The Future of Life Safety Systems by ProQuest


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                                                              By Greg Kessinger, SET, CFPS

The Future of Life Safety Systems
                     TECHNOLOGY TODAY IS seeing great                  video games and GPS screens. Expensive graph-
                  advancements and it is safe to say that any          ic annunciators with their LEDs embedded into
                  modern technology that can be used to quickly        drawings of the site’s floor plans are history. It
                  and accurately disseminate life safety informa-      will be a short leap to transfer this technology
                                    tion and be useful for both fire   to the fire alarm field. Additionally, Bluetooth
                                    fighters and occupant notifi-      and similar technologies will be more widely
                                    cation will be used to greater     used to ‘annunciate’ a fire as soon as the fire-
                                    advantage in the future. This      fighters arrive outside the building.
                                    month’s column takes a look
                                    at the technologies which          Fire alarm control panels
                                    will have the most dramatic          A combination panel is usually a fire panel
                                    advancements and practical         that is also listed for UL commercial burglary
                                    applications.                      and may also include an access control system
                                       Mass Notification (MN)          or voice alarm system. Soon, these panels will
                                    originated in homeland             have a CO monitoring input and the appropri-
                                    security and military tech-        ate temporal output to provide notification
                                    nologies. After first being        and reporting of dangerous levels of carbon
                                    listed under the National          monoxide as well as signal the failure of the CO
                                    Fire Alarm Code®, very basic       sensor. Panels will become more feature rich as
                                    rules of equipment installa-       manufacturing costs decline and all address-
                                    tion of MN systems and ser-        able panels will be made as intelligent analog-
                                    vices were recently written        addressable panels.
General Packet Radio Service into the 2007 edition of NFPA
                                    72, which will also govern the     Monitoring
(GPRS) and Short Message
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