Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
Get the Book "Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms"
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn... Ben Franklin
With fire alarm systems, there is a world-wide need for fire alarm system understanding. People doing the work of designing, installing, servicing, testing, and inspecting the systems need to know why they are doing their work the way they are doing it. However, the training that's usually available often lacks the deeper teaching of "why-is-it-done-this-way?"

Having worked in electronics for over 40 years, and with fire alarm systems for over 20 of those years, I'm trying to fill the need to know the "why-is-it-done-this-way?" of fire alarm systems.

Engineers, designers, installers, technicians, testers, and inspectors from all over the world wonder why; they have questions.

All the questions are legitimate. By treating the questions as genuine, I learn more, and can provide better answers. To help others that have similar questions, both the questions and their answers are published on the website. The explanations, published in Douglas Krantz's Technician's Corner, really help people as they design, service, and test fire alarm systems.

Often, however, a deeper understanding is required than what can be organized into a single web page.

Right now, to get a deeper understanding of the conventional wiring for fire alarm systems, the book "Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms - The Technician's Essential Guide to Understanding Conventional Fire Alarm Systems".

Ground faults are a real problem. Information about ground faults is given on the web is good, but to get an in-depth understanding of ground faults, the book "Make It Work - Hunting Ground Faults - The Technician's Essential Guide to Understanding the Elusive Ground Fault".

Signaling Line Circuits (SLCs) are simplified for troubleshooting in the book "Make It Work - Addressable Signaling Line Circuits - The Technician's Essential Guide to Find and Fix Problems in the Two-Wire Signaling Line Circuit (SLC)".
Post this by your fire alarm panel -- It shows the in-house fire alarm system and how it calls the fire department.
Life Safety
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What is the need for internal supervision? How do Class B & Class A circuits work? How can the IDC and the NAC each be either Class A or Class B?
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How does the SLC work? Why is the voltage measured by a voltmeter so unstable? What troubleshooting techniques can be used?
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How do Hard Ground Faults, Soft Ground Faults, and Induced Ground Faults work? How does the panel detect a Ground Fault? How can you detect a Ground Fault without using the panel's Ground Fault light?
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Many questions asked, and answered: Are Addressable Fire Alarm Systems Different from Conventional Systems? How Does Multiplexing of the Signaling Line Circuit Work? What Happens to the SLC when a Device is Disconnected?
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