Important Note: The current stock of FF345 modules seems to have a manufacturing defect that makes it incompatible with Honeywell's products. They continue to operate very well with 2GIG products. We are working with the vendor to find a fix for the Honeywell products, however, and will update this note as we receive more information. For more information, read the full blog.
The Encore Firefighter FF345 is a Honeywell and 2GIG compatible wireless audio module that can be used to remotely monitor your existing wired smoke detectors. Per building code, most homes are required to have a high voltage or battery powered smoke detector in each room. These are "conventional smoke detectors" that are wired to a discrete circuit in your electrical panel and designed for life safety. When there is smoke/fire detected the smoke detector triggers an audible alarm and that is then mirrored by all the other smokes on the premise. These are designed to save lives in the event of a fire, by getting people in the building to exit immediately. What if no one is around? Will your home or business burn down?
Traditionally, remote fire monitoring required the purchase and installation of a secondary system of smoke detectors (i.e. Honeywell 5808W3) which are programmed to a fire and/or burglary alarm system. This incurs hardware and installation expenses which can be costly. Then you can have the smoke detectors remotely monitored by a Central Station or receive automated alerts via text/email in the case of a fire alarm. On the other hand, the Encore Firefighter offers a way to use the hardware that is already in place to trip a wireless zone on your security system.
The Encore FF345 should be programmed as a "Fire - Zone Type 09." This response type is designed to trigger a fire alarm after the Firefighter hears a smoke detector once. If you are worried about false alarms you can set the response type to, "Fire with verification." This will require the sensor to be tripped twice before issuing a fire alarm event to the panel. The first generation of this product was designed to work like the 5816 on loop 2. Any sensor before Version 1.5 will enroll as loop 2. The equipment code to use for 2GIG systems if you have a first generation FF345 (the rectangular model) is "0637". If you are trying to enroll a second generation FF345 (the circular model), you should use "1058" for a smoke detection zone or "1026" for a CO detection zone.
Second generation firefighters (V1.5 or higher) enroll as loop 1 and also support CO detection. Be sure to confirm the firmware revision before programming. All round versions are second generation (V1.5+). Check date code on rectangular version to confirm version. If it is 1.5 or higher it gets programmed as loop 1. Earlier models are programmed as loop 2 and only support fire, not CO. The serial number printed on the device, assigned to loop 1, will report smoke detection. The last digit of the serial number must be changed to one digit higher and also assigned to loop 1 for CO detection. For example, an FF345 with serial number 0012345 would be programmed with this serial number and loop 1 for smoke reporting, and serial number 0012346 loop 1 on a separate zone for Carbon Monoxide reporting. If your detector only senses one or the other, you can simply program one or the other.
Placement and orientation is very important. The module must be within 6 inches of a functional device. There are two tabs along the side of unit which give the microphone line of sight directly with the smoke detector. It uses a microphone similar to a glass break detector to pick up on the sound of an activated device. The sound will cause the FF345 to transmit a signal to the Wireless Honeywell or 2GIG alarm system.
During the first hour after power up, the FF345 is in a Test mode. During this time, if it hears the temporal 3 sound for smoke, or the temporal 4 sound for Carbon Monoxide only once, it will signal an alarm to the control panel. After the first hour, when it goes to normal mode, it must hear at least 2 rounds of each sound before it will indicate an alarm. If the device has been powered up for more than an hour, and you need to test it, remove the batteries then replace them, and a new test hour will begin.
The unit is battery powered by a 3VDC CR123A and is designed to last up to 5 years. This device should be regularly tested. If the unit is programmed as "Fire with Verification" it will require a 30 second press and hold on the smoke detector.
**Please note: This is not a smoke or heat detector!**
*Note: The FF345 has two (2) small screws that keep the back cover secured. You must remove these screws if you ever need to open up the sensor. In order to access these screws, you must first remove the sensor from the backplate that keeps the device mounted to the wall or ceiling. The sensor should easily slide out from the backplate.