Protection of life and property has always been the primary purpose of fire suppression equipment manufactured by system manufacturers globally. While configuration of these systems can differ based on the system components, the extinguishing agent and the environment in which the system is used, the objective remains the same.
One of the key components in a fire suppression system is the suppressant releasing device that initiates the mechanical discharge of the extinguishing agent that will combat the fire. Many systems utilize a latching solenoid actuator, more commonly referred to as an electric actuator, as the releasing device. The actuator is attached to the discharge valve on the cylinder storing the suppressant and is electrically connected to the fire alarm control panel. Once the actuator receives an electrical signal, it will deploy, causing the discharge valve(s) to open and dispense the extinguishing agent into the system.
TLX Technologies’ latching solenoid actuators are designed for durability and ultra-fast response with consistent performance over a 15-year life span. However, the suppression system is open to potential failures due to human installation error during routine maintenance and functional testing of the actuator. If the releasing device is not fully installed onto the discharge valve, the release actuator will not open the valve and dispense the extinguishing agent, resulting in a system failure. Without an installation supervisory signal between the electric actuator and fire panel there is no indication of proper installation leaving the responsibility of accurate installment solely on the technician who removed the actuator for maintenance or testing purposes. Industry regulators quickly recognized that adding supervisory requirements to the release actuator would provide for the necessary alarm (both visually and audibly) to alert the technician on whether the actuator was correctly installed and in the right position for proper system functionality.