Wireless touted at NFPA show

Remote testing devices and FAAST that goes further were also among new offerings
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Monday, June 16, 2014

LAS VEGAS— New developments when it comes to wireless fire solutions and aspirating smoke detectors were among offerings being touted at the annual NFPA Conference & Expo, held here June 9-12.

Among products introduced at the show was SWIFT—Honeywell Fire Systems' Smart Wireless Integrated Technology. “SWIFT allows wireless detection capabilities to be added to a Honeywell fire alarm system,” Michael Lynch, VP of engineering for Honeywell Fire Systems, said during a telephone press conference prior to the show.

The technology opens up more wireless opportunities, benefiting installers and end users.

“There are many places where it’s either impossible or impractical to run wire,” Lynch said. “Until now, many of those spaces have had to compromise on the level of protection they were able to have.”

He said examples include historic buildings, where materials such as marble or stone and artwork may prevent the running of wire. Sometimes too, it’s impractical to run wire to a small outbuilding, he said.

But SWIFT solves that problem, according to a company news release.

SWIFT “detectors and modules seamlessly integrate with new and existing fire alarm systems from Fire-Lite Alarms, Gamewell-FCI and NOTIFIER,” the release said.

As Lynch explained, “We connect a network of wireless devices to the panel through a gateway. Up to 50 devices can be connected to each gateway and up to four gateways can be placed in proximity to one another. The system provides a Class A redundant communications network that utilizes a frequency hopping scheme.”

He added, “What makes our approach unique is that every device acts as a repeater and the addition of devices extends the range of the devices to the gateway.”

Also, Lynch said, “We offer our dealers and distributors tools that help them evaluate a site for fit with wireless.”

Honeywell also was featuring its new eVance Services management software solution at the show.

Jeff Netland, strategic marketing leader for eVance Services, said the new software “allows fire alarm installation and service companies to more effectively test and maintain fire systems while providing building owners and AHJs with 24/7 access to an assortment of required test and inspection reports.”

It’s available to authorized distributors of Gamewell-FCI, NOTIFIER, and Silent Knight’s Farenhyt line, Honeywell said.

“A key aspect of the software is the ability to send data from Honeywell fire alarm control panels over the Internet via a secure Web portal,” Netland said. “This data is sent from the fire panel through a hosted secure data center, sometimes referred to as the cloud, and from there that data is able to be sent to a connected device. This allows the fire panel to transfer information to a handheld device that is used by a technician during the testing of a fire systems.”

Then, he said, “when an addressable device or points are tested by the technician, the test results from those devices are sent from the fire panel through the cloud and then are automatically displayed on the technician’s smartphone or tablet. That allows the technician to quickly and accurately see test result data from the fire panel for each device as they are tested and then it allows technician to enter pass fail information directly on their smart phone.”

System Sensor at the show introduced a new addition to its existing FAAST line of aspirating smoke detectors: the new FAAST XT. Christa Poss, senior marketing manager for the FAAST business unit at System Sensor, said it will be available in October in both conventional and intelligent versions.

Poss said, “The FAAST XT incorporates all of FAAST’s  features but for a wider coverage area, so through four pipe inlets. FAAST XT can cover up to 20,000 square feet in one device.”

She added, “We’ve also incorporated some great new features, like a USB for plug and play configuration, adjustable fan settings to reach longer pipe runs, … LCD screens for easier interrogation of the device, and detailed flow information for each of the pipe inlets.”

She also said that the company’s FAAST line is now listed for Class 1, Division 2 applications, which means FAAST can now be used in facilities that require hazardous listings.

She said those include places that do oil and gas drilling and petrochemical refining and processing and places where fuel is stored, and also water treatment plants, power generation facilities, distilleries and food manufacturers.

On the fire sprinkler side, System Sensor also was showcasing its new line of waterflow detectors.

Jackie Lorenty, marketing leader for the security, HVAC, fire sprinkler business units at System Sensor, said the WFDN Series Waterflow Detector has been “fully redesigned to save [dealers/installers] time and money on fire sprinkler monitoring, installation and maintenance.”

She said the redesign includes “a very user-friendly timer dial, increased timer accuracy and repeatability, which is achieved through a fully sealed timer mechanism, and a newly designed cover that is both damage and electric shock resistant.”

In addition, she said, the “terminal block has an intuitive layout for much easier wiring.” Also, Lorenty said, the detector has a “more robust paddle assembly, which helps with installations in harsh environments where there’s a lot of vibration or if large inrushes of water are present.”