Fire Alarm Specialty Design of North Windham, Conn. was contacted to resolve a problem with the fire alarm system at Lawrence Junior High School in Falmouth, Mass. The existing fire panel was well beyond its life cycle and could not be repaired. The only option was to replace it — and that’s when a new set of issues came to light.


According to Scott Duplisea, general manager at Fire Alarm Specialty Design, school administrators requested that the entire fire alarm system be replaced, and the project had to be completed over the winter break. “We were not only challenged with a short timeframe to get the job done, there were serious scheduling issues,” Duplisea said.


Fire Alarm Specialty Design had to deal with a couple of other important technical issues as well, including the limited amount of physical real estate to install the equipment, and the ability to deliver power to 12 NACs. The integrator turned to Altronix for a solution.


Altronix recommended its FireSwitch 108 NAC Power Extenders, which provide eight Class B or four Class A circuits, or Aux power outputs with or without battery back-up — all of which are programmable.


“The product provided twice as many circuits as other products we examined with approximately the same footprint,” Duplisea said. “This also reduced the budget further by eliminating the need for additional batteries and wiring that goes along with not having to install a third NAC power extender.”


Once the product was selected, Fire Alarm Specialty Design’s next challenge was to meet the tight deadline to complete the installation. Not having previously used the product, Duplisea and his team didn’t know quite what to expect.


“The Altronix NAC Power Extender configured very easily for every type of NAC installed at the facility, which was one of the best features of all to me,” Duplisea said. “The unit’s signal circuit trouble memory was particularly useful as it allowed my technicians to quickly identify and resolve intermittent system issues, which expedited the installation and will reduce unnecessary service calls.” 


To ensure the Lawrence Junior High School project would be completed on time, Fire Alarm Specialty Design performed the head-end installation and partnered with New England Safety Systems of Taunton, Mass. to replace all of the facility’s field devices. Upon project completion the account was turned over to New England Safety Systems for ongoing support and maintenance.


One of the factors that facilitated the account transfer is the lifetime warranty Altronix provides. If a technical or service question ever arises, New England Safety Systems can always contact Altronix directly even though they were not the original purchaser, regardless of how long the devices are in operation. 


“The lifetime warranty is definitely a strong purchase incentive that gave us a huge vote of confidence,” Duplisea added.