Fire Alarm Drawing Software

Fire Alarm Drawing Software, is a complete security camera design software package that includes 2D and 3D fire alarm drawing features. Our program allows you to design a fire alarm system using the latest technology to give you accurate results. We also have a huge library of fire alarm panel examples so you can easily create your own panel designs in minutes. This product helps saves time, money and provides better understanding on how to build an effective fire alarm system.

In this guide, we review the Fire Alarm Drawing Software, alarm system design software, security camera design software, , and how to design a fire alarm system.

Fire Alarm Drawing Software

The Fire Alarm Drawing (FAD) software has been developed to provide a stand-alone, easy to use package that allows the user to logically design a fire alarm system without being concerned with the underlying code requirements.

FAD will automatically generate the required details in accordance with NFPA 72 section 27.5.3, and will also generate an equipment schedule and loop diagram as required by NFPA 72 sections 27.7, and 27.8.

The FAD software was designed to be used on a PC computer running Windows XP or higher operating system. To install FAD, download the .exe file and run it on your computer – all files, libraries and support components required for operation are all included in the setup program; however you must have access to a printer with which drawings can be printed before operations can begin (e..g., networked printers).

Fire Alarm Drawing Software (FAD) was developed to provide a stand-alone, easy to use package that allows the user to logically design a fire alarm system without being concerned with the underlying code requirements.

Fire Alarm Drawing Software (FAD) was developed to provide a stand-alone, easy to use package that allows the user to logically design a fire alarm system without being concerned with the underlying code requirements. The software can be used on a PC computer running Windows XP or higher operating system. It has been designed to work in conjunction with NFPA 72 and UL standards for fire alarm systems.

The main functions of FAD include:

  • Creating drawings, labels and loop diagrams
  • Adding devices using templates as well as manually entering device information including type, location, size etc.

FAD will automatically generate the required details in accordance with NFPA 72 section 27.5.3, and will also generate an equipment schedule and loop diagram as required by NFPA 72 sections 27.7, and 27.8.

FAD will automatically generate the required details in accordance with NFPA 72 section 27.5.3, and will also generate an equipment schedule and loop diagram as required by NFPA 72 sections 27.7, and 27.8.

You can customize FAD to meet your specific requirements using our easy-to-use configuration wizard which allows you to:

  • Select the appropriate version of NFPA72 (2012 or 2015)
  • Select whether you are using a voice paging system or not; if so it will add additional fields for selecting pages which can be dialed on a phone (or via VOIP systems), along with choosing a destination number that is used when sending messages over an external paging system
  • Select whether this panel has any special features such as fire alarm notification lights, strobes or horns; if so these can be configured in FAD automatically

The FAD software was designed to be used on a PC computer running Windows XP or higher operating system.

The FAD software was designed to be used on a PC computer running Windows XP or higher operating system.

If you have an older version of the FAD software, you can upgrade to the latest version 2.0 for free by clicking here: [link]

Once you have upgraded to version 2.0, it is recommended that you also upgrade your fire alarm system software as well if needed (if not already done). Please contact our support department ([email protected]) with any questions regarding this process or other technical issues related to working with Fire Alarm Drawing Software products

To install FAD, download the .exe file and run it on your computer – all files, libraries and support components required for operation are all included in the setup program.

To install FAD, download the .exe file and run it on your computer. All files, libraries and support components required for operation are all included in the setup program.

The software supports full access to both devices and circuits in a project for editing prior to generating final documents. In addition to creating drawings, you can also generate wiring labels for each circuit and device that is added to a project drawing.
Once created, projects can be saved locally on your computer for future reference or modification, or can be shared with other users of the software via email or network sharing protocols (e.g., FTP).

Fire Alarm Drawing Software can be used to create a wide range of fire alarm drawings. Once created, projects can be saved locally on your computer for future reference or modification, or can be shared with other users of the software via email or network sharing protocols (e.g., FTP).

Using fire alarms can make you feel more secure while providing valuable information if there is ever an emergency

A fire alarm is like your own personal safety net. When you’re at home or work, it provides a sense of security knowing that if there’s ever an emergency, such as a fire, you will be alerted so that you can stay safe and get out of the building.

Fire alarms can alert you to the presence of smoke or flames in your home or office. They include smoke detectors that provide early warning signs before the fire spreads beyond control. Once activated by fire or heat, they sound an alarm loudly enough to wake everyone up quickly so they know what to do next. By sounding an alarm either automatically or manually when triggered by heat detection devices such as thermal sensors within them (or in addition), these devices provide valuable information about where exactly within their vicinity there is smoke present; this allows people who may be sleeping during normal business hours (such as shift workers) to evacuate safely without putting themselves at risk further down into unfamiliar territory – especially those who live on higher floors away from ground level exits because there is less chance then too much time passing before reaching safety outside; sometimes even seconds count!

alarm system design software

Why You Need A Great Fire Protection System

A key part of any building project is making sure that all the features necessary are present in your building. From the correct cabling to sound masking to distributed antenna systems, there are dozens of systems that go into a good and correct building. One of the most important of these is your fire protection system. Cabling may allow faster communication, and distributed antenna systems may allow for your salespeople to take their calls from their offices, but only a good fire protection system can literally be the difference between life and death, or at least the difference between relatively minor damage and damage that could put you out of business.

Strategic Connections’ Fire Protection System Solutions

At Strategic Connections, we understand the risks of a catastrophic fire, and have fire protection system design experts on our team. Due to this understanding of how dangerous fires can be, we only employ the best technicians and use the best software. Our design technicians are all NICET-certified, and they are supervised by a NICET IV manager. This means that you’ll only get the most qualified design, and you can be confident knowing that your design will be the best and most efficient possible.

To make the actual designs themselves we utilize the 3D CAD software “AutoSprink”. AutoSprink software allows us to design a complete Fire Protection system and maximize the coverage of your sprinklers. It also allows us to do pressure and price calculations in-system instead of having to do them manually, which saves you time and money. In addition, we can perform BIM calculations and get precise design measurements before going to a producer. These are even more timesaving options that can save you more money and guarantee the best solution.

Fire Protection System Designs by Strategic Connections

We have been in business since 1998 and have experience with much of the cabling and design backends of buildings, meaning that we understand the best way to install fire protection systems around our other systems. We also only hire the best employees and insist that they are NICET-certified. Our designers use the AutoSprink 3D CAD software to guarantee that we are making the best design that will most efficiently cover your entire building. Check out or watch the YouTube video below to view the abilities of the software we use.

Contact Us to Design Your Fire Protection System

Our design process guarantees you the best and most cost-effective solution to your fire protection system design needs in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Myrtle Beach. If you would like to learn more, contact us today by calling 800-255-5664 or filling out the form below.

security camera design software

Choosing security cameras isn’t the only important step in implementing video surveillance. The video management software behind the camera must support the functions the user is looking for. If you are looking for the best security cameras for business – here is the link.

Before we move on to looking at the best video management software, it is crucial to understand the value of having an integrated solution compared with separated cameras and video management software.

Although having separate cameras and video management software allows you to be a bit more flexible, as you can use cameras that you already own, the issue of compatibility and lack of scalability should not be taken lightly. You will need some technical knowledge to pair cameras and VMS and considerable technical knowledge to maintain this pairing bug-free.

Having an integrated hardware and software solution saves you frustration at the beginning of the process as it comes ready to use out-of-the-box and you’re spared further frustration in the long-term, as it does not require any maintenance related to compatibility. Moreover, such solutions tend to come with frequent software updates and new features rollouts that you may benefit from in the long run. Integrated solutions also often pair very well with other security-related software solutions like access control or visitor management. If your budget allows it, we would recommend you choose this type of solution but, in case this is not possible, the separated solution will do the job.

The Video Surveillance Market

Market Share per Manufacturer

The top video surveillance market players in 2019 were: Hikvision, Dahua, Bosch, Axis, Flir, Uniview, Hanwha Techwin and Aviglion. The video surveillance market is estimated to be $21Bn.

With the FCC ban of the top two market players Hikvision and Dahua in 2021, much more demand will come to secondary players and more compliance focused companies currently using banned vendors will consider a switch to a higher quality video surveillance system.

Market Share per Industry

The largest verticals in the video market after consumer are military, transportation, manufacturing, retail, healthcare and government.

Video Surveillance Vendor Landscape 2022

Vendors by Category

The video surveillance industry can be divided into smart home, IP cameras, IP cloud camera, VMS systems and video AI / analytics technology vendors.

1. Smart home

These cameras are mostly used in home offices or small businesses.

2. IP cameras

IP cameras are usually used together with a VMS vendor.

3. IP cloud cameras with software

Cloud hardware camera manufacturers who also provide the management software.

4. Enterprise VMS

Enterprise software that works with any camera.

5. Video AI/Analytics

Video AI tools mostly layering on top of existing solutions.

Additional resources:

Video relevant compliance: NDAA (government), FedRamp (military)

Trends in the Market

It seems most new vendors focus on being overlays on top of existing cameras or simply data analysis tools. The camera becomes merely a gateway to pass through visual data from the lense to the device that syncs it up to the cloud or analyzes the data locally.

Launching IP based cloud cameras has been difficult or uninteresting for new players likely due to the current supply chain situation but also because venture funded software overlays are likely faster to bring to market and promise similar immediate value.

Examples of Best-in-Class Video Vendors by Category

Smart Home

Arlo provides security and video monitoring solutions for home by focusing on bringing together deep expertise in product design, wireless connectivity and RF engineering, cloud infrastructure, and leading-edge AI capabilities. This creates a seamless smart home experience for Arlo users that’s easy to setup and interact with every day.

Positive Reviews about Arlo

“Arlo has integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant, video resolution of up to 4K and infrared night vision on all cameras and color night vision on some” Source:

Negative Reviews about Arlo

“Arlo does not have the lowest prices for smart security cameras, person detection is only available with Arlo’s paid subscriptions and not all cameras have free cloud storage.” Source:

Nest Cam has built-in intelligence to send you alerts for people, animals, and vehicles. With Nest Aware, it will even recognize familiar faces. The Nest Cam comes in various forms, from outdoor to indoor in both batteried and wired versions.

Positive Reviews about Nest

“Works fairly well to see camera and adjust the thermostat. Always logs in OK to account.” Source: Appstore

Negative Reviews about Nest

“Something is going on with Nest Cam. Not as good as it used to be. Buffering often. I have Gig Fiber service and 4 Nest Cams. Lately Nest Cam keeps dropping out log in on the App. Several times I had a motion event then I quickly went to open App to view. Well it required I go through the cumbersome Google login procedure Again then security log in alert emails start after log in. This been happening more often recently. Also it’s been missing more events even when there has been no activity for hours.” Source: Appstore

IP Cameras

Turing AI provides alerts, sophisticated analytics, and search functionalities to guide your actions, real-time. They bring all of it into a simple, secure, reliable cloud platform to keep your employees safe, your facility secure and your operations efficient.

Spot AI is an all-in-one AI camera system for all your locations. See, search, share and scale video from your existing security cameras or with their cameras. As a multi-location modern enterprise, accessing and using your security footage might be difficult. Spot AI reinvented the NVR to cater to a smoother user experience at a large scale.

Positive Reviews about Spot AI

“DashBoard and software are very intuitive and very easy to use, had existing cameras and tech support had them all up and running while we were doing the onboarding call. The software and Dashboard have so many features that help make the cameras worthwhile and a value add for our company. No more clunky interfaces and cameras that go down, and you don’t catch them till you need them. The software notifies if a camera is down, as well as total uptime. The ability to search using a capture box on the camera feed significantly reduces footage scans.” Source: G2 Crowd

Negative Reviews about Spot AI

“They are missing a few key features that the C-Store market typically uses (POS data readouts etc.), but in most cases, the company is willing to work with you to develop any features they feel could benefit their customers.” Source: G2 Crowd

Bosch video products come with AI as a built-in standard. Products that are built on an open platform come with AI built-in by default, but they also have the added ability to enhance this by adding software later. Bosch AIoT products can be connected to the IoT to support recurring revenue models via services and remote access and management via the secure Bosch cloud.

According to Bosch, BVMS Lite, BVMS Plus and BVMS Professional provide seamless management of digital video, audio and data across an IP network.

Mobotix specialize in making IP video security software that can be combined with their proprietary, fail-safe premium hardware to create an intelligent complete system.

Positive Reviews about Mobotix

“High definition images, Each camera is independent, it is a computer with a good processor, which has optical sensors, motion sensors, infrared. You can schedule alerts via email, make phone calls using the SIP voip protocol, in case of an event or movement in a restricted area. Mobotix has a very useful product that is a GPS module, which allows the entire system to be synchronized. The management software allows you to make configurations, updates on all cameras simultaneously, centralize all views for excellent monitoring, reproduction is very simple. At the hardware level, Mobotix has high standards, based on ip67, weather resistant products.” Source: G2 Crowd

Negative Reviews about Mobotix

“What I do not like about Mobotix is ​​that it is complicated to configure, in the case of programming by events, the recordings usually make jumps and therefore obtain important losses of information. Some versions of Mobotix have failures in recording protocols and failures with integration with some NAS Servers manufacturers.

Another disadvantage of Mobotix is ​​that in the 4, 5,6 series many cameras did not bring wdr and have many problems with exposure to light. Finally, they are very expensive.” Source: G2 Crowd

All connected cameras are supported by the integrated, cost- and license-free Mobotix Move NVR video management software, which is tailored to the Mobotix Move cameras.

Video Insight by Panasonic Security Solutions is a web based video surveillance management for your campus or facility. It is a comprehensive suite of surveillance software modules and is a on-premise platform helping businesses of all sizes with camera management, automatic failover, customizable layouts, load balancing, active directory, image optimization and more.

Positive Reviews about Video Insight

“We have several camera systems running and without a hitch. Whenever we do come across an issue, support is ready to assist and they always resolve said issue. I recommend VideoInsight to a variety of clients.” Source: Capterra

Negative Reviews about Video Insight

“Software can be clunky, certain glitches can catch you off guard. (Customer support is phenomenal however)” Source: Capterra

Video Insight does not offer a free trial or have a free version. Contact Video Insight for pricing details.

HIKvision (Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology) is a manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment. Their central management products include the Blazer Pro and HikCentral, which are Windows-based devices designed for central management of distributed sites or a large pool of cameras recording on Hikvision NVRs, DVRs, and Hybrid-SAN storage products.

IP Cloud Cameras with Software

Cisco Meraki offers a wide range of video-related solutions for your security. These solutions all have something in common, their top-of-the-market software. Meraki’s software comes with powerful AI-powered video analytics and features that keep track of motion detection and motion search (allowing you to retroactively look at areas on the screen to notice, for example, a missing laptop). These are things that you definitely can’t get with free video analytics software!

All of your cameras are connected to the cloud and each camera comes with more than 500 GB of memory (this saves you money as you don’t need an external NVR). Their firmware is always up-to-date (feature releases, firmware updates, and bug fixes are always pushed automatically and at no additional cost with an active license).

Meraki also integrates with many solutions, including Kisi, to create a comprehensive security solution for your office or studio that includes access control and video surveillance.

Positive Reviews about Cisco Meraki

“Easy to maintain, powerful integrations and features set” Source: Trustradius

Negative Reviews about Cisco Meraki

“Pricepoint, multi sensors options, more powerful lens (but theyre already good at 4mp)” Source: Trustradius

The Meraki cameras come in various forms and prices. On the market, you can find the cheaper cameras starting from $500 circa and these can go up to $1000 per camera. To this price, the software license price must be added and that in itself can be around $1000, however, this depends on the time span of the license and the number of cameras.

Similar to Meraki, Rhombus offers a comprehensive security solution with their cameras. The solution is easy to install and connects the cameras to each other through the cloud. Rhombus comes with a very clean dashboard from which you can monitor in real-time what is happening in your space. With regards to analytics, Rhombus offers useful alerts with filtered footage for movement, faces, sensor events, unusual behavior, and many more things. The price point can be interesting for medium-sized businesses and enterprises alike.

Together with the cloud advantages (including storage of the videos), Rhombus has many innovative features such as unusual behavior detection, face recognition, and license plate recognition. Just like Meraki, in parallel to cameras they also offer environmental sensors.

Rhombus has the advantage of integrating with multiple solutions, including Kisi, to create a complete security infrastructure for your company. This will turn your office into a secure space with cutting-edge technology.

Positive Reviews about Rhombus

“With many outdated cameras in place, our organization needed a robust and flexible CCTV camera solution that not only provided great features and functionality but also reduced our footprint in a very small server room. The Rhombus solution made this transition to a new CCTV system very easy by providing us with an IP based solution that allowed for a central management of our CCTV cameras across the organization.” Source: G2 Crowd

Negative Reviews about Rhombus

“The initial cost for this system can be a bit of a sticker shock, but as you factor in the total cost of ownership over three or even five years, you’ll see a greater value in the Rhombus system overall.” Source: G2 Crowd

Verkada is the third of cloud based IP camera in our series and comes with a whole suite of adjacent products. Such as access control systems and environmental sensors, with cloud based machine vision and artificial intelligence. Started in 2016 in San Mateo the company suffered a severe data break where security footage and private data were accessed.

Positive Reviews about Verkada

“Verkada has a ton of built-in easy-to-use features that makes video surveillance simple. I like that I can create unique users for each team member” Source: G2 Crowd

Negative Reviews about Verkada

“Reliant on local bandwidth for video review, if you have poor service, reviews of streams can be slowed down. Caution during deployment, be sure to take into account your network switches capability to support POE and how much per switch else you can over run the power capacity.” Source: Gartner Reviews

According to Trustradius Verkada sells cameras with one or multi-year licenses as well as larger packages for viewing stations.

The Ava Aware Cloud video management system is a scalable, intelligent, cloud-based security that helps you gain real-time visibility and insights from anywhere. Aware is a powerful cloud-based AI video management system (VMS) equipped with integrated machine learning capabilities.

Suitable for both large, distributed enterprise installations and small deployments, Aware analyzes all the video feeds from all your Ava and third-party cameras all the time and in real-time. It identifies objects and events, sending instant alarms based on rules and unusual activity detection.

With Aware, you can also quickly search by event, object, and similarity to find a specific person, vehicle, or event of interest through countless hours of video within seconds or minutes.

Axis Communications is a Swedish manufacturer of network cameras, access control, and network audio devices for the physical security and video surveillance industries. With Axis Secure Remote Access technology, you can have effortless control over your security camera system and all your video, all the time. Real-time alert notifications keep you aware of any suspicious activity and can be customized to suit your needs.

Hanwha Techwin offers video surveillance products including IP cameras, storage devices and management software founded on world-class optical design, manufacturing and image processing technologies. Hanwha recently introduced their Wisenet line of innovative security products including 12MP cameras, intelligent video analytics and H.265 support.

Hanwha software solutions include Wisenet WAVE VMS, Hanwha Techwin mobile applications, and on-camera Wisenet Open Platform applications.

Hanwha also integrates with many solutions, soon including Kisi, to create a comprehensive security solution for your office or studio that includes access control and video surveillance.

Ubiquiti Networks is a technology company that manufactures wireless data communication products. It has grown since its start in 2005 to include a wide selection of surveillance cameras.

Ubiquiti’s UniFi system is a collection of network devices and a centrally-managed software controller. The system allows for easy access to all network devices so that a user can monitor and manage wherever needed. The software requires no additional licensing or support fee. It connects to a Cloud Dashboard where people can manage all servers and the status of locations from anywhere, any time.

Positive Reviews about Ubiquiti

“It has been almost 3 years since we are using the UAP AC LR access point on our premises. It provides a good range so no user complaints about the signal issue. The best point is that it can connect more than 250 users.I recommend going for it.” Source: Gartner Reviews

Negative Reviews about Ubiquiti

“About ubiquiti product we have overall a great experience, good products, updates and a lot of information online, over Unifi controller I dont have so good experience because it have complicate software instalation and dificult remote support, in particular, is not easy to get remote management on the unifi access point.” Source: Gartner Reviews

Ubiquiti hosts a large variety of cameras for your specific needs. Alongside these, UniFi Protect is a security management application that runs on a UniFi OS Console. With it, you can configure your Protect devices, watch live camera streams and recordings, download footage, create recording schedules, customize detection-specific notifications, and more.

Avigilon, a Motorola Solutions company, designs, develops and manufactures solutions in video analytics, cloud, security cameras, video management software and hardware, and access control. Avigilon is an industry leader and, together with Motorola Solutions, provides integrated solutions for video security, access control and critical communications.

Powered by advanced AI and video analytics, Avigilon strives to keep their technology simple and easy to use, letting you focus on what matters most.

Positive Reviews about Avigilon

“The quality of the images is excellent, and the software is fairly intuitive. I have used it to monitor real-time activity and then to look up past footage. For past footage, the time selection scroll bar is very easy to navigate.” Source: Gartner Reviews

Negative Reviews about Avigilon

“My only disappointment was with copying the images from a period of time — it took a tremendous amount of time to download the image period, and it was a huge file. It would be nice if that could be simplified, but I wouldn’t not use the software because of that issue.” Source: Gartner Reviews

The Avigilon Control Center software is a customized quotation. Contact their sales team for more information.

Eagle Eye Networks is an American company providing cloud-based video surveillance products for physical security and business operations applications.

The Eagle Eye Cloud is an open, true cloud platform built with artificial intelligence (AI) to dramatically transform your video surveillance system into an even more powerful tool. It is purpose built to store and manage video. Because it’s purpose built, the Eagle Eye Cloud is more efficient and faster for video, designed to minimize latency and provide cost savings.

Eagle Eye also integrates with many solutions, soon including Kisi, to create a comprehensive security solution for your office or studio that includes access control and video surveillance.

Positive Reviews about Eagle Eye

“The app is easy to use and the website to administer accounts is easy. I like that it quickly pulls a lower quality live stream and then after a few seconds pulls up the high quality view. It seems faster than other similar apps I’ve used from other manufacturers.” Source: G2 Crowd

Negative Reviews about Eagle Eye

“Camera selection from Eagle Eye is a little subpar. But the software does support a wide range of cameras from other manufacturers. Also some customers have been confused about downloading and storing clips offline and the process to do so. EEN saves the clip in a queue for downloading but some customers have assumed that the clip is downloaded when they click the download button initially. The software does notify you when the clip is ready for download but some users have overlooked the notification.” Source: G2 Crowd

The Eagle Eye Security Camera VMS is delivered via Eagle Eye subscription plans and requires an Eagle Eye Bridge or an Eagle Eye CMVR. The subscription plans are priced per camera per month, and vary based on camera resolution and desired retention period. All plans include web and mobile access, 24/7 operational monitoring, and unlimited alerts. Please contact Eagle Eye for more details.

Vivotek offers a well-rounded selection of products including NVR devices, central management software, servers, receivers, and cameras. They have been able to develop innovative solutions to the most common problems associated with IP video systems.

Since Vivotek was established in 2000 in Taiwan, Vivotek has grown quickly into a leading manufacturer within the video surveillance industry, manufacturing products ranging from entry-level security to complex commercial systems.

Vivotek’s Vast 2 is an easy to use IP video management software (VMS). It comes with features such as easy operation on single or multiple monitors, custom layout to accommodate both corridor and panorama orientations, rapid export of multi-channel video and much more.

Enterprise VMS

Videoloft focuses on transforming traditional professional surveillance systems into cloud connected solutions via the Videoloft Cloud Adapter. Their cloud video surveillance solution provides remote access, offsite storage, and other sophisticated features for CCTV systems, solving the challenges associated with getting traditional CCTV systems into the cloud.

The solution employs rigid security protocols to ensure all video is transmitted and stored securely in the Videoloft cloud, which is hosted on Amazon’s AWS. End-users have remote access to their cloud video surveillance system from anywhere and at any time via the mobile app or web-based VMS. It makes security systems highly proactive and personalized, and instantly upgrades legacy systems with new features.

Ivideon, a Cloud VSaaS company, is a cloud-based video surveillance solution for business and the home. Ivideon technology and product offerings include live video surveillance from any device for real-time monitoring, motion & sound detection, smart reports and notifications, detailed data on the foot traffic, face recognition, queue detection, thermal measurement, ANPR, video wall and much more.

Qumulex, a technology startup based in the new Indiana, applies today’s cloud and IoT technology to video surveillance and access control needs in the commercial segment. Qumulex provides a transition to a mobile-first, cyber-secure service with the benefit of consistent customer lifetime value.

Qumulex provides a Unified Video Management and Access Control platform in a simplified browser-based user interface, with flexible deployment options of All Cloud, All On-Premises, or Both. It is an open platform to work with leading camera and access control hardware, with no proprietary-product lock-in.

Qumulex has raised about $2.8M in funding and is with about 11 employees based out of Fishers, Indiana.

Currently no reviews for Qumulex are available – please get in touch with us should you be aware of any, we’d love to update this section!

Milestone Systems is a leading provider of open platform video management software. Based on an open platform, their video management software enables integration with a wide choice in cameras and best-in-class business solutions.

Milestone XProtect, their video management software, makes use of HEVC/H.265 technology. The open platform architecture of Milestone XProtect has fostered an ever-expanding community of camera manufacturers, application providers and software developers, all working to create integrations and extensions to XProtect. Building your video installation on XProtect gives you the opportunity to leverage this community and its thousands of integrated solutions, so you can add additional value and capabilities to your system.

The many Milestone integrations soon will include Kisi to create a comprehensive security solution for your office or studio that includes access control and video surveillance.

Positive Reviews about Milestone

“Straight forward, easy to use camera management. Combine with the XProtect Mobile it makes for a seamless camera management and viewing system.” Source: Gartner Reviews

Negative Reviews about Milestone

“One of the leading VMS. Can handle lots of volume but very much hardware dependent. It’s a great VMS but, to me, the interface is lacking in user friendliness.Looks more like an interface for advanced users but, without the advanced features. Finding camera drivers is not always obvious and sometimes direly needed to make a camera work. Also, very resource hungry.” Source: Gartner Reviews

how to design a fire alarm system

A fire alarm system consists of various electronic devices that work together to detect and notify people of a fire or other emergency. Over the years, fire alarm systems have become increasingly sophisticated, so we’ve put together a guide to help you understand all the components of a fire detection alarm system and get the most out of this essential technology. 

A Brief History of Fire Alarm Systems 

Alarm systems have evolved considerably since Francis Robbins Upton, a Thomas Edison associate, patented the first automatic alarm system in 1890. Twelve years later, in England, George Andrew Darby developed the first heat and smoke detection systems, and in 1965, battery-powered smoke alarms first appeared. Since the 1980s, building codes have required the installation and use of battery-powered smoke alarms.

How Do Fire Alarm Systems Work? 

A fire alarm system’s chief purpose is to detect fires and quickly notify both the occupants of the building and emergency services from a centrally controlled and monitored location. These systems also monitor themselves, identifying the location and origin of the alarms and sensing problems with connections and wiring that might prevent the system from working properly. Essentially, fire detection systems have four primary functions.

These highly advanced systems use a network of appliances, devices and control panels to perform these four functions. To help you better understand the workings of an alarm system, we’ll discuss each component in detail below. 

Components of an Alarm System

A fire alarm system consists of many components, including:

Below we’re going to explain what each component does.

1. Fire Alarm Control Panel 

The fire alarm control panel, commonly abbreviated as FACU, is the system’s “brain.” It receives messages from the initiating devices, also known as inputs, and performs the following functions.

Minimizing False Alarms

A poorly designed or installed fire alarm system that doesn’t get routine maintenance, testing and inspection will likely go off even when there’s no genuine danger. Frequent false alarms will cause people to take them less seriously. When hearing a fire alarm, many people assume it’s no cause for concern unless they also smell smoke or see flames.

To minimize the incidence of false alarms, the fire alarm industry has pushed for proper system design, installation, testing, maintenance and inspection. 

Types of Fire Alarm Panels

The types of fire alarm systems include addressable and non-addressable.

Most property owners and managers prefer addressable systems, as they let you know the specific location of the alarm and assess the situation much more quickly. Some fire alarm panels can also notify remote alarm monitoring stations, which can then contact emergency services. Most state laws do not allow the panels to directly contact fire departments. 

The Three States of a Fire Alarm System 

Fire alarm panels continuously monitor and indicate the state of the fire alarm system. For the majority of systems, there are three possible states. 

2. Initiation Devices

Initiation devices initiate alarms, and, just like alarm panels, they can be either addressable or non-addressable. Some initiation devices, like water flow switches, are traditionally non-addressable, but connect with addressable modules. The switches can have specific addresses that let them communicate with addressable systems. 

There are many types of initiation devices. In addition to water flow switches, initiation devices can also be:

3. Pull Stations

A pull station is probably the fire alarm system component you’re most familiar with. It’s a manually operated device that initiates an alarm signal when someone pulls its handle. While smoke may take a few minutes to reach a smoke detector, you can activate a pull station within just a few seconds of a fire or other emergency, which allows for a quicker evacuation and faster reaction times by the fire department. Pull stations are available in various sizes and shapes and can come with protective covers upon request. 

4. Smoke Detectors 

A smoke detector is a device that initiates an alarm signal when it senses smoke. There are two classifications of these devices, depending on the type of sensor they use to detect smoke particles. 

5. Duct Detectors

Duct detectors are smoke detectors installed in air conditioning and heating ducts. They shut air handling units down, preventing smoke from traveling all over the building via the air ducts. 

6. Heat Detectors 

Heat detectors are fire detection devices equipped with sensors that respond to heat. Two main kinds of heat detectors are available.

7. Beam Detectors

This kind of smoke detector projects a beam of light across the area it’s protecting. If smoke crosses the path of the beam, the detector will respond. 

8. Air Aspirating or Air Sampling Smoke Detectors

This type of detector uses tubes to deliver air or smoke to a central detector equipped with a sensor that can detect minute changes to the air’s chemical composition. These detectors are usually highly sensitive.

9. Water Flow Switches

Water flow switches use paddles located inside water-filled piping that will respond if water flows. On sprinkler systems, their design allows them to work if water is flowing from only one sprinkler. 

10. Tamper Switches

A tamper switch is a supervisory initiating device that operates if someone moves its valve from its regular position. 

11. Notification Devices 

These devices send a visual or audible notification to alert a building’s occupants to evacuate. 

12. Audible Devices

Audible devices include sirens, bells and horns.

13. Strobes

Strobes send notifications by flashing a light. 

14. Strobes/Horns

These devices send notifications by flashing a light and blaring a siren to alert people to respond. 

15. Dialers or Communicators

Some fire alarm systems have internal or external dialers used to contact monitoring centers or alarm receiving stations. Communicators can use radio signals, phone lines or an internet connection to maintain contact. Panels may have built-in dialers or communicators. 

16. NAC Power Supplies 

Today’s systems require many notification devices, which need extra power supplies, known as notification power supplies, or NAC power supplies. You can find these by the main panel or distributed around the building as needed. 

How Do Fire Alarm Systems Integrate With Other Life Safety Technology? 

Sometimes, building codes require the integration between fire alarm systems and other technology. However, in other cases, integration is optional and voluntary, such as integration with lighting systems, HVAC systems, door locks and security systems. While these systems have historically needed independent network communications, they can now operate on a shared infrastructure, saving you money and streamlining processes. 

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