Final Part of Wireless Fire Alarm Installation – Cirque du Soleil Circus

Day 3 of 3 - Hyfire Wireless Fire Alarm Installation in Circus Stadium - Cirque Du Soleil 1

Part 3 Final day of our Circus Wireless Fire Alarm installation

This is the 3rd and final part of our video blog, showing our wireless fire alarm installation for the world famous circus the Cirque du Soleil in Munich Germany. Following on from our last video, we installed two wireless Expanders in the big top tent and a translator outside the security Portacabin. The wireless detectors, sounders and manual call points were logged on to the closest Expander. Today will be about installing the control equipment and testing the system to the German fire authorities. The fire alarm panel for this Hyfire wireless system, is the Kentec Syncro addressable with Argus protocol. Furthermore, this system is to be interfaced with a scope pager system. The two panels were installed adjacent each other in the security Portacabin.

How is the system designed to operate?

The way the Fire Authorities wanted the system to work, was as follows:  in the event of a fire alarm activation, no sounders were to operate, only the pages would activate and vibrate only. The pagers would be with the fire wardens and security personnel. The fire wardens would then investigate to establish whether it is a genuine fire or a false alarm.  If a real fire were discovered, the warden would make a decision to evacuate the stadium, by giving instructions over the radio to sound the fire alarm.

The commissioning Parameters for the wireless fire alarm devices

Once the two panels were installed, the commissioning engineer wired the external Translator outside the Portacabin into the Kentec control panel. Now the system was complete. The engineer had to configure and inspect the radio signal strength of the wireless fire alarm devices and ensure all the signals received at the fire alarm control panel was within the acceptable limits stated by the manufacturer. The signal strength is on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best signal. The acceptable signal strength is 3 and above. The laptop is now connected to the translator outside the Portacabin. Reviewing the display, it enables the commissioning engineer to know the radio signal strength of each device. If any device were to be under the level of 3, he would investigate and either try to relocate the device, or if this was not possible, an additional expander may be required. However, as you can see from our readings, our design was in good shape.

Testing of the system by the German fire Authorities.

The moment of truth had now arrived. The German fire authorities were in attendance to inspect the site and the fire alarm. As the system was now programmed for manual activation only, the fire alarm was activated by passing the evacuation button on the front of the control panel. The German fire authorities began testing the system and was duly satisfied with the performance of the fire alarm.

I believe this is the first wireless fire alarm system of this type in Germany. I am not aware of any German wireless fire alarm manufacturer with a product that can achieve the results as seen here.

How much work would be involved, if you had to wire the system?

Can you imagine having to wire the complete site, if opting to carry out the installation using a wired fire alarm system?  For venues incorporating a large open space, the best system to use is wireless.

The wireless system, can be decommissioned and used over.

This installation in effect, took two days to install. On completion of the Circus show, the owners are now in a position to decommissioning the system in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and use it again. I believe the next show is in Holland. Therefore, all that has to be done, is to install the equipment as per the original design and it will work repeatedly.  If you have venues such as this and require fire alarm detection, why not call Fire Systems Ltd, the wireless fire alarm specialist on 020 8541 5646 or www.firesystemsltd.co.uk

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Day 2 of 3 or our Hyfire Wireless Fire Alarm Installation in Circus Cirque du soleil

Hyfire Wireless Fire Alarm Installation.. in Circus Stadium - Cirque Du Soleil - Day 2 of 3

Cirque du Soleil – Day 2 – Hyfire Wireless Fire Alarm Watch Video

This is day two of our three day wireless fire alarm installation video blog.
Following our first day’s work, which involved installing the twenty two wireless manual call points and sounder back boxes to the fire point stands.

Powering up Wireless Translators and Expanders

The next stage is to temporarily power up the Hyfire translator and the two dynamic Expanders using batteries; the fire alarm panel is not required at this stage. The commissioning engineer then plugs his laptop to the relevant unit and can now log on the radio devices to the appropriate Expander according to our design.

Logging on the devices to the relevant Expanders

As stated, the fire alarm panel is not required at this stage, all the logging of the devices can be carried out either manually, which would involve setting up the devices using the on-board device del switches, or automatically using the software and laptop. As you can observe our engineer selected the easier route using the laptop.
You will also observe, the primary round CR2 batteries are already inserted and does not affect the logging on procedure. However, the main secondary battery is not inserted until the device is ready to be logged on to the translator or Expander. Inserting the battery is part of the logging on procedure.
The translators and Expanders are IP65 rated. This allows us to place the units outside if required. For this designed, the expanders will be located inside the tent and the translator will be positioned outside the security Portacabin at a height of about 3 metres.
To enable us to obtain the best coverage the expanders were placed within the tent, but at high level. Each expander requires a 12v to 24v supply. We installed the power supply at low level.
We unpacked all the manual call points and sounders, inserting the primary battery, but not the secondary main battery. The reason for this, is the round, flat CR2 battery does not have any effect on the logging procedure and therefore, can be fitted straight away. However, the larger secondary battery cannot be fitted until the device is ready to be logged on to the relative unit, which could be either a translator or an expander. In this design, there are no devices on the translator. All the devices have been divided between the two expanders accordingly to the distance from each unit.
The purpose of the translator in this design is to provide the interface for the expanders back to the fire alarm control panel. Expanders do not interface directly to the fire alarm loop; this can only be achieved via a translator.

Wireless Power Supplies

The power supplies have a fault monitoring output relay, this fault output is monitored by the expander. Should the primary 230v main supply feeding the power supply be interrupted, a fault signal is relayed to the fire alarm control panel informing the user of a fault.
All the devices are monitored for a primary and secondary battery fault, plus a tamper fault. The tamper fault is to register a fault at the fire alarm control panel should a detector be removed from its base or a manual call or sounder be removed from its back box.
Placing the expanders at high level inside the tent provided us with a very good radio signal coverage for all the install devices. Also from this position, the expanders were able to pick up the signal from the translator situation outside the security Portacabin. The translator is the only device to be installed outside, as stated the Translator is IP65 and therefore, would not be affected by the elements. The unit was mounted about 3meters high and this was high enough to pick up the radio signals from both Exapnders. We now had communication between the two expanders within the big top tent and the external translator outside the security Portacabin. The tent and the security Portacabin was now connected wirelessly.

For information regarding all types of wireless fire alarms why not contact our office on 020 8541 5646 or visit our website on www.firesystemsltd.co.uk and complete our contact form.

 

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Day 1 of 3 or our Wireless Fire Alarm Installation Abroad in Circus Cirque du soleil

What’s involved in installing a wireless fire alarm system abroad?

Hyfire Wireless Fire Alarm in Circus Stadium - Cirque Du Soleil

Fire Systems Ltd was awarded our first wireless fire alarm job abroad. It was for the world famous circus the Cirque du Soleil.

The circus had a 3000 seater stadium that required a fire alarm. They had tried wiring such a venue before, but it was very difficult and challenging, and they wanted an easier option. A circus representative attended the UK after hearing of our specialist skill in the field of wireless fire alarms and asked if we would be interested in such a project.
The circus submitted their proposal and asked us to put forward a wireless fire alarm design. We designed the wireless network and equipment required to obtain the radio signal strength coverage from our office in the UK without having to travel to Munich and carry out any signal strength survey. Our designers are able to design systems without a radio signal strength survey because of our vast experience in this field.

The Wireless Equipment used was as follows:

The Hyfire range of wireless fire alarm equipment.
1.    Enhance Dynamic Translator
2.    Expander Module
3.    Wireless Manual Call Point
4.    Wireless Smoke Detector
5.    Wireless Sounder Beacon
6.    Fire Alarm Panel was the Kentec Syncro with Argus Protocol
7.    Scope Paging System

Hyfire Chosen to supply the equipment

When choosing what type of wireless fire alarm equipment to use on this project, our designers had a choice of either Hyfire, EMS FireCell or Electro Detectors Zerio Plus. Our designers decided to use the Hyfire equipment, as we were very familiar with this system. We have installed this equipment on many projects and we knew that the Hyfire was more than capable of handling this project. Furthermore, the Hyfire now had Dynamic capability, enabling the radio signals to be rerouted should the primary signal path become blocked for any reason. Furthermore, the Hyfire is EN54-25 compliant and has the required CE mark to trade in Europe.
From what I am led to believe this is the first Hyfire Wireless fire alarm to be installed in Germany due to restrictions usually applied by the Germans VDS fire product standard.  I am not aware of an EMS FireCell or an Electro Detectors Zerio Plus being installed in Germany. If there is please let me know.
On arriving to site, our Commissioning engineer reviewed the design in relation to our site survey.

Thankfully, our equipment arrived in one piece and once unpacked we could  confirm all the equipment was accounted for.
Checking the quantities of the equipment and ensuring that no equipment was damaged is very important when working abroad, as you are not able to quickly place an order for a replacement, and we had three days to complete our installation before the fire inspection by the Munich fire authorities.

Fire Alarm Point Stands

The first job was to put together the fire point stands and mount the back boxes for the manual call points and sounder beacons. Once this had been done the stands were packed away in their purpose built cases.
The stands were purposely built for the wireless fire alarm equipment. The manual call point and sounder strobe back boxes were fixed to the stand using rivets. The manual call points were to be enclosed by STI Manual call point stoppers.

This concluded day one.
Fire Systems ltd, can now be considered an Internation Wireless Fire Alarm Company.

 

 

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EMS FirePoint 5000 Wireless Fire Alarm

FirePoint 5000 not Compliant with current standards

EMS 5000 FirePoint Wireless Fire Alarm

EMS, have put out a statement that their long serving wireless fire alarm system the  FirePoint 5000 will no longer be manufactured due to the introduction of the European Construction Regulation, that came into force on July 2013.

This product has kept EMS at the forefront of wireless fire alarm industry for fifteen years; however, it was designed before EN54 Part 25 was introduced.
The FirePoint 5000 does not comply with the current European Products standard for wireless fire alarms the EN54 Part 25, and it was for this reason that EMS designed and brought to market the new FireCell, that came on to the market in 2010.

The Construction Products Regulation puts the FirePoint 5000 into retirement

However, EMS, had continued selling the FirePoint 5000 even though their new product the FireCell was launched in 2010. The FirePoint was still very popular due to the radio signal coverage being superior than the FireCell. The reason for this, was the Firepoint operates at a lower radio signal bandwidth and therefore could penetrate building fabrics better. When purchasing the FirePoint over the last few years, the purchaser was also issued with a disclaimer informing them that the FirePoint did not comply with the current standards. But with the new CPR (Construction Products Regulation) now in force, EMS is no longer able to sell the equipment for new fire alarm installations.

With those who have the FirePoint 5000 installed, there are further ramifications, EMS cannot supply equipment for extensions to existing systems. The life span of these systems is now reduced and parts will only be available for an approximate time period of five years. Many clients will now attempt to locate and purchase spare parts for their systems and this may cause the cost of the equipment to increase, as the supplier of the equipment decreases.

EMS FirePoint 5000 Wireless fire alarm Owners must Consider upgrading their systems

There are many buildings that have the FirePoint 5000 installed, however, the responsible person in charge of these systems will now have to take a long term approach and consider a plan to upgrade the system. The positive for the end user is there is more competition within the wireless fire alarm industry; EMS now has a compliant system which has replaced the FirePoint, called the FireCell and there are two other systems on the market the Hyfire and Zerio Plus. Both comply with the current European wireless fire alarm product code the EN54 part 25.

Help and Guidance when it comes to Wireless Fire Alarms.

If you require any information and guidance when purchasing a wireless fire alarm why not contact a fire alarm company that specialises in such systems on 020 8541 5646 or visit our website at www.firesystemsltd.co.uk and complete our contact form.

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Wireless Fire Alarms Batteries

How to replace the batteries in a wireless fire alarm sounder – Hyfire

Replacing the Batteries in a Wireless fire alarm sounder 1- Hyfire

Wireless fire alarms have many obvious advantages; easy to install and no wires on show are the ones that stand out. However, the obvious disadvantage is the replacement of the batteries.

How long do the batteries last?

The obvious question we are asked, is how long do the batteries last? Well, there are certain variables that determine the answer. The wireless smoke detectors and manual call points are quite straight forward due to the fact that the detectors operate in a constant quiescent mode during its battery life span. From when a detector or manual call point are installed, it basically just sits there and monitors the environment that it is located. It does not alter the load on the batteries when operating normally. However, with a wireless sounder it is different.  The sounder will sit there quietly in its quiescent state being monitored by the fire alarm and then if and when the fire alarm is activated, the sounder has to turn on and operate at a much higher load then its quiescent state.  Therefore the current load on the batteries has increased substantially. Now depending on how much the sounders are used, and for how long, whether it be; genuine alarms, false alarms or weekly bell test, will depend on how long the batteries will last.

Wireless fire alarm manufactures predicted battery times

From what I am led to believe Hyfire and EMS FireCell are about the same, which is the smoke detectors have a battery life of five years and the sounders three years. EDA Electro Detectors with the Zerio Plus, have a longer battery life of Seven years for a smoke detector and manual call point and five years for the sounder.

Replacing the batteries is an easy and a straight forward exercise.

That being said, monitoring and replacing the batteries on a wireless fire alarm system need not be an issue if the system is serviced and maintained correctly. This will involve the fire alarm maintenance company logging when the system was installed. Then before the advised time period of the batteries lift span expires, the batteries are replaced during the maintained visit. This is a simple and easy operation and the batteries are not expensive.

What happens if the batteries are not replaced?

If however, you allow the batteries to run down, what effect will it have on the device, whether it be a detector, manual call point or sounder. Well, the device will in effect will switch off or shut down due to not having enough power to stay on. When this happens, you will receive a “disconnection fault” on the fire alarm control panel for the device or devices concerned. When this occurs, all that is required is to replace the batteries. Once this has been done, the device will turn on and begin communicating with the panel and the fault will disappear.

Maintenance of Wireless Fire Alarms

If you require advice or maintenance on your wireless fire alarm system, whether it be a Hyfire, EMS fireCell or Electro Detector’s Zerio Plus, why not contact our office on 020 8541 5646 or visit our website on www.firesystems.co.uk and complete our contact page.

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Fire Alarms in Residential Care and Nursing Homes – Addressable systems now required?

Fire alarm in Residential care home

Addressable Fire Alarms now required in Residential, Nursing and Care homes

Conventional fire Alarms will need to be upgraded

The latest amendments to the fire code have seen a need to focus on the fire alarm systems within Residential Care homes, Nursing homes, or buildings where the occupants would need assistance to evacuate the building in the event of fire. In the latest version of the fire alarm design code BS5839-1:2013, it is very clear and states that for such properties with a sleeping capacity beyond ten people, the fire alarm system should be an addressable.
With the huge increase in Residential Care homes, nursing homes, assisted living and buildings of this nature, plus the fire tragedy of the fourteen fatalities at the Rosepark Care Home in 2004, the revised fire code appears to have focused its attention on these types of properties. People living within such properties are vulnerable due to ill health or age, and would usually require assistance if they had to evacuate the property. In many cases due to the limited amount of staff on a night shift and such is the health condition of the occupants, that an evacuation policy is not the preferred option. What is commonly used is a “stayed Put” policy. On hearing the fire alarm the residents are told to stay in their rooms until the fire and rescue service arrives. If the fire has started in an occupied zone compartment, the staff will relocate only the residents affected in that zone.
Therefore, providing the management of these establishments and the fire and rescue service the maximum amount of time to deal with a fire alarm activation is crucial.
Why an Addressable fire alarm system?
In simple terms, an addressable system enables the user or rescue service, to quickly and easily identify the exact location of an activated detector or manual call point.

What is the difference between an Addressable and Conventional Fire Alarm System?

In the fire alarm market, there are two types of system, you have the basic and cheaper type of system, known within the fire industry as a “Conventional” and the more advanced and some would call intelligent and is known as an “Addressable” fire alarm system.

Conventional Fire Alarm System.

A conventional system is usually used in small applications, say, about no more than fifty detectors. The only remaining advantage of a conventional fire alarm system, is that it is cheaper than the addressable. However, even this advantage is being rapidly diminished as the cost of electronic equipment with microprocessing capability is reducing all the time.
Back in the eighties until early two thousand, the cost between a conventional and an addressable system was considerable. Therefore, when designing a system where budget was an important factor, a conventional system would be specified.

However, the big disadvantage of a conventional system is the limited amount of information displayed at the fire alarm control panel in the event of fire. The user would only receive an indication from the panel as to what part of the building the activation had occurred. For example, this could be Fire “first floor or “North Stairwell”, on the limited information provided; the user would have to search the fire zone to locate the fire or the cause of the activation within that area. Having to search the fire zone to establish the cause of the fire activation adds to the time to discover whether it is a real fire emergency.

Addressable Fire Alarm System

An Addressable fire alarm is called an “Addressable” due to its ability to give each device on the system a unique identification address, usually in the form of a number and this number is then tagged with a text identification label. A typical example would be “Managers Office Grd floor” or “Boiler Room 2nd floor”. The majority of Addressable systems provide you with a limit of up to 40 characters. This information would be clearly displayed at the front of the panel. The benefits of having a readable text identification message, rather than just an area of the building allows the user to identify the location straight away and save a great deal of time in the event of a fire emergency.

Is Staff trained Adequately to use the Fire Alarm system? Especially Addressable?

Whether the fire alarm is conventional or addressable, one thing I have observed when visiting these types of establishments over the years, is the staff working or managing residential homes, do not always understand the operation of the fire alarm system. This could be due to lack of training, limited staff on duty, new staff that has not been in the job long or maybe agency staffs which are only working at the home on a temporary basis. Therefore, not only is there a need to improve the fire alarm to an addressable, but staff and management need to be trained regularly on how to use the fire alarm system and what is the fire strategy in the event of a fire activation.

Weekly Fire Alarm Testing

One way to stay familiar with the fire alarm and provide new or existing staff with on-going training, is to go through the fire strategy during the weekly fire alarm test. Addressable fire alarm systems are in some ways a little more complex, as there are usually more options to choose. The purpose of the weekly test, is to ensure the fire alarm is operational; however, this is a convenient time to familiarise yourself or new staff as to what to expect and what to do, if the fire alarm should activate during the course of their shift. A good idea is to have a procedure list next to the fire alarm panel and this can be followed when carrying out the weekly fire alarm test.

Automatic signalling of the Fire Alarm to the Fire and Rescue Service.

Another area of concern that was addressed in the fire code amendment for 2013, is that the Fire Alarm should automatically summon the Fire and Rescue Services in Residential Care Homes.
Out of the tragic story of the Rosepark care home fire, it was stated that there were inadequate arrangements for calling the fire brigade. Had the fire brigade been called sooner, at least four lives could have been saved. Therefore, the amendments to the latest fire code recommend Residential Care homes, nursing homes, or buildings where the occupants would need assistance to evacuate, the fire alarm should automatically call the fire brigade. Furthermore, it states the fire strategy for the property should not incorporate any time delay in calling the fire brigade; however, the sounders to the alarm system may incorporate a delay, as long as the staff area are aware that the fire alarm has activated.
Most care homes have some sort of monitoring that goes back to a call monitoring centre. The systems I have come across is either Tunstall or Initial. Within each apartment, there is a base station with a pull cord facility. Within this base station is usually a facility to wire in a smoke alarm. In the event of a fire alarm activation within the flat, the monitored smoke alarm will provide detection and alert for the resident and inform the monitoring station of the incident.

Upgrading a Conventional to an Addressable Fire Alarm System.

You may be in a position that your current fire alarm is in a state of disrepair or due to the latest fire code amendments for Residential Care Homes, an addressable fire alarm system is now going to be required. The question you may ask, is can I upgrade or utilise some parts of my existing system? Well, if the wiring is in good condition, then yes is the answer. A competent fire alarm company should be able to keep all the existing wiring and sounders (if they are on their own circuits) and only replace the detection and manual call points. This should help to keep down the cost of the upgrade.

Wireless Fire alarms easy to install in Residential Care homes

All compliant wireless fire alarms in the UK market are addressable, and in many cases would be an ideal solution for residential care homes, nursing homes, assisted living or similar applications. Upgrading an old fire alarm in these types of properties can be difficult, due to the noise created and inconvenience of drilling and running cables in a building where the residents could be elderly or not in good health. In some instances, access to the resident’s room can be an issue. However, we have over many an issue of this sort by installing a wireless fire alarm system. The speed at which a wireless system can be installed is quite remarkable. Furthermore, access to any area is only required for a very short space of time, and due to no installation of wires and containment the disruption to the every running of the care home is minimal.

Fire Alarm Maintenance in Residential Care Homes

Ensuring that you fire alarm is fully operational at all times is very important, especially if you have the legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for the people within your care. As you would have of observed within this post, due to the vulnerable nature of the occupants in Residential Care Homes, Nursing homes, assisted living and sheltered accommodation, time is critical. Therefore, not only is it important you have the correct type of fire alarm installed, but it is in good working order, and you have all the required maintenance inspection visits on file, in case you have a fire incident or an inspection by the fire authorities.

If you require any further information regarding fire alarms in Residential Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Assisted living or sheltered housing, why not call our office on 020 8541 5646 or visit our website at www.firesystems.co.uk and complete our contact page.

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Fire Alarm Open and Closed Protocol – Why pay more?

Closed or Open Protocol Fire Alarm Systems - Why Pay more?

Open Protocol is the Preferred Option, over a Closed Protocol Fire Alarm System

What is “Open or Closed” Protocol?

This has been one of the most emotional and debated topics in the UK fire alarm industry for over 30 years. Depending on what side of the fence you were on, swayed the opinion you would have on the subject. In the one corner you would have the large fire alarm manufactures, such as ADT, Gent, Protec, who not only manufactured the equipment, but then offered a maintenance package to the end user. However, these companies restricted access to parts, software and training to either only their personnel or to fire alarm companies that had a financial agreement with. This type of fire alarm system was known within the industry as “Closed” protocol.
In the other corner, were the rest of the fire alarm manufacturers, companies and installers. These manufacturers, produced fire alarm equipment for the industry, such as fire alarm control panels by Kentec Electronics, Advance Electronics, Morley, Fike. The smoke detectors and peripheral equipment by the likes of Apollo fire detectors, Hochiki, CTEC, Argus, EMS, Hyfire, but to name of few. Their equipment was available to all parties within the industry with no restrictions. This equipment was known within the industry as “Open” protocol.

The rise of “Closed Protocol” Or “Restrictive Access” Fire alarm systems.

As far as I can remember, back in the early eighties (ADT, Gent, Protec),  were able to get specified in many a large project. Now what you have to bear in mind, is if you are selling a system to a client and you know that once installed, that you will be the only company able to supply the end user with the required parts and service agreement, you can afford to lower your initial installation tender bid, knowing that you can recoup the money back over the lifetime of the system. Therefore, even at tender or the bid stage, a closed protocol system has an advantage. During the period of the eighties, many a fire alarm system installed was “closed” protocol.

Closed Protocol Systems picked up a bad reputation

However, over the years, the horror stories soon began to surface about end users with this type of system being charged well above the market rate for equipment and labour. The end user had nowhere to go, and were now trapped with a fire alarm system that could not be serviced or maintained by the open market. As the years went by, the term “Closed protocol” was scorned upon within the industry and many end users.  End users, fire consultants  and the industry in general, “wised up”, began to insert clauses that only “Open Protocol” systems were invited to tender.  The companies producing these types of systems, were now being excluded from many a tender and we’re losing some of their dominance within the fire alarm industry.
The Closed protocol companies had a change in strategy and were out to change the industry’s perception of the term “Close Protocol”
In recent years, since around 2009, I have observed that the fire alarm companies who produced closed protocol systems, started a marketing campaign to change the perception of the term closed protocol. Their marketing campaign through website’s, blogs, road shows, etc., was to turn the focus on the true meaning of the term “Open Protocol”. Their argument was that no system is a truly open protocol as you cannot have any one detector capable of being used on all types of fire alarm panels, and this is correct. Therefore, their systems cannot be considered “Closed Protocol” and hence they could distance themselves away from that term. Whereas, I agree that the fire industry term of Closed Protocol may be factually incorrect, all within the industry knew that these types of fire alarm systems, restricted the open market from provided fair competition and more choice.

 

If “Open and Closed Protocol” is not the correct term, what is? Restrictive or Non-Restrictive Access

The correct term for an open or closed protocol system, should be whether there is free and unrestricted access to: training, software and parts. If access to this is denied for whatever reason, it should be deemed as a “Restrictive System” as we know it as “Closed Protocol”. Therefore, even though the big four are trying to shift the terminology, the principle is the same, they restrict access to their equipment and software.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a “Closed Protocol” or “Restrictive Access” System?

Manufactures of these types of systems will tell you that the biggest advantage is the restricted access to the software and parts is to the benefit of the end user. Their argument is that because this is a life safety system, it prevents people who are not trained or competent from working on the system. Hence, avoided the possibility of the system not working as intended due to their incompetence. However, this argument, does not convince me. I agree, there is an issue that persons not competent can attempt to work on a fire alarm system, but to avoid this from happening, why not ensure that only fire alarm companies with third party accreditation, such as BAFE, receive access to software and training.  A BAFE, accredited fire alarm company, has proven their competence by obtaining the accreditation.

The disadvantage is the client is basically trapped. It could be with one fire alarm Company, or a selected few. Therefore, there is less competition. Less competition usually means that prices for parts and labour are higher than what is available in the open market.

An Example of “Closed Protocol” system, exploitation.

This was no more evident than from a newsletter I received from a Ziton fire alarm equipment supplier by the name of “Fire4U”. Ziton was considered a closed protocol or a restricted access fire alarm manufacture. They (Ziton), distributed their equipment through a Ziton distribution network of a few selected Fire alarm companies.  As you can imagine the cost for equipment from the selected Ziton agents were well above the open market prices, due to lack of competition from the open market. However, this one Ziton agent Fire4U decided to break ranks and offer the equipment at open market prices, supply training and software to the fire alarm industry. The result, the end user had a reduction in the cost for maintenance works and parts. However, Fire4U, received letters of complaint from the other Ziton agents, as they were no longer able to charge the extortionate prices, as much as 350%, according to Fire4U. This example, typifies what closed or managed protocol systems are all about.

What is “Managed Protocol”?
A term used when the manufacturer has a selected network of fire alarm companies to distribute their products. The training, software and parts are restricted to only these companies that have a signed agreement with the manufacturer. The next question you will probably ask, is how do you become one of the selected companies? The criteria to be in a position to enter into an agreement is you have to make a commitment to sell an agreed amount of their equipment.
We were approached by one of the big four and were offered access to software, parts and training, if we sold annually £100,000 of their equipment. We declined. However, what this does show is that a fire alarm company that has an agreement with a manufacturer will not be thinking of the best interest of the end user, but in accordance with the agreement they have with the manufacturer, whether or not the system is best suited to the end user needs. A fire alarm company with no allegiances to any one particular supplier, is in the best position to choose the best system available from many suppliers.

Fire Systems only fit Open Protocol Systems

At Fire Systems only install open protocol systems, or system with no restriction to the software or parts. This enables our clients to choose us not because they have no choice, but because they are happy with the service we provide. For more information on systems that are closed protocol or have a restrictive access policy contact our office on 020 8541 5646, or visit our website on www.firesystems.co.uk and complete our contact form

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Wireless Fire Alarm Testing in a Circus Venue Auditorium

Wireless Fire Alarm Testing in Circus Venue

First Wireless Fire alarm in Circus Venue of this type! Play Video.

Following the few pictures posted on our social media outlets showing a brief glimpse of our wireless fire alarm installation abroad, we now have the first short video of the testing carried out at the request of the German Fire Authori

Following the few pictures posted on our social media outlets showing a brief glimpse of our wireless fire alarm installation abroad, we now have the first short video of the testing carried out at the request of the German Fire Authorities. I believe this could be the first compliant EN54-25 wireless fire alarm installation in this type of application.
The installation when very well, apart from some minor issues that we had to overcome. One of the issues that was very frustrating is our supplier, inadvertently, shipped out two types of manual call point back boxes and this caused some of the units to get damaged, as we tried to force on the call point front facia, into the incorrect back box. What I did discover, is having to resolve issues abroad, can be frustrating and difficult due to language and culture barriers.

Wireless System installed in Two Days!

The programme given to us to install and commission the system was three days. However, one of the days was spent putting together the fire action stands, and installing the wireless manual call point and sounder beacon to the stands. The remaining two days were used to install the wireless equipment. The wireless equipment used on this project was the Hyfire range. We design the system with one translator and two expanders, controlling twenty two wireless sounder strobes and wireless manual call points, and four wireless smoke detectors. The detectors were protecting the tunnel between the main large tent area, called the “Big Top” for obvious reasons, and the “artist” tent.
The fire alarm was also connected to a Scope pager system. The pager system, that had three pages, would vibrate in alarm, on the fire activation of the alarm. The fire alarm control panel used, was from Kentec Electronics. The Hyfire range of wireless equipment, has a good reputation within the UK, and It was for this reason that Fire Systems Ltd, choose to use their equipment for a project of this nature. You will observe the large area the wireless system cover. If this was to be wired, not only would it be time consuming, but an extensive amount of cabling would have had to be used. The client idea moving forward, is to decommission the system, at the end of the two month show and use it again as the venue moves to Amsterdam.
We will not putting together a series of videos, showing in more detail what was involved, to design and install this wireless system.

Do you require a Wireless Fire Alarm System ?

If you require a wireless fire alarm system for any type of venue, especially temporary structures, or you may have an existing system that requires maintenance. Then why not contact Fire Systems Ltd, on 020 8541 5646 or visit our website at www.firesystems.co.uk and complete the contact form.

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Fire Alarm False Alarm – €1,500 fine

Causing a Fire Alarm False Alarm can be Expensive 

€1,500 fine - Fire Alarm False Alarm

On my trip to Germany, I stayed at an Apartment Hotel in Munich.
I had not stayed in this type of Aparthotel before. “When checking in, I was asked to sign an acceptance form stating would accept a charge of €1,500 (One thousand, five hundred Euro’s,) if I set off the fire alarm and had not followed their instructions. Their instructions included making sure kitchen extractor was used when cooking and opening the apartment windows, amongst other things. Now my visit to Munich was in the middle of winter and the temperature outside was going down to as low as -10c! So opening any window was not going to happen.

Smoke Detectors in the Apartment

Reviewing my apartment, was not exactly large, the fire alarm equipment within my apartment was a smoke detector in the lobby, living room and bedroom, plus a heat detector in the kitchen. Now with that amount of automatic detection within the apartment, do you really think I am going to take a risk doing any cooking in my apartment?

It was reassuring to see that the Aparthotel had had a good fire alarm system in place and has taken fire safety seriously. The fire alarm in this aparthotel was Gent, but it would appear the Germany version, with the larger manual call points.
With such a high fine in place for a fire alarm false alarm activation, there was not any false alarms during my stay. Maybe, this is what is required to reduce the false alarms within the UK.

For more information on Fire alarms why not contact our office on 020 8541 5646 or visit out website on www.firesystems.co.uk and complete the contact page.

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Fire Alarm Companies? Fire Systems Promotional Video

Promotional Fire Systems Ltd Video – Promoting what we do.

Fire Alarm Engineer Fire Systems ltd

Our flexible and wide range of services that our company is able to provide includes; procurement, design, procurement and installation of all types of fire protection equipment.
Over many years, while working closely with our clients that has given us the experience to provide bespoke fire safety solutions that give commercial and environmental benefits to our clients.

Some fire alarm Companies are BAFE accredited

Our services we provide are as follows:

  • Fire Alarm Systems
  • Gaseous fire Suppression
  • Air Sampling Systems
  • Smoke Control Systems
  • Dry Risers
  • Linear fire alarm detection
  • Fire Doors
  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • Fire Safety Consultancy
  • Fire Extinguishers

Unlike many fire alarm companies, Fire Systems Ltd, is an independently run Fire Alarm Company. We are not tied into any fire alarm system manufacturer, and therefore are in a position to provide the best service to our many clients.

The video above provides you with a brief summary of the fire protection services we provide and have been doing so since 1992. All our engineers are BAFE accredited and our management team have been working within the fire industry for over twenty years.

Many fire alarm companies today, are still using an out of date management system, with paper work sheets, we at Fire Systems Ltd, are currently using a computerised management system and all our client maintenance visits are stored and backed up on our server, should they be required.

Fire Alarm Companies with BAFE

Fire Alarm Companies with BAFE accreditation show the industry that they are serious about the service they provide. Fire Systems Ltd, was one of the first to gain BAFE accreditation.

If you require the services of a professional fire alarm company, contact Fire Systems Ltd on 020 8541 5646 or visit our website on www.firesystems.co.uk and complete the contact page.

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