Addressable and Conventional Fire Alarm Systems
Addressable fire alarm systems are systems which have the capability of reporting unique information for each device to the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP). Each device reports its specific address/location, descriptive designation, as well as status, for example device XXX is dirty, and needs service, is in alarm, or is in trouble, plus a host of other information depending on the manufacturer.
Conventional fire alarm systems are systems based on utilizing hardwired zones. These systems can have one or more zones depending on the manufacturer. Devices connected to these zones or Initiating Device Circuits (IDC) are grouped together and cannot report specific device information or location unless a zone is designated to a specific location.
Mass Notification Systems
A Mass Notification System (MNS) has the capability to provide real-time information to all building occupants or personnel in the immediate vicinity of a building during emergency situations. Mass Notification Systems can be connected to supplemental components such as: telephone systems; clear or amber strobes; horns, giant voice/big voice; cell phones and pagers (audio/text); radios and wireless devices; LED or graphic signs; video; computer popups or emails; etc.
Mass Notification Systems alert employees, students, and building occupants that an emergency situation exists and that an action plan has been implemented. Some examples of where and why a MNS should be installed: School Safety (evacuate, lockdown, shelter in place), Inclement Weather (tornadoes, floods), Public Security (terrorist threats, attacks), Public Health (bioterrorism), Military, Power Outage, Systems Loss (banking, stock markets, commodity, currency), and Municipal/County/State (water contamination, food safety, crime suspect, amber alerts).