Addressable/Intelligent Notification appliances use some of the newest technology in the fire alarm industry, and it's very cool to see! Unlike Conventional Notification Appliances, Addressable Notification allows for the panel to determine exactly which device isn't working, or is missing. Simplex was the company that really brought this kind of technology to life with their Addressable TrueAlert devices.
The technology is similar to that of Addressable Panels. Each device is given an address that the panel periodically checks in on. When the device does not respond, a trouble signal will activate. Similar to addressable devices as well, mapping can be set up to allow for an "If This then That" sort of setup, that only applies to some devices, rather than all devices on a NAC. For example, if a single NAC contains different horn/strobes where some are labeled "ALERT" and others are "FIRE", the system could be programmed to only sound off the "FIRE" horn/strobes on a fire event, even though there are also "ALERT" devices on the same circuit.
Simplex has taken this a step further with the ES series of devices, which also allow for self testing. By simply pushing a button on the panel, or scheduling a self test, the panel will generate a report of which devices worked, and which didn't. It does this by using sensors in the devices to check for light and sound. If a device is not working right, the panel can tell a technician exactly what room that device is in.
Other brands, such as Fire-Lite, are starting to implement these features into their wireless technology. Because wireless devices need to operate on battery power, it's important that the panel know when those batteries are low, so they can be replaced before they are dead. In the future, we may expect to see addressable notification become the standard in new installations, as it's just another way fire alarm systems are becoming more and more intelligent.