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Fire Alarm -- Installation

I have a question on how something works.
Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer



I have a Question

Can fire fiber riser be run in the same riser conduit with BMS? We only have one riser conduit for both. The engineers are saying we need two separate conduits, your thoughts?

Signed N

Reply

Electrically, there is no problem with running fiber anything in the same conduit as anything, including low voltage DC, household or commercial wiring, or even inside of high-tension power transmission lines that go across country. The only concern is that if the fiber is metal jacketed, proper grounding procedures have to be complied with.

But that's not the issue with the engineers.

People in most walks of life are afraid of fire alarm systems. They're afraid of sounding the alarms, and they're afraid of a vague "something-bad-is-going-to-happen-if-I-touch-it." There are, of course, exceptions, but this is the general attitude toward fire alarm systems.

On the other hand, electricians, HVAC people, building maintenance people, other low voltage trades unfamiliar with fire alarm systems are not afraid of standard building wiring, including BMS, security, cable TV, data, etc. Any wire run (or fiber optic run) inside conduits for their system is fair game to mess with.

Short term, there no problem with mixing fire alarm with other systems. Long term, mixing life-safety fire alarm with BMS, which is not life safety, becomes a huge issue because of the accidental disabling of the fire alarm system and the subsequent needed repairs.

Right now is the best time, as the building is being put up or remodeled, to separate the systems (I assume that the owners aren't concerned with cosmetics as extra conduits are installed). Without the separation that the engineers want, the system will be a constant maintenance headache.

Douglas Krantz


More Articles

What is a Ground Fault? -- With the exception of the ground fault circuitry inside the fire alarm control panel (FACP) itself, the wiring for fire alarm systems has... Read More

How Does One Find a Soft Ground Fault? -- Normally, we think of resistance like that of a resistor. The amount of resistance is built-in; no matter what voltage is used to drive the electrical... Read More

Are As-Built Drawings Available When Needed? -- When available, as-built drawings are used by architects and engineers for remodeling or for designing new additions to... Read More

Can the Booster Power Supply be Installed in the Ceiling? -- The fire alarm system isn't going to be removed after the warranty period; the fire alarm system is going to be in place as long as the building stands. Not only that... Read More

PDF Book PDF of Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarm Systems


Douglas Krantz

Describing How It Works
facpdoug@douglaskrantz.com

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Articles

How Does Class A Fire Alarm Wiring Work?-- Fire alarm systems save lives and protect property. Fire alarm systems also break down because... Read More

Just What Is a Signaling Line Circuit (SLC)? -- The SLC (Signaling Line Circuit) is another way of saying Data and Power Circuit. Along with added power to run the sub-computers and their input and output circuits, it's a computer data-buss ... Read More

How is a Buffer Relay Wired Into a Door Holder Circuit? -- Like a door stop, a door holder keeps a fire door open. When smoke is detected, the door holder releases, allowing the door to shut. The door holder looks simple and innocuous enough... Read More

How Does One Find a Soft Ground Fault? -- Normally, we think of resistance like that of a resistor. The amount of resistance is built-in; no matter what voltage is used to drive the electrical... Read More

Can a Magnet Really be Used to Test a Smoke Detector? -- Smoke detectors usually have two ways of being tested. Smoke (smoke particles in the air, or some sort of canned smoke), and magnets (the activation of an internal magnetic... Read More



Electrical Flow


On this website, most references to electrical flow are to the movement of electrons.

Here, electron movement is generally used because it is the electrons that are actually moving. To explain the effects of magnetic forces, the movement of electrons is best.

Conventional current flow, positive charges that appear to be moving in the circuit, will be specified when it is used. The positive electrical forces are not actually moving -- as the electrons are coming and going on an atom, the electrical forces are just loosing or gaining strength. The forces appear to be moving from one atom to the next, but the percieved movement is actually just a result of electron movement. This perceived movement is traveling at a consistent speed, usually around two-thirds the speed of light. To explain the effects of electrostatic forces, the movement of positive charges (conventional current) is best.

See the explanation on which way electricity flows at www.douglaskrantz.com/
ElecElectricalFlow.html
.