Fire alarm technology has remained consistent over the years. While there have been advancements in the technology, conventional systems remain popular because of their simplicity and affordability. A fire alarm system consists of a control panel, which is the motherboard of the system, and any connected smoke and fire detectors. Fire Alarm Cables are used to connect these detectors to the security alarm via the control panel.
Most times when you’re getting a fire alarm installed, the focus of the installer in on the detectors, control panel and the alarm. Robust and reliable fire alarm cables are equally important.
What Makes a Good Fire Alarm Cable
Fire alarms in commercial buildings are rigged to trigger as soon as one detector goes off. Integrating the devices together using 3-conductor cable that connects each device to another does this. A 2-conductor cable is best for connection to the control panel.
When looking for what quality of fire alarm cable to purchase, keep a couple of things in mind. Firstly, if you have a long-reaching system with chances of electromagnetic interference that comes with complicated or faulty wiring in the walls, your best bet would be to go with shielded cables. Shielded cables are more durable and resilient to interference. Unshielded wires come into play where your system is simpler. They are more adept at short distances and less expensive too.
Another factor to consider when buying fire alarm cables is the number of conductors they have. This depends on the specifications of your system and devices being used. Fire cables mostly have between 2 to 6 conductors.
Which AWG Do You Need
AWG or American Wire Gauge measures the diameter of a wire. The smaller the value, the larger the wire. The recommended size for fire alarm cables is between 18 AWG and 12 AWG. Once again, the AWG of your cable is dependent on your detectors and control panel.
Each device in your system needs current to work. Cables have their own internal resistance that causes a drop in voltage. Larger wires like 14 AWG and 12 AWG have the least resistance. So you need large enough cables to provide your devices with the necessary current after taking into account how much voltage is expected to drop. If you have a large fire system containing multiple devices, you need a heavier wire to be able to handle that kind of load.
Fire Alarm Cable from EWCS
Since alarm technology has changed much in recent years, people attach little importance to the quality of their fire alarm cables. However, the cable is vital to the integrity of the whole system. Faulty cable could mean that your system does not work when needed, and that defeats the purpose of having fire security in the first place.
The good news is that you can bank on EWCS for quality fire cables that will never let you down. Our experts are always willing to lend a hand and help you decide which cable would best suit your requirements. Get in touch with us at 800.262.1598 or drop us a line