COMMENTS ON NFPA APPROVES CELLULAR FOR SINGLE PATH TRANSMISSION FROM JANUARY 2, 2016 ARTICLE
I had to chuckle after reading January 2, 2016 email entitled “NFPA Approves Cellular for Single Path Transmission”
Cellular communications being approved by NFPA is not new. Cellular, long range radio, and IP have long been approved by NFPA and UL as an alternative to one or both phone lines, provided the product is listed for the application and is installed per that listing (which includes but is not limited to the product being configured to meet the specific supervision requirement for the application).
Fire Systems Dealers are very familiar with using cellular communicators on fire systems because numerous cellular, IP based, and long range radio based communicators have been listed and approved for fire reporting for many, many years. That includes the ability to replace one or both phone lines (depending upon the listing of the product selected and its NOC, the level of supervision available for that product, compliant physical installation and configuration, and any special ordinances in the specific jurisdictions). The ability to eliminate phone lines from the fire system delivers, not just performance benefits, but also represents a huge cost saving for the end user vs. paying for dedicated phone lines. As an added benefit, cellular accounts generate additional RMR for the dealer, while saving the end user money at the same time.
The most significant recent changes relating these devices, known as Performance-Based Technologies (and/or prescriptive-based technologies) under NFPA, are the newer classification name from NFPA, reduced supervision rates (hourly instead of every 5 minutes as required under NFPA 72 2010) that are more affordable and in-step with reality, the realization that today’s “phone-lines” are a liability to the public and to dealers, and the specific prohibition of using dual phone lines without the express approval of the local AHJ.
Translation: Thou shall NOT use 2 phone lines on a fire system!!! Thou shall use either a communicator that meets NFPA’s requirements as a Performance-Based Technology (and is listed, installed, and configured for that application). OR, in areas that still mandate two forms of communication, thou shall install 2 forms of communication as described in NFPA 72 2013 and 2016 including the required testing of each path not less than every 6 hours.
Fire rated cellular communicators have historically required significantly higher supervision rates than their copper, land based counterparts (aka phone lines). Prior to NFPA 72 2013, the assumption was that a pair of phone lines with a common demarcation point and a single daily test timer that alternated between those lines was a level of security that cellular could only match with 90 second, 200 second, 3 minute, or 5 minute polling supervision. That older increased supervision requirement dictated large and expensive cellular data packages on top of often historically expensive communicator hardware cost.
Fortunately, beginning with NFPA 73 2013, the requirements for these technologies are more in step with reality and have paved the way for the public to realize a more reliable form communication method than modern “phone lines” and save money at the same time.
Commercial Fire & Security Director of Sales
Napco Security Technologies
ahh oh, weve been doing this for 5 years, transmitting comercial over cellular. I have always been way ahead of my time
The only caveat on single panel burg and fire is they have been listed and approved by ul and listed ul 864 however municipalities can enact ordinances to prohibit their use. ( As opposed to a fire official making an arbitrary rule)
New York City does not allow multi function panels.
Just an abstract thought...
Thanks for the constructive comments and advice. If you're doing commercial fire then you should be using the Fire All in One Agreement. For those of you who usually do security systems when you're doing commercial fire you may want to use the new Fire All in One with Security Rider. For more information contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 ext 312.