Control of Indicating Panels

Control and indicating equipment performs three principal functions, namely:
  • Automatic monitoring and control of circuits external to the equipment, such as fire detection and fire alarm device circuits and supply of power to these circuits
  • Indication of fire signals, fault signals and their location
  • Manual control to facilitate actions such as testing, disablement of devices, triggering of fire signals, silencing of audible fire warnings and resetting the system after a fire signal

Panels are fully specified in British Standards. This requires that circuits are monitored continuously and that both audible and visual indication is provided for fault and fire alarm conditions. Further requirements include that alarm sounders may only be silenced manually, after which the control panel must provide audible and visual signals until the system is reset. Silencing of alarm sounders must not prevent the alarm being raised in other zones. It should be noted that the standards require all fault/alarm indicator lamps to be in duplicate or a single lamp with audible signal of lamp failure. Control and indicating panels may include facilities for operation of ancillary services such as fixed fire extinguishing, door closing etc.

The equipment should normally be sited in an area of low fire risk and on the ground floor by the entrance used by the Fire and Rescue Service and preferably viewable from outside of the building. It should be located in an area common to all building users and where automatic detection is in use, the Control Panel should be in a protected area. An alarm sounder should be sited next to the Control Unit, but not too near the telephone position. A suitable zone chart of the building should normally be installed adjacent to the Control Panel.

Points to consider

  • Number of zones required
  • Surface or flush mounting
  • Maximum alarm load per alarm zone
  • Automatic system, compliance with British Standard
  • Manual system compliance with British Standard
  • Maximum current per detector zone
  • Maximum detectors per zone
  • Open, closed or fault monitored system
  • Single or two stage alarms
  • Provision for connection to remote manned centre
  • Provision for conduit and wiring compatible with
  • building conduit and wiring system
  • Provision for operation of ancillary services

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