FireFighter FF345: Review

Our video review of the Encore FireFighter FF345 add-on for hard-wired smoke detector integration with your existing alarm system.


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Description

The FireFighter FF345 is an audio detector that integrates high voltage, hard-wired smoke detectors. As the video discusses, having one integrated smoke detector per floor is highly recommended. With the Encore FF345 you can integrate all the other previously installed smoke detectors.

Out-of-the-box setup is relatively easy. As you follow along with the tutorial, you need to put in the battery. The FF345 comes with a back plate and mounting screws for easy mounting. As we tell you in the video, the recommended mounting is to place the FF345 on the ceiling within 3 to 6 inches from your smoke detectors.

The limitations of the Encore FireFighter FF345 is that if your smoke detectors are not integrated: meaning they do not all alarm if one rings, then the FF345 will only relay the signal for the smoke detector it is positioned near.

If you have interconnected smoke detectors, you can place the Encore unit near any one you choose. However, if they are independent smoke detectors, you should get an FF345 for each level of your home, if not for each smoke detector. The walk through will tell you more about this and the relative fire codes involved.

The video will show you how to test if your smoke detectors are integrated and hardwired or if they are single operational units. It is a simple method that you can do at any time to find out if you are unsure. Every smoke detector has a test button. You can press this button to check for interconnectivity.

To make the unit live you just have to remove the back panel and install the battery. An LED will flash from red to green to let you know that the unit is operational. In the video instruction, you will learn that the Encore FF345 just needs to be programmed into the alarm system control panel.

The FireFighter FF345 will work with virtually any smoke detector. The video guide explains why. The built-in microphone is designed to listen for the smoke detector alarm frequency specifically. As you will see, once this frequency is picked up by the FF345 microphone, the alarm is sent to the control panel which will pass on the alert to you.

While the video makes it very clear the unit is not a life-saving device, it will cause the alarm system to alert you of an emergency. Through Total Connect you can receive text and email alerts, through the siren on the panel locally, as well as central station monitoring.

You can view our other videos about the FireFighter unit that will walk you through programming the FF345 to your existing control panel. Once that is done all that is left is for you to mount the unit on the ceiling, remembering to maintain the 3 to 6 inches from your smoke detector.


Transcript

Hi, DIYers. This is Frank at Alarm Grid here. We're working on Encore FireFighter FF345 today. We're going to review this object. It's a little device. It's an audio detector that will integrate your existing 110 volt interconnected smoke detectors-- those are high voltage smokes. Generally, your building inspector or fire marshal would require by code to have interconnected smokes throughout your home. Those smokes generally are high voltage, on 110 volts, and would have their own discrete circuit that goes directly to your electoral subpanel.

So traditionally, when integrating smoke detection on your Honeywell system, or any other alarm system, for that matter, you generally would get a specific proprietary smoke detector, whether it be wired, low voltage wiring, or a wireless smoke, and set that up and pair it with your alarm system.

Now, we still generally recommend doing that, especially having at least one per floor. But the FireFighter is a way that you can integrate all of your existing smoke detectors with your system and offer fire monitoring for that. Now, there are specific applications, including commercial fire and, in some areas, with certain businesses or even residential areas that have special fire code, where they need specific types of smoke detectors. Obviously, you always want to check with your fire marshal on that or your local fire department.

But this is simply a way to tie your interconnected smokes to your panel. Today, we're going to work on the L7000 Links Touch. But this module is compatible with any two gig panel, including the Go Control 2 and the new GC 3 that just was released, as well as all the Links panels and really any Honeywell system. It's seen as a 5800 series device. And we'll show you how to program it on the panel in a future video.

But for now, I just want to discuss the unit. And we're going to pull it out of the box and look at it. So the first thing we're going to do is put in the battery. So there's a back plate with some screws in it. And that back plate is what you can screw into your wall. And then there's two little key holes that would sit into the back of the module, that sit in there, so you could screw it up to the ceiling.

Generally, you want to have this within three to six inches of just one of your smokes, OK? Now, it doesn't matter which one, especially if they're interconnected. If they are not interconnected-- meaning that if one goes off, they all don't go off-- then the only smoke detector that this will monitor is that smoke detector within three to six inches. The way you test whether or not your smokes are interconnected, go over to it, press the test button on one of them. If they all do not ring out, they are not interconnected. If they do ring out, then they are.

So this is going to be a great way to integrate those. Now, you already have those throughout your home. So why not use them? This is usually a device that we recommend setting up along with another smoke, another RF smoke or a wired smoke, depending on which system you have. If you have the Honeywell Links panels, the 5808W3 a great smoke detector. It's also compatible with the 2GIG Go Control panels as well.

So basically, what we'd want to do is pop this open. I'm going to take a screwdriver here and just depress this little button here. And we're going to open up the module. And there's a little plastic sheath on this too that we can pull off. And we just take the-- let's see here. We have the positive facing away from the spring as normal. And you'll see, there's a flashing red LED and then a green LED that comes on. We now can snap the cover onto the FF345. And this unit is live.

So now, what we can do is program it to the panel. But again, just to finish up on the install side of things, this is going to wall mount to a ceiling within three to six inches of your smoke. And it is simply going to listen. There's a microphone built into it. And it's going to listen to the specific frequencies that the smoke detectors give off.

Now, all smoke detectors have to give off a specific frequency based on fire code, and that's why this will work with just about any smoke detector. With that said, this is not a life safety device. This is not a device that is designed to protect your life in the home. This is simply a device that'll allow fire monitoring on your existing smokes. It'll give you a way to be notified through the siren on the panel locally, as well as text and email alerts, through Total Connect if you have Honeywell panels, alarm.com if you have 2GIG panels, as well as central station monitoring where we can send the fire department out.

Again, it is not a device intended to save anyone's life. Those are the interconnected high voltage smoke detectors. And you should make sure that the nine volt battery backups in those are-- always put in new batteries every year, basically, or every six months even. And you'll get a little battery beep on them when you do. Just replace them with a nine volt.

So the next thing we're going to do here has hop into programming on the L7000 panel. And we will show you how to program this unit. So if you have any general questions about the Encore FF345, known as the FireFighter, please reach out to us at support@alarmgrid.com with any questions via email. And also don't forget to subscribe to our channel.


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