Latest technologies, installation and troubleshooting tips, and codes and standards relevant to fire/life safety.
Latest column posts
Due to the criticality of their mission, fire/life-safety practices and systems tend to change more slowly than a lot of industries. However, even it is beginning to reflect technology’s accelerating pace. Find out what to expect in 2012 and just beyond.
January 15, 2012
Video image detection is pushing past the boundaries of long established fire safety systems. Able to detect smoke or flame anywhere within cameras’ field of view, this method is not limited by standard detectors’ reliance on distance and area.
December 22, 2011
During the California Alarm Association's (CAA) Winter Convention here, Dr. Shane Clary, vice president of Codes and Standards Compliance for Pacheco, Calif.-based Bay Alarm, received the George A. Weinstock Award for lifetime achievement and service to the security industry.
December 14, 2011
While codes go into great detail about how to ensure fire and life-safety systems perform as intended, making sure the systems operate in concert with each other remains a work in progress. Integrated testing is a means to bridge existing gaps and maximize systems’ ability to mitigate loss of property and life.
November 13, 2011
Commissioning is a process of documentation, adjustment, testing, verification and training, performed to ensure the facility operates in accordance with the owner’s documented project requirements and construction documents. As a fire systems integrator, knowing commissioning fundamentals helps meet expectations for your aspect of the project.
By Dr. Shane Clary · October 13, 2011
The benefits of video technology are being extended from surveillance and intrusion detection to assisting in fire detection and verification. Find out what considerations, practices and codes figure prominently for successful deployment.
By Al Colombo · September 20, 2011
Voltage drop is critical to the proper operation of devices attached to a fire alarm system. Nowhere is this as true as with notification appliance circuits (NACs) that connect to a fire alarm control panel. Seven steps show how to do the calculations.
July 14, 2011
Combination fire-intrusion alarm systems are a viable life-safety and security solution, providing they adhere to NFPA guidelines. Key considerations include nothing impeding the fire detection function and that it also supercedes security alarm signaling.
June 22, 2011
Backed with the mandates set forth by codes and bolstered with new technologies, the fire/life-safety market offers robust sales opportunities. Success is predicated on deriving necessary state and local credentials, and knowing the local building authority’s requirements and procedures ...
By Al Colombo · May 15, 2011
Proper fire detection is essential not only for life safety but also to avoid false alarms or system malfunctions that could cost the business a bundle. In particular, this holds true for financial institutions ...
By Al Colombo · March 20, 2011
Though not as quick to migrate to IT network signal transmission as other systems installed by security contractors, fire/life safety is nevertheless following suit. Find out the latest technology and code developments in this emerging area.
By Al Colombo · February 13, 2011
Maintaining power is one of the foundations of any fire/life-safety system. Find out the codes, standards and calculations you need to know to make sure batteries deliver when needed.
By Al Colombo · January 11, 2011
A Q&A session addresses code compliance challenges associated with projected beam smoke detectors, annunciators and keypads.
By Al Colombo · December 06, 2010
Al Colombo addresses comments prompted by the September's column, "Finding Faults in Fire Systems."
By Al Colombo · October 31, 2010
Al Colombo discusses the simple -- yet vital -- steps to better ladder safety.
By Al Colombo · September 28, 2010