Simplifying Surge Protection for Fire Alarm Systems

Power surges and spikes are often overlooked even though they present a direct threat to fire alarm systems. Disruptive power events can severely damage or destroy fire alarm systems without notice, leaving many organizations to believe their fire alarm system is functioning when, in reality, it is not. This false sense of security puts lives, property, and equipment at risk. If a failed system goes unnoticed until a fire is underway, the results could be catastrophic.

Protect Fire Alarm Panels with Surge Protection

Surge protective devices (SPDs) exist to protect fire alarm systems from such risks but are not without their own pitfalls. Many SPDs are difficult to install, and with multiple SPDs required for complete system protection, there are several opportunities for error. There is also little to no code guidance for proper SPD installation, leading many installers to take their best guess on proper installation practices.

A surge protector is only as good as the installation, which is why modern SPDs have evolved to address several of the issues plaguing traditional SPDs. As fire alarm systems and connected equipment get smarter, it only makes sense that the devices protecting them do too.

Read more about new, smart fire protection solutions here.

Advantages of Modern Surge Protective Devices

New and innovative SPDs are far easier to install than their earlier counterparts. Traditional surge protectors may come with a lengthy installation manual, potentially necessitating additional conduit drilling for AC power and low-voltage connections. This is not the case for new SPDs purpose-built for fire alarm system protection. A single point ground connection is also incorporated into the design that eliminates the need for costly, time-consuming installation services.

Installation is further simplified as new SPD models incorporate many surge protectors into one device. Comprehensive fire alarm protection inherently requires the deployment of many SPDs, including at the central control panel for its 120V power source, connected network or dialer circuits, and more. The introduction of smart IoT devices into a fire alarm system further necessitates additional SPDs to address these peripheral devices connected via Signaling Line Circuits (SLCs). Innovative SPDs will contain multiple SPD modules in one, protecting a variety of circuits and eliminating the need to install, purchase, and replace singular SPDs.

Lastly, unlike the majority of older SPDs, modern SPDs incorporate numerous options for device status monitoring. When an SPD self-sacrifices to protect its intended device, it will need to be replaced. Without some sort of device monitoring notification, there is no way to tell that the device has self-sacrificed or reached its end of life without performing a manual inspection. Enhanced SPD models include audio or visual alarms to indicate that the device needs replacement, even going as far as including dry contacts to enable remote monitoring of the device. The most elite SPD models will include all three options for complete device status monitoring.

Read more about surge protection with audible notifications here.

Ready to Help

DITEK’s DTK-120X12 sets a new standard for complete fire alarm system surge protection. The DTK-120X12 powers and protects up to 12 pairs of SLC, IDC, PIV, NAC, network, or dialer circuits. With a 6-position mounting base, users can easily replace low-voltage surge modules as needed to reduce downtime and costs. For example, users can protect 120VAC system power, ten 24V data/signal pairs, and two telco pairs in one device. This first-of-its-kind surge protector includes visual and audible device status alerts and Form C dry contacts for the remote monitoring of surge protection status. Moreover, the DTK-120X12 is easy to install, made in the USA, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Discover DITEK’s DTK-120X12, the Total Surge Solution for Fire Alarm Systems!