Fire alarm and fire suppression control panels are the heart of commercial fire alarm systems. For many years, ORR Protection has observed and subsequently recommended that commercial fire alarm panels last from 15-20 years installed in the field. But with proper inspection, testing, and maintenance those panels can last up to 25 years before they need to be replaced. We also recommend that a system owner can expect the devices in the field (detectors and notification devices) to have a slightly shorter lifespan of 10-15 years.
Every day, our fire system technicians find panels that are at end-of-life and need replacement. When a component of the panel fails, we are tasked with finding a replacement part. If a replacement part is not available, often the panel itself must be changed. Many times, we find that the panel has failed through an emergency call from a customer, or sometimes we find it ourselves through a regularly scheduled inspection and testing visit.
Given the large number of systems our technicians visit, they know which panels are discontinued and which no longer have available parts for purchase, making them obsolete. In the case of a panel component failure or more catastrophic disaster of the panel, the lack of available parts can delay getting your building back online, cause you to deploy a costly fire watch, and potentially affect the occupancy status of the building.
Over the last decade, fire alarm system manufacturers have made many improvements to their products and have been made to discontinue production of old parts in favor of new safer and more reliable models. The net result is shorter life spans for installed fire alarm panels.
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So, what should you do?
If you have an older fire alarm panel you can check our comprehensive obsolete panel master list below to see if your panel has made the list. You can also have your service provider advise you about the age of your panel. Then, if parts are not available for your panel, you should plan to replace it. Fire alarm upgrade projects are often capital expense projects and can be planned for in CAPEX budgets. Read here about how to get funding for critical fire system infrastructure projects.
When you plan for a panel upgrade project, it is often a good time to assess if detectors need replaced. New detectors, especially the newest UL 864 7th edition detectors, are less prone to false alarms and will cause you less headache. Another thing to consider during upgrade is changes to the way your fire alarm system communicates outside the building. Cellular, radio, or internet (IP) communicators can save you the cost of a hard-wired phone line and get rid of your old dialer.
List of Discontinued and Obsolete Panels
Look through this regularly updated list to find out if the make and model of your building’s fire alarm and suppression panel is discontinued or obsolete:
*the list below not an exhaustive list of all obsolete panels, please contact us to confirm your panel is adequately supported
|Fike Cheetah (not the Xi)||Fenwal 2320||Ansul 442R||
|Notifier 5000||Siemens MXL|
|Fike SHP (not the SHP Pro)||Fenwal 2210||Ansul Autopulse 2000||
|Notifier AFP-200||Siemens SXL|
|Fike Intelliscan||Fenwal 2212||Ansul RP-1002||
|Notifier AFP-100||Pyrotronics System 3|
|Fike 10-038||Fenwal 2220||Ansul RP-1001||
|Notifier AFP-300||Chemetron Micro 1-EV|
|Fike 10-041||Fenwal 3220||
|Fike Rhino||Fenwal 3210||
|Fike 101||FenwalNet 1000||FCI FC-72||Notifier AM1010||Cerberus Pyrotronics CP-35|
|FenwalNet 2000||FCI 7100||
ALL Faraday Panels
Your panel is on the list, what does this mean?
Our team is ready to help get your fire control panel up to date so that your system can continue protecting your mission critical operation.
Your fire protection system is at the end of its’ normal life cycle and relying on its future performance may carry some risk.
It’s going to cost you more money to support. Your obsolete system is more likely to have problems as it gets older, replacement parts are more difficult to find and this all equates to overall higher costs of service.
Your biggest risk is Not Being Protected. If your system were to have a significant failure, which the probability increases daily, you may have to replace it with an entirely new system. That would take time, and the expense would be considerably higher since you would have to expedite all materials and labor. This would require ordering new equipment, complete new engineering drawings and scheduling installation. The typical turnaround time, even in a rush situation, is 10-15 days. That is 10-15 days you will be completely without any fire protection.
Having your fire protection system go down unexpectedly will cost you more. You will need to expect additional rush shipping expenses, most likely higher installation cost, not to mention the unplanned inconvenience it will cause your business operation.
What are your next steps?
Get more information:
- When does your panel need to be replaced?
- How much will it cost to replace your panel?
- What is the plan for the future?
Unfortunately, all equipment wears out and at some point in the future, you will need to replace your panel regardless of the current status of your system.