Life Safety Need Not Be a High Wire Act

Society’s infatuation with wireless technology didn’t start with the advent of the cell phone. This love affair actually began with an invention called the radio in or about 1922. The introduction of the television simply clinched it.

Since that time, great strides have been made in the wireless world, including personal two-way communication systems, such as citizen band radios, the wireless telephone, cell phones, cell-connected PDAs, GPS-connected mobile navigational systems, and more. These developments have led consumers to turn to wireless solutions at every turn. This is especially true of the protective systems they purchase for home and commercial business.

End users are not the only ones who have fallen head over heels in love with wireless. Today those who specialize in residential applications often turn to radio-based alarm equipment, most of the time because of the labor savings. There are also times when wireless is the only way to transport sensor signals.

No matter what the reason may be, the bottom line involves an integral need to send real-time data between sensor and alarm panel. This can include keypads and other processing points.

This month, we’ll take a look at wireless technology in life safety and security. We’ll examine some of the code requirements that equipment manufacturers and installing dealers have to observe, and we’ll include a few examples of how wireless is being put to use in commercial and residential life-safety applications.

In years past, it was common practice among veteran installers to use a wire to convey sensor status whenever possible. The most common reason for this is simplicity, as there is less to go wrong. But in this new age of technology we find ourselves in, this is no longer a major consideration.

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