Computerized Alarm System Recalls Occupancy Data

Computerized Alarm System Recalls Occupancy Data


A computerized system for receiving automatic sprinkler waterflow and fire detector alarms and then retrieving pertinent information on the affected location has been installed in the Addison, Ill., Fire Department alarm room.

The ADT System 2016 alarm and retrieval operation centers on a pair of minicomputers, one of them a backup unit. The system is integrated in the department’s alarm console and provides the name and address of the location from which the alarm is being received as well as the type of trouble (fire, security or malfunction), circuit number, companies that will respond, phone number at the affected location, hazardous chemicals or materials in the building, locations of hydrants and standpipes, and locations of shutoffs for electricity, gas and water. In addition, the phone numbers of the plant manager and others to be contacted in an emergency can be retrieved by the computer.

The dispatcher can display up to 100 other items which may be added as systems are installed at additional locations throughout Addison, or as changes are made to update existing data. This extra information could include the number of employees in the building during working hours, the number after working hours, the location of stairways, elevators and doors, and other facts essential to life safety.

Most signals for fire

“Since the system was installed last year, we have received over 3000 emergency signals, most for fires and a small number for ambulance assistance,” said Chief Mike S. Puntillo of the Addison Fire Department.

From the multiplex control cabinet capable of handling up to 1000 direct lines, incoming alarm signals go to the monitor control panel and to the computer. Emergency information retrieved from the computer system is displayed on a CRT screen and is also recorded by a high-speed printer as a permanent record.

While it is on standby, the backup minicomputer is put to steady use by the Addison Fire Department for routine assignments, such as keeping equipment maintenance logs and fire incident reports.

More locations covered

The system replaced an older hardwired, direct-connect alarm system serving some 180 points. The new system covers 214 locations.

Addison, with 30,000 residents, is the largest industrial center of DuPage County, adjacent to Chicago’s Cook County, and it is a mixture of residential and commercial neighborhoods. Strong fire codes are in effect and one of the Addison codes calls for sprinkler systems with monitored waterflow alarms in all commercial and industrial properties with over 7500 square feet of interior space.

In addition to the local ordinance, a county regulation calls for the use of fire detectors, as well as manual fire signaling stations, in multifamily occupancies.

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