Bell Silence on Combo Panels


Senior Member
As I troubleshoot the problem on my fire panel I have in the back of my mind that I might need to replace the panel itself. My current panel is dedicated for FA only but if I was to go to a combo panel like an Elk or Caddx or OmniPro, how does bell silence work on these panels? (I don't see a fire bell silence button on the keypads).
Silence the fire alarm on an M1 by pressing the star key which is a general silence if applicable. Acknowledge the alarm by entering a valid user code. This also silences the alarm and clears the fire alarm displayed on the LCD screen. If a fire sensor is still latched in, Fire Trouble will then be displayed on the bottom line of the LCD screen. When the fire sensor goes back to normal, the Fire Trouble will clear on the LCD screen.
Press the ELK key (user menu) then goto menu 2 which is Smoke Reset for 5 seconds.

You do not want to reset smoke detectors by just entering the code. You would like to go around and see which LED is illuminated on a smoke detector in the case of a false alarm. As long as the smoke detector is latched in alarm the LED on the smoke detector will be illuminated. Entering the Smoke Reset will restore the smoke detector, turn off the LED, and clear the Fire Trouble on the LCD Keypad.
I've come to the Elk party late, so excuse my reviving this old thread. I was searching "silence fire alarm," and this thread seemed pertinent ;)

I've been bench testing my M1G system and have noticed the following behavior when dealing with silencing the fire alarm.

When the system is DISARMED and fire alarm is activated, pressing the [*] key will silence the keypad beeps, silence the speakers/sirens, and silence the smoke sounders. Keypad will display FIRE ALARM. Entering the user code would then acknowledge alarm/clear the display. If a smoke detector is latched, zone identification and a FIRE TROUBLE will next appear, and entering the user code again will acknowledge this trouble.

When the system is ARMED and fire alarm is activated, pressing the [*] silences ONLY the keypad beeps. Siren, speakers, sounders continue. Entering the user code would be required then to silence everything else, but doing so also disarms the burglary system simultaneously. Entering the user code one more time will then acknowledge the fire alarm. If a detector is latched, the keypad will then beep and show FIRE TROUBLE; entering the user code again then would acknowledge this trouble, but only reseting the smokes will clear it. Finally, entering the user code a fourth time will then re-arm (bringing you back to the system state before the fire alarm).

Is this expected system behavior (silencing fire AND disarming burglary at the same time)?
I ask this because of the potential vulnerabilities that may exist in the simultaneous disarming of the burglary system. Assuming there is a real or perceived fire, nobody will really care to silence the fire alarm, as the first reaction should be to leave the premises and allow the notification devices to continue warning others. Nobody will really care about which exit doors or windows to open, nor worry about breaching any perimeter security that may be in force at the time of the fire alarm. I believe the Elk gives Fire alarm priority over burglary anyway.

However, if the fire alarm gets activated and the user realizes that it is a false alarm (he caused), the user will have the intention and urgency of silencing it (and/or legal? obligation to abort the alarm). But in the first step of silencing the fire alarm, the user immediately leaves the premises unsecured because the system disarms as well. Without possibly realizing the disarmed burglary state, the user may then proceed to inspect the entire premises to further confirm and notify others that the fire alarm was a false. During this intervening time it is *possible* an undetected intrusion or perimeter breach could take place. This is all hypothetical, and in reality probably rarely occurs, if ever. But the fact that it *could* occur makes me think about the logic behind the functionality. For example, this would not be ideal in securing a jail :p.

On the flipside, what if the egress depends on a disarm procedure (i.e. a secured electronic door)? How would one disarm the system WITHOUT silencing the fire alarm? If Elk intentionally programmed the system to silence the fire alarm and simultaneously disarm an armed system, I'd also like to understand the reasoning. I haven't played with multiple areas, but I wonder if silencing a fire alarm in an armed area will also disarm or have an effect on other areas associated with that keypad. If so, this could be a security issue for those who are using areas to protect separate buildings or isolated premises for which a fire alarm situation elsewhere does not apply.
Entering the disarm code on an armed area after a fire alarm will silence the fire alarm and disarm the security only in the area where the code was entered. The code must be entered again to acknowledge the alarm.