Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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Help! I Need Parts for an Obsolete Panel

I have a question about something


Hi,

I own a hotel where I have this subject panel made by a company "As Built". I understand the company no longer in business. I found your email by searching the "As Built Company".

I have a fault on the panel saying battery charger. I am unable to find the part for this panel. Can you help?

Thank you, A P

I'm sorry to hear about your fire alarm panel.

The first answer is no, I don't know where to get any parts to this panel.

The bigger picture, though, is that even if parts are found for the panel, fixing the panel is only a short term solution to the problem. All electronics, including fire alarm panels, break down. Right now it sounds like you don't have backup power for the fire alarm panel.

Sooner or later, something else will break down and you won't be so lucky.

If the next breakdown is the display, or the CPU, or maybe a loop controller, you won't have a fire alarm system. When that happens, replacement of the full fire alarm system will have to be done on an emergency basis. Many extra costs are involved including Fire Walks, and overtime for your company as well as overtime for the fire alarm company (passed on to you) will be included in the emergency.

When the fire alarm panel is replaced in an emergency, you don't even have a chance to shop around for a good fire alarm company, you're stuck with the first company ready to do an emergency replacement.

Yes, continue looking for a part for the fire alarm panel, but get that fire alarm system replaced very soon or plan on paying the huge extra costs of emergency replacement of the fire alarm system.

Douglas Krantz
Thank you for your reply and input. I appreciate it.

What is the best system I should be looking for?

A P

The first thing to check out is service from the fire alarm installer. Make sure the people installing the system are the ones who service the fire alarm system.

Also, make sure that they install the wiring, and not just subcontract out the wiring to someone else who will never be on site again. Your fire alarm system is going to be in the hotel for years to come, the people who install it should be the ones taking care of it.

Talk to a few other maintenance people for hotels of your size. The maintenance people will be able to tell you about service from fire alarm companies.

The brand is important. All brands are proprietary to the manufacturer, but some will allow you to change service companies should there be a problem with the service in the coming years. Make sure there are several companies that can service the system, and the panel.

Again, talk to maintenance people, they can give you insight regarding which brand is best.

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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