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17/02/2017 / Graham Lowe

Have You Had the Wool Pulled Over Your Eyes?

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Open and closed protocols have been a key topic of discussion for decades, and with ever-evolving technologies in the fire detection industry, it is not surprising that there is an element of confusion surrounding the subject. In this blog, we aim to give you a clear, neutral, explanation of the difference between open and closed protocols, so you can make an informed decision when faced with the choice.

First and foremost, let us define what a ‘protocol’ is.

A protocol is the communication language that a manufacturer develops for their own equipment that allows the components of a fire alarm system to intercommunicate effectively to provide the rapid and dependable detection of fire.

Recently, the definition of an ‘open protocol’ has been open to interpretation; however, we believe the industry definition of an open protocol is very straight forward.

When manufacturers share the technical details of their protocol with third parties such as control panel manufacturers and other device or component manufacturers, allowing them to produce compatible equipment, it is considered to be an open protocol.

When a manufacturer does not provide general access to the technical details of its own protocol, and therefore its devices are not compatible with third party equipment, it is considered to be a closed protocol.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages of each, and whilst the below table is not exhaustive, it gives you an indication of the key issues you should consider when choosing one system over another.

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Faced with the facts, you can now make an informed decision as to which solution is most suitable for your requirements.

All Hochiki products communicate using a high integrity communications link called Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP). ESP is an open protocol and is supported by a number of leading independent control panel manufacturers. When choosing Hochiki, specifiers, installers and end users all have an open choice on system design, installation and maintenance.  Hochiki’s ESP protocol doesn’t restrict you to one single manufacturer, allowing you freedom of choice without compromising on safety.

Need more information? Here’s a link to our whitepaper titled; ‘Open or Closed Protocol: Your Guide to Making an Informed Decision’.

Click here for more information on Hochiki products.

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