Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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What does Open Zone Alert Mean?

Open Zone means that the wires in the zone aren't continuous. The fire alarm panel is always performing continuity check of the wires, and if a wire comes loose or breaks, the zone wiring has an Open Connection.

What does Open Zone Alert Mean?


Greetings Douglas,

I am a electrician.

I have a Autronica BX-40 conventional fire panel 16 zones in my boat, I use just 4 zones. My probblem is that the panel shows "Open Zone Alert". I tried several resistors but I don't find any sollution. On end of the orginal circuit is a BXY-40. I don't know what is the BXY-40, is it resistor with capacitor circuit?

Thank you, A S

An "Open Zone Alert" on a fire alarm panel shows that the wire is not continuous. The fire alarm system, being a life safety system, is always checking the wires to make sure the devices like smoke detectors or pull stations are connected at all times.

Put the BXY-40 back the way it was before trying anything. You need to make some voltage measurements before trying to swap any parts.

For an "Open", consider the panel to be a big continuity tester. The "Open Zone Alert" is saying that a wire is broken or a connection has come loose somewhere.

Use you DC voltmeter and check the voltage on each of the zone terminals on the panel. If one of them shows a higher voltage than the others, that means that electricity isn't flowing in that zone.

Next, measure the voltage at the end of line resistor. (It's usually a resistor, but it may be the BXY-40. Whatever the type of device, it's at the end of the zone wires, farthest from the panel.) If that is zero volts, that means that the electricity isn't reaching the end of line device.

If the zone is showing voltage at the panel but no voltage at the end of line device, you need to find the loose connection or broken wire.

Douglas Krantz
Based on his electronics training, and his understanding of Life Safety, Douglas Krantz has compiled his knowledge of Conventional Fire Alarm Systems into the book Make It Work - Conventional Fire Alarms. The book covers the basics of the Conventional Fire Alarm System, and shows how Life Safety and internal supervision affects the fire alarm system.

Douglas Krantz -- Fire Alarm Engineering Technician, Electronic Designer, Electronic Technician, Writer

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