Analogue Addressable Systems

“Conventional” fire detection and alarm systems are hard-wired to each group of detection devices. The control and indicating equipment is unable to distinguish alarm and fault conditions from individual devices within the group, and the actual alarm decision is made at each device. 

“Analogue Addressable” systems provide information about the exact location and status of every device at the control and indicating equipment. Furthermore, the alarm decision is generally made by the control equipment, rather than the detection device itself. 

In general, Analogue Addressable systems offer the following distinct advantages: 

  • Pre-alarm Indication – Incidents can be investigated, and possibly resolved, before the Fire Service is called. 
  • Maintenance Alert – dirty detectors can increase false alarms, but unnecessary cleaning wastes money. Maintenance alert facilities show which detectors need cleaning. 
  • Individual Detector Identification – each detector is uniquely identified. A full description of a detector’s precise location is displayed at the fire control panel, or on remote annunciators. This speeds the location of a fire or a fault. 
  • Wiring Faults – cut wires or short circuits on wiring do not generate false alarms, and are typically easier to locate. 
  • Adjustable Sensitivity – each detector can be tailored to its environment to give optimum sensitivity to fire phenomena and resistance to environmental influences or permitted activities (e.g. food preparation). 
  • Multi-Sensor Detectors – multi-sensor/multi-criteria detectors use sophisticated algorithms to make them less likely to generate a false alarm, but more likely to respond promptly to a real fire. 
  • Networking – analogue addressable systems typically have more comprehensive processing power and large site/campus-style multi-panel networking capabilities.

Overall, these technical advantages increase system performance and reduce unwanted building evacuations and calls to the Fire Service. Although analogue addressable systems can cost a little more initially, this can be recouped in reduced maintenance and false alarm costs, while offering the benefits of superior performance.