How To Use Zone Lines For Quick Fire Alarm Monitoring Dispatch

By Ziad Alezabi

February 27, 2024

Zone lines identify specific areas (aka "zones") in a building or on-premises for fire alarm monitoring purposes.

Due to Zone Lines giving you location and time-specific information on each fire alarm box, your building/premises managers and first response units can promptly save lives and assets.

For example, if a fire alarm box was triggered on the 4th floor in apartment 407 on 21st Street, the firefighters would know exactly what apartment number to head straight for.

Without this, there would be more time spent attempting to locate the source of the fire alarm.

These systems are often located on large premises and buildings because they enable you to have a centralized fire alarm monitoring approach.

Let's take a look at how these zone lines can help you upgrade your fire alarm system lineup by ensuring you and your customers a simple yet effective and efficient approach.

Use Zone Identification To Monitor Multiple Areas Easily

Zone lines exist to make monitoring each area on your premises more manageable. If you work with a good manufacturer, this can be done from one centralized area.

DGM-8LS, 8 Zone

This is a Data Gathering Module that gathers 8 zones and reports them to FACPs and works on a closed circuit loop

Each zone line represents a specific area on your premises or inside a building. These may be as broad (ex. building or floor) or as specific (ex. corridor or room) as your application needs it to be.

The process of determining zone assignments would closely resemble the following:

  1. Determining Zone Assignments: You should always consider functional areas that have a lot of damage-prone assets, or where people mainly reside.
  2. Labeling Zones: Each zone needs to be labeled and documented properly for easy identification and maintenance. Documents would include things such as zone maps and descriptions.
  3. Considering Your Infrastructure's Future: You need to scout your premises and building to identify how you can set up your zone lines in a way that gives you the most flexibility for future changes and scaling.
  4. Regional and National Compliance Codes: It's important to take into consideration your regional compliance codes as well as national compliance codes such as NFPA and NEC.

Connecting Your Fire Detection Devices To Your Zone Lines

Zone lines connect to different fire detection equipment. This can consist of smoke detectors, heat detectors, and pull stations.

Good fire alarm monitoring system manufacturers will help you install, configure, and document your zone lines with their respective equipment for ease of access later on.

Each zone line would be responsible for fire detection devices within its area. The zone lines and detection devices are connected through carefully planned and documented wiring configurations.

Let's take a look at things you need to consider when approaching your zone line wiring configuration.

  1. Utilizing Closed Loop Circuits: All of your detection devices (ex. smoke detectors) will be connected via wiring within a closed loop dedicated to your zone line's area. This creates what is called a Closed Loop Circuit, which allows zone lines to monitor the status of each detection device.
  2. Taking Advantage of Addressable Systems: Addressable systems are an advanced form of telegraph fire alarm monitoring. Each detection device has its unique identifier within the system that pairs very well with map documentation to tell you exactly where to go.
  3. Using EOL Resistors as a Fail-safe: EOL (End-of-line) Resistors are devices installed on the end of your wiring in a circuit loop. This lets you know if a circuit is continuously flowing or not. If a wire is cut or disconnected, your monitoring device will detect the change in resistance value and alert you to a fault.
  4. Adding Supervision Circuits: Adding supervision circuits lets you monitor the condition of your wiring and monitoring devices. An EOL resistor is great for letting you know a wire is failing, however, knowing that information earlier can save you downtime.

Monitoring Panels Centralize Your Zone Line Status

Zone lines connect to a central Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP). These FACPs are what ultimately send the signal to either your in-house fire alarm monitoring headend unit or a central station.

Make sure you find a fire alarm monitoring system manufacturer that enables you to interface with older FACPs.

Even if you don't have a legacy FACP right now, you want the ability to integrate your aging FACPs with the rapidly advancing technology in the future.

Let's look at the ways that you can both install and integrate your FACPs.

  1. Ensuring Interfacing Abilities: Devices like the Muxpad II help you interface with older addressable systems and integrate them with headend units like the PrismLX
  2. Cross-Zoning Your FACPs: Cross-zoning your FACPs creates a fail-safe in case one of your FACPs goes offline, so you never miss a beat in case of an emergency.
  3. Integrate with Other Building Systems: Integrating your FACPs with other systems like security or HVAC can provide you with more comprehensive and efficient building management.

Digitize Helps You Install and Integrate Your Zone Lines

Digitize is a fire alarm monitoring system manufacturer that has helped many clients install their zone lines.

We also help them to maintain their closed circuit loops, by providing them with supervisory circuits, as well as power regulators that have a dual-function of acting as a power supply and a circuit-monitoring device.

Digitize currently works with:

At Digitize, we want you to treat us like your own personal engineer. Even if we don't have an immediate solution for you, our team of experts will work to bring you a customized solution.

In addition, if you are a distributor, Digitize offers a 25% distributor discount to help you get started with an initial profit margin.

If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me. Even if we can't come to a solution together, I will do my best to help point you in the right direction.

Call me at 973-663-1011 or Email me at

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi

Ziad Alezabi is a seasoned marketing writer renowned for his expertise in crafting compelling content and strategic marketing communications. With a rich background in the industry, Ziad has contributed significantly to various projects, delivering engaging blog articles, impactful videos, and...Read More