiring and installing separate photo and CO detectors, together with the required base, mini-horn, monitor module, conduit and junction box, can cost hundreds of dollars per room. Up to 54 percent of these material and labor costs can be eliminated by installing the 4-Warn/CO detector and its addressable sounder base.”

The product can be used in such facilities as hotels, dormitories, apartment buildings, hospitals and nursing homes, the company said.

Syracuse Time & Alarm is a 31-year-old company that is based here, has a secondary office in Binghamton, N.Y. and just opened its third office—a new 3,500-square-foot distribution and service center —in this city. Simpson said the 42-employee company is “growing exponentially” and planning to do more hiring in the near future.

Among the company’s projects are two in which the new combined devices were to be installed: a retrofit at a nursing home and a new Marriott hotel, Simpson told SSN in April. He said the company also expected to install them in a 12-building assisted living facility here.

New York has a new law requiring CO devices. Known as Amanda’s Law, it took effect in 2010.

Simpson said that after the law was passed, he talked to several property owners who told him they would prefer a monitored CO option but couldn’t afford the expense of extra wiring for separate devices. “So they just went down to Home Depot and bought the single station carbon monoxide detectors and used those instead,” he said.

But now, he said, the nursing home is an example where “last year they might have said they couldn’t afford it, and now they’re putting these on the system and using the 4-Warn CO device.” He believes the affordable new combination device “will help promote a higher level of detection monitoring.”

Gamewell-FCI said that “the local audio signals from the new detector's B200S sounder base can be automatically silenced when live and pre-recorded emergency communications are delivered via the main system. Exclusive to E3 Series systems and 4-Warn/CO B200S sounder bases, this one-of-a-kind silencing feature eliminates the common emergency communications intelligibility issues caused by multiple audible alerts sounding simultaneously.”