Override Device Addresses for As-built Modifications


This guide covers the features of FireCAD that relate to locking or overriding addresses after connecting devices to circuits. Locking addresses on a circuit can be used to freeze the automatically generated addresses so that further connection changes to the circuit don't affect the already assigned addresses. In addition, for the purpose of updating an existing project with as-built information, the 'Override Device Address' function can be used to override a device address without affecting connection sequence or requiring any circuit changes.


 To begin, please read the topics outlined below-

  1. Automatic Addressing
  2. Locking Addresses
  3. Unlocking Addresses
  4. Override Device Address



Automatic Addressing

When FireCAD generates labels for devices in the drawing, the address string is automatically sequenced to follow the connection sequence which is determined by the user. An additional format determined by the database is applied, such as shared or separate addressing. This normally results in device addresses that reflect the real connection order as shown below.



If devices are removed from the circuit, the address automatically adjusts the remaining addresses on the circuit to reflect the change. Below, device #2 has been removed from the circuit, and the address of device #3 has changed.



Automatic addressing is normally fine during the initial design phase of a project, but can cause problems when revisions to the project are made in the future. In some cases, the initial print and addresses may be used to program the control panel. If future revisions are not handled correctly, it can cause confusion and discrepancy in reports, delay approvals or cost more time to correct in the field. To avoid these issues, FireCAD has a mechanism to lock the addresses for any circuit to prevent future revisions to a project from changing existing device addresses.


Locking Addresses

Locking addresses is a great way to ensure changes to connections on an existing circuit do not affect addresses on devices further down the circuit such as shifting all addresses up or down as devices are added or removed from the circuit. Locking addresses essentially freezes a connected device to a specific address. While the address is locked, no other device on the circuit can use or be set to the same address, even if the original device is deleted and purged from the project database.


To lock all addresses on a circuit, select the circuit you want to lock in the circuit palette-


Next, click the 'Lock All Addresses' button. This will confirm with an additional dialog.


Once addresses are locked, when disconnecting or removing a device from the circuit, the addresses following the device will not shift or change in any way. If you insert a new device in the circuit, the new device will use the next available address in the circuit, and will not take or re-use any other address assigned to another device.


In this example circuit 'L1' has been locked. Device 'D002' is being disconnected from the circuit.



After disconnection, the address on device 'D003' did not change.



After inserting the same device below back into the original position of circuit 'L1', the new address of the device did not use 'D002' as you might expect, as it was previously locked. Instead, the next available address ('D004') was used. The previous address of 'D002' can be unlocked manually if you want to use it again.



After making changes to the circuit by adding or removing devices, it is recommended to click the 'Lock Addresses' button again to lock the newly connected devices to their assigned address, as they are not automatically locked by default.


Unlocking Addresses

To free up locked or reserved addresses on a circuit so they can be re-used again, there are 2 options available on the circuit palette. The first option is to use the 'Unlock All Addresses' button which will unlock all addresses on the circuit and revert the circuit to automatic sequential addressing.


To unlock all addresses on a circuit, select the circuit you want to unlock in the circuit palette, and then click the 'Unlock All Addresses' button. This will confirm with an additional dialog-


Device 'D004' below is locked to this address, even though it is sequentially connected in the 2nd position on the circuit.



After unlocking this circuit, the devices revert to the automatic address numbering scheme below-


To unlock an address range or single address, you may also use the Locked Address Manager. To use this feature, select the circuit you want to change in the circuit palette, and then click the 'Manage Addresses' button. This will open the following dialog-


Editing the number of the address in the dialog will also change the address of the device associated with it. Deleting a row will unlock the corresponding address on the circuit, and the device will revert back to the automatically assigned address. Removing all rows will revert all devices to automatic sequential addressing and is equivalent to clicking 'Unlock All Addresses'.


Override Device Address

One common use for overriding addresses is specifically intended for updating a project with as-built information. With the 'Override Device Address' command, this information can be done efficiently with no circuit connection or requirement to select a circuit in the circuit palette. To begin, just select this command from the FireCAD Tools ribbon, on the Circuits panel-


Once you click this command, you will be prompted at the command line, and on your cursor to select a device to override-




Select any device on the drawing and press enter or right click-



You will then be prompted to type a new address, in the example below we have entered '99'-



After typing the new address and pressing enter, the device address is now set to '99' and also locked to this device. Note that the device previously set to address '3' has changed to '2', this is because the addresses on these devices were not previously locked. See Locking Addresses for more information on this topic.



In addition, no connection sequence or calculation changes are made by using this command. The connected device list on the connection palette for the circuit will show that the order of the wiring connection does not change, only the address and device label is affected.


Important Note: You will want to regenerate any report or riser affected by the label changes, as these do not update automatically.


The Override Device Address command repeats after setting a device. If there are no more addresses to override, then you can simply cancel the command to exit. An additional feature that makes this useful for as-built documentation is that the override command will not allow you to reuse a locked address on the same circuit. If you have conflicting information and try to set an address that is already locked to a device, the message 'That address is already locked by another device.' will appear at the command line prompt, and the command will repeat until you type a unique address.

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