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Fire Alarm System Wiring


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Installing a fire alarm system requires careful planning and these correct components.

Considerations for Fire Alarm System Wiring

Question: I need to wire a horn and strobe for an alarm in a facility. The owner wants to be able to silence the fire alarm horn with a momentary switch, but still have the fire strobe light active until the fire alarm condition goes OFF. After it goes OFF and back ON the horn and strobe should be active until the horn is silenced or the alarm goes back OFF.

This electrical question came from: Bobby, from Grenville, South Carolina

See more about Home Wiring for South Carolina

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Bobby
Wiring a Facility Fire Alarm System
Bobby, I have installed fire alarm cables and wiring for several fire alarm systems which are carefully designed, monitored and controlled by an approved fire alarm panel. These panels have all the capabilities that you are describing with optional features for extensive alarm supervision and annunciation.  All fire alarm systems should be installed by authorized licensed contractors who are fully covered by liability insurance and all work must be inspected. The fire alarm systems must be routinely tested and documented for insurance compliance and reliability to ensure system functionality.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

3 Responses to “Fire Alarm System Wiring”
  1. Mohamed Ahmed says:

    Can we connect a bell to the same circuit where detectors and call points are connected in conventional systems.

    Thanks,
    Mohamed

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Teresa,
    From the size of the wiring you have described, the fire alarm system you are referring to is most likely a low voltage system. Most fire alarm systems are specifically engineered for the type of system that will be installed, including the cabling, the smoke detector heads or devices, alarm panel, or annunciation system. Please refer to the instruction manual and engineering notes for specific information and wiring methods. If you find that your supervisors comments do not comply with the instructions and methods as described then you may want to inquire as to the justification and basis for the new wiring methods which they are suggesting.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  3. Teresa says:

    I have been working with fire alarm wires for years, recently a supervisor stated I could only put three wires in any one hole otherwise we would have to de-rate the wire. I have never heard of fire alarm wire; 16/2 and 16/4, needing to be de-rated. If it does why wouldn’t the local fire marshal pass any building where there is more then three in one hole? I am working on a multi-family project, PLEASE HELP. Thank You