Keeping Track Of Alarm Zones
When you’re putting together small/medium alarm systems up to 16 zones it’s easy enough to keep track of zone designations in a notebook, but the bigger the system is, the harder you’ll find it to keep track.
With large systems, such as universities or airports which incorporate tens of thousands of alarm points, you need to take a completely different approach. For a start, it’s vital that the project manager develops a columnar zone schedule form recording zone numbers, as well as device type, EOL location and zone response.
Part of the zone schedule should include a comprehensive floor plan of the site, with sensing devices, (as well as relevant doors, LANs, drop cables and all the rest), included. One copy of this schedule should be kept by the security/facilities manager, while another copy should be retained by the integration company for maintenance purposes.
A major site may have 30,000 or 40,000 alarm points and failure to keep track of which sensor relates to which EOL, in which control panel, will be a technician’s nightmare in the future.
Where to store this information? In our opinion, everywhere. The integrator should retain the information, the security manager should have a copy, as should the facilities manager of the site. Store plans digitally, but don’t write off paper copies, no matter how retro it sounds.
Stored cool and dry, alkaline paper can last more than 1000 years – having it as an ultimate backup might save your customer the horror of needing to have their site re-mapped down the line.
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