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Fire Alarm -- Description

Class B wiring is meant to send a trouble to the panel if there's a broken wire or a bad connection in the system. Class A wiring takes that a step further by backfeeding communication on the return loop.
During a fire, in Class B wiring style, if a wire breaks, the devices beyond the break won't communicate with the panel. In Class A wiring style, the panel can back-feed communication on the return loop, so most if not all devices still communicate. Class A Wiring will survive better than Class B Wiring.
Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer






What's the Difference Between Class A and Class B?

By Douglas Krantz

The Fire Alarm System is a Life Safety System - so the occupants of a building can escape quickly, the idea behind a Fire Alarm System is that it will provide a warning that there is a fire.

The trouble is, if something is wrong with the system, like a wire is broken somewhere in the building, the Fire Alarm System might not work. It might not provide a timely warning, and people who aren't warned in time might die.

Given this as a premise, the Fire Alarm Control Panel is always supervising the building wiring. Using supervision, the panel makes sure the wires are always connected; they will always be able to carry the alarm detection and the notifying signals around the building.

If a connection or wire is broken, Class B Wiring Systems stop working properly. But because the wiring is supervised by the fire alarm panel, however, as soon as the connection is broken, the panel indicates there is trouble. The broken wire can be fixed right away.

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Class A Wiring Systems go a step further. Not only do they indicate there is trouble in the wiring, but if a fire breaks out in the building, before a single broken wire or connection has been fixed, all devices will still work.

Properly installed Class A Wiring Systems, therefore, are more reliable than Class B Wiring Systems. This is because, with a single broken wire, in case a fire breaks out before the wiring can be fixed, Class B Wiring Systems won't always work while Class A Wiring Systems still work.


More details of Class B Wiring and Class A Wiring can be found at:






Douglas Krantz

Describing How It Works
writer@douglaskrantz.com
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612/986-4210

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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
.