With a growing facility and a rapidly increasing employee base, the zone monitoring associated with the courthouse’s conventional fire alarm system proved outdated and insufficient.
This warranted the installation of an analog addressable system. The reliability, pinpoint accuracy, and 24/7 on-site monitoring of an addressable system provided greater awareness and system functionality.
AllSafe Fire and Security was the contractor for the project. The remodeling also included five preaction fire sprinkler systems in critical areas. A central computer server room and a file storage room containing indispensable court documents were part of the preaction fire sprinkler system additions.
Potter’s P400R Analog Addressable Releasing Panel and the PSN-1000(E) Power Expander were used as a viable, cost-effective solution. The Potter panel and addressable devices easily managed the inclusion of the new preaction systems. While many fire alarm control panels can only handle one preaction system, the Potter P400R can handle multiple preaction systems at once. This unique capability allowed the five preaction systems to all be linked to the single P400R, thus saving money from having to purchase multiple panels and subsequently linking them together.
The existing system contained two separate fire alarm control panels—one panel for regular system functionality and the second for releasing capabilities. This caused problems as both panels did not always communicate well and incurred increased initial costs and maintenance upkeep.
Potter P400R solved these problems with its ability to serve as both an addressable fire alarm control panel and releasing panel. AllSafe Fire and Security reduced installation time and costs by programming one panel instead of synchronizing two. Potter’s exclusive Quadrasync multi-strobe circuit synchronization technology alleviated many system wide concerns.
The overall process was seamless as the PSN-1000E Power Expanders provided power to notification appliances, auxiliary power, and releasing circuits for preaction.
Today, Polk County Courthouse employees enjoy an increased sense of security and awareness with a Potter fire alarm system. The network of addressable devices connected to the P400R fire panel monitors every inch of the premises and provides instant notification of emergency situations.
“The P400R sends me nightly e-mail updates of the current status of our system that I can disseminate to key personnel and first responders. Also, it texts alarm and trouble conditions straight to my smartphone, keeping me up-to-date on everything I need to know. If Polk County’s needs change, system alerts can also be sent via e-mail. The P400R can also be programmed to send reminder messages such as when annual tests or inspections are due,” said Matt Hawkins, Polk County Courthouse administrative services director.
The P400R’s ability to communicate to a central monitoring station using an IP/Internet connection not only eliminates the need for dedicated phone lines, but also provides a faster and more secure means of transmitting crucial system information to responding personnel.
“With the independence of a Potter system, we no longer require remote monitoring services and are able to perform our own strobe testing,” Hawkins said.
Last minute changes in preparation for the AHJ inspection sparked an entire system reprogramming. “It took our tech,John Ripplinger, 15 minutes to rewrite everything when it would normally take more than four hours with other fire alarm systems,” said Mike Beecher, manager of AllSafe Fire and Security. The new system exceeded the AHJ’s inspection requirements, leaving everyone satisfied with the end result.