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I'm a 3rd year apprentice with 0 fire alarm experience. I have never really had the opportunity to be a part of the wire pull or terminating or any part of the fire alarm wiring. I always find that the foreman gets his best guys to pull the fire alarm. Anyways I was just wondering if it is something that is very difficult to understand compared to basic 3 phase circuitry. I really want to learn how to pull fire alarm before I'm a Jman, think I might just straight out ask if I can be a part of it next job I get thrown on.
 

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It's not especially hard, it just has to be done right.

When I was a 3rd year I became a *** (Fire Alarm Guy). I actually liked it a lot more than standard wiring. Did a lot of Edwards systems in the high rise condos. I'd say bug to get on it, you might really like it.
 

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Yes and No

Yes it is easy, No it is easy to mess up if you mix your pairs up. :laughing:

Like Frunk said, go for it.
 

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I learned fire alarm wiring in the mid 70's working on Notifier MD and Pyrotronics System 3 control equipment. Not really a lot to it but it is easier to understand if you pull the wire in and terminate it . Both the NJATC and the ABC have good information in their apprenticeship programs.

The NJATC has a fire alarm manual that is excellent and the ABC fire alarm course is covered in one of their apprenticeship books I will edit this post in the morning with that info.

I suggest that you get one or both of those books and read how a fire alarm system works and then go from there.

A word of advice Stay away from NFPA publications . They are good for the experienced tech (you will not find anything better ) but extremely complicated for the apprentice.

LC
 

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You should definitely learn it and if that requires bluntly asking to be put on it, do it. I believe every electrician should know at least the basics of fire alarm. I am also third year and I do a lot of F/A. In fact where I currently am, I have by default become "the" fire alarm guy. I'm lucky because I learned from good people. I've mostly worked on Notifier and Honeywell systems. I would like to eventually get my CFAA certification.

Fire alarm is actually easy, but the important thing is it needs to be installed with a degree of finesse to prevent having to troubleshoot it later. Securex/FAS is delicate wire with flimsy insulation that gets nicked easily. Troubleshooting is where the real fun begins and is also why a lot of people are scared of it. I've found that many construction electricians are just not great troubleshooters because they haven't had to do a lot of it. Many also don't have the patience.

You will use your meter A LOT during troubleshooting because you'll constantly be measuring voltage, resistance and continuity. If you don't own one, buy one. It's not optional if you're going to work on fire alarms. I don't have a fancy one, but it would be nice some day. The thing to understand about fire alarm is the way the system and its devices operate and what each thing is trying to accomplish. Otherwise your average system depends on you understanding some basic DC theory, basic electronics and basic relay control.

You can get pigeonholed into doing F/A work when you don't want to, but it also has a lot of perks like job security and the fact that you aren't fighting with huge conductors. That's fun sometimes, but not most of the time.

If you want to get started I would first start reading about the differences between a Class A and Class B system.
 

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Fire alarm wiring is dirt simple. It's either a complete loop (Class A) or a run that has an end of line resistor (Class B.)
 

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The old analog systems were'nt much more than a glorified door bell

When things went digital , it all went the proprietary software, laptop factory trained route


~CS~
 

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The wiring is dirt simple. The programming end of things is what gets complex. Few electricians get involved in that, though. Programming can range from pretty easy (Edwards) to quite complex (Simplex).
 

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What is really hard about fire alarm wiring is perfect offsets and bends when doing exposed work around schools and so forth. It is all out in the open and gets looked at by many, so all you ''behind the drywall and lift out tile benders''
need not apply......
 

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The wiring is dirt simple. The programming end of things is what gets complex. Few electricians get involved in that, though. Programming can range from pretty easy (Edwards) to quite complex (Simplex).
I'm not aware of any EC's around here that do F.A. installations that do the programming as well. It's always done by the equipment OEM or the distributor.
 

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What is really hard about fire alarm wiring is perfect offsets and bends when doing exposed work around schools and so forth. It is all out in the open and gets looked at by many, so all you ''behind the drywall and lift out tile benders''
need not apply......
That's piperunner's job. Duh.
 

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I'm a 3rd year apprentice with 0 fire alarm experience. I have never really had the opportunity to be a part of the wire pull or terminating or any part of the fire alarm wiring. I always find that the foreman gets his best guys to pull the fire alarm. Anyways I was just wondering if it is something that is very difficult to understand compared to basic 3 phase circuitry. I really want to learn how to pull fire alarm before I'm a Jman, think I might just straight out ask if I can be a part of it next job I get thrown on.
I became a licenced fire alarm tec,as i did my apprenticeship.
A good start would be doing an online course from the Canadian fire alarm association.:thumbsup::thumbsup:
www.cfaa.ca
 

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The wiring is dirt simple. The programming end of things is what gets complex. Few electricians get involved in that, though. Programming can range from pretty easy (Edwards) to quite complex (Simplex).
progaming is easy nothing hard about it.
 
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