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									                                    GENTEX TECHNICAL BULLETIN
                                                                                            Number: 013

Frequently we are asked to provide proof of compatibility between Gentex notification appliances and various
manufacturers' fire alarm control panels. Although many fire alarm manufacturers would like you to believe that
compatibility is required, in fact it is not. Many fire alarm control panel manufacturers provide a compatibility
document indicating which notification appliances they used to close out their UL listings of control equipment
or prefer be used with their systems. In many cases these compatibility lists are at least partially marketing
driven, listing only those notification appliances that are available from that particular manufacturer. The
confusion these compatibility documents create, can ultimately result in the system designer believing there are
fewer choices than actually exist. This can result in fire alarm systems that are unable to incorporate the latest
technology in notification appliances.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) does not require compatibility listing between notification appliances and fire
alarm control panels unless the panels notification circuits are listed as "special application" (most commonly
found on releasing systems). For notification appliances installed on standard notification appliance circuits,
compatibility exists if the notification appliance can operate throughout the control panels listed voltage range.
Since UL tests notification appliances to operate at 20% below their lowest rated voltage and 10% above the
highest rated voltage, Gentex appliances with a listed range of 20-31 VDC both filtered DC and unfiltered FWR,
actually operate from 16 VDC to 34.1 VDC. This voltage range is well within those commonly found on 24 VDC
fire alarm control panels. Upcoming changes in 2004 to UL 864 and UL 1971 will further clear up the confusion
regarding compatibility by requiring all fire alarm control panel and signal manufacturers to adhere to the same
operating voltage range.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) only requires compatibility listing for those devices that receive
their power from a fire alarm control panel initiating device circuit, (typically 2-wire smoke detectors), or
signaling line circuit, (typically addressable detectors and modules). The full text of this code requirement can
be found in NFPA 72 1999 Edition, Section 1-5.3. It is important to note that 4-wire smoke detectors such as
the Gentex 8000 series are also not required to be compatibility listed since these devices typically do not draw
their power from either of the circuits indicated above.

After considering the UL and NFPA requirements listed above, it is easy to see how Gentex notification
appliances are compatible with virtually any 24VDC fire alarm control panel. Below is a partial list of control
panel manufacturers that Gentex notification appliances have been successfully installed with, on projects
throughout the country.

        Ademco                            Fike                             Notifier
        ADT                               Firelite                         Potter
        Ansul                             Gamewell                         Radionics
        Autocall                          Grinnell                         Safetech International
        Detection Systems                 Harrington Signal                Secutron
        DMP                               Honeywell                        Siemens
        DSC                               ITI                              Silent Knight
        Edwards/EST                       Johnson Controls                 Simplex
        ESL                               Mircom                           Thorn
        F.C.I.                            Mirtone
        Fenwal                            National Time & Signal

Please feel free to contact your Gentex representative for any additional information about our products.

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