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Apartmnet building intercom/fire alarms/panic buttons

werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
This is something of a long shot, given it's pretty esoteric, but does anyone happen to know anything about apartment building intercoms, fire alarms systems, or panic buttons? My father started a small wiring business, and I help out from time to time with technical specs and pricing. He's asked me to look into the above for a job he's bidding on in a new 70 unit apartment building.

The intercom system is easy enough as far as I can tell, there are two basic systems: a closed network you lay the wire down for, going between each apartment and the central box at the entrance, and a relatively simple one you just run a phone line into and then program to dial some number (land line or a cell I suppose) for each different apartment.

The fire alarms and panic buttons are somewhat trickier. I'm vaguely sure that there must be some out of the box (roughly) version of a central system for each, but I have not the foggiest about the specifics, and google isn't being especially kind. Anyone have any insight?

werehippy on

Posts

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Just fyi I hate the number dialing one and it hates me.

    Get a normal intercom for the sake of your residents. Its a better selling point.

    JebusUD on
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    Guess it always comes down to.
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Just fyi I hate the number dialing one and it hates me.

    Get a normal intercom for the sake of your residents. Its a better selling point.

    I personally always liked the dialing ones, but I was planning on putting in a proposal for each and letting the owner decide. Can't say I'd mind the traditional one, since it's more work and material to install and a bigger payday at the end.

    werehippy on
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    This is something of a long shot, given it's pretty esoteric, but does anyone happen to know anything about apartment building intercoms, fire alarms systems, or panic buttons? My father started a small wiring business, and I help out from time to time with technical specs and pricing. He's asked me to look into the above for a job he's bidding on in a new 70 unit apartment building.

    The intercom system is easy enough as far as I can tell, there are two basic systems: a closed network you lay the wire down for, going between each apartment and the central box at the entrance, and a relatively simple one you just run a phone line into and then program to dial some number (land line or a cell I suppose) for each different apartment.

    The fire alarms and panic buttons are somewhat trickier. I'm vaguely sure that there must be some out of the box (roughly) version of a central system for each, but I have not the foggiest about the specifics, and google isn't being especially kind. Anyone have any insight?

    It's gonna depend on if you're talking high rise or a more spread out set up. Generally they go back to a central panel and those panels may be wired together. Have you review the building codes for it?

    Thomamelas on
  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm getting the floor plans and pulling the building codes in that town/county to get the specific layout nailed down after our first meeting with the owner, for right now I was just trying to get a rough handle on price and equipment, along the lines of "this is a good central box, this is what the standard unit looks like/costs, this is the strobe light for hearing impaired, this is how the whole thing roughly works."

    werehippy on
  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    The fire alarms and panic buttons are somewhat trickier.

    Are you talking about actually installing these fire alarms yourself? In my state (and to my knowledge, the rest of them), you cannot install a fire system without a Fire Card. Judging by your minimal knowledge regarding them (sorry, that sounds dickish. It's not meant to be), it doesn't sound like your father has one of these. It might be best to have the contractor start taking bids from companies licensed to do fire systems, instead of getting in a heap of trouble trying to do one yourself. You lose out on the money, but you don't have the headache. It's a fair trade.

    MayGodHaveMercy on
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  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    The fire alarms and panic buttons are somewhat trickier.

    Are you talking about actually installing these fire alarms yourself? In my state (and to my knowledge, the rest of them), you cannot install a fire system without a Fire Card. Judging by your minimal knowledge regarding them (sorry, that sounds dickish. It's not meant to be), it doesn't sound like your father has one of these. It might be best to have the contractor start taking bids from companies licensed to do fire systems, instead of getting in a heap of trouble trying to do one yourself. You lose out on the money, but you don't have the headache. It's a fair trade.

    No offense taken at all, that's honestly exactly the kind of thing I need to know. I would have assumed it was fine to install the system yourself as long as it passed inspection afterwards, though I would have checked before hand.

    Thanks for the info.

    werehippy on
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    You never mentioned about asking the local Fire Department about their involvement in large scale fire alarms like this, or talking to the police about panic buttons. While I don't think a phone call to the police station will yield you much knowledge, I bet a phone call to the Fire dept would get you at least SOME information on alarm systems.

    Scrublet on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    Just fyi I hate the number dialing one and it hates me.

    Get a normal intercom for the sake of your residents. Its a better selling point.

    This all the way.

    TL DR on
  • ThomamelasThomamelas Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me! Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Scrublet wrote: »
    You never mentioned about asking the local Fire Department about their involvement in large scale fire alarms like this, or talking to the police about panic buttons. While I don't think a phone call to the police station will yield you much knowledge, I bet a phone call to the Fire dept would get you at least SOME information on alarm systems.

    And more specifically if there is a fire marshal you'll want to speak with them since they are going to do the inspection.
    No offense taken at all, that's honestly exactly the kind of thing I need to know. I would have assumed it was fine to install the system yourself as long as it passed inspection afterwards, though I would have checked before hand.

    Generally not and the same for the alarm system usually. Not to be overly melodramatic but screwing up those systems can get people killed.

    Thomamelas on
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Honestly I have never seen any kind of alarm or "panic" button in any apartment building that I've been to in this city. I would assume the same about other cities as well, because the idea is pretty outlandish.

    Honestly, what advantage does a "panic" button have over 911? Where does this "panic" button send its signal? To the super? A maintenance guy who knows how to patch drywall and replace a toilet seal, but knows fuck all about solving domestic disputes or stopping a hostile situation before it gets violent.

    If this is something that your father is advertising, then he should already know everything about it, and what local bureaus to which the signals route. If it's something that the building owners came up with, then they need to know that it's highly ridiculous and completely unnecessary.

    Seattle Thread on
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