Douglas Krantz - Technical Writer - Describing How It Works
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Why Can't You Reset a Trouble on a Fire Alarm Panel?

A fire alarm panel won't reset a trouble because, if there's a problem with the fire alarm system, the panel will show that it needs fixing. Resetting the panel won't fix the problem.

A trouble cannot be reset in most fire alarm systems. The trouble in the system has to be fixed before the trouble can be reset. Once it is fixed, most fire alarm panels will clear the trouble message automatically.


By Douglas Krantz

Often times, when going on a service call as a troubleshooter, the building manager or maintenance person says "the fire panel is showing a trouble and can't be reset."

The thing is, having worked with a lot of fire alarm panels, you know that a panel showing a trouble is a panel indicating that something is wrong with the fire alarm system; something is not normal and it needs to be fixed.

The reset button only resets the panel after a fire alarm; it will not reset any trouble.

A ground fault can't be reset, a broken wire can't be reset, a faulty battery can't be reset; these are troubles with the system.

All of this has to be explained to the manager or maintenance person.

Remember that managers or maintenance people are good at what they do, but they aren't trained fire alarm technicians.

The explanation cannot be from an aloof position of knowing better, but from an equal position of one professional talking to another professional.

Having learned a little about troubles and the resetting the fire alarm panel, they can now do their job a little better.


P. S.

OK, I'll admit - - most panels will go normal when the troubles restore, but there are some fire alarm panels that latch the trouble light on when there have been troubles. These panels require resetting after the troubles are restored.
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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