Tag Archives: False Alarms

Scottish tech firm creates ‘ZIVA’ robotic solution for security and agriculture inspections

Edinburgh-based Casta Spes Technologies has unveiled a new robotic security vehicle offering security and inspection solutions across multiple sectors including agriculture, energy/utilities and construction.

Named ZIVA, the multi-terrain, high-performance robot saves 92% on the cost of a manned patrol by combining autonomous navigation with multiple software add-ons, such as licence plate recognition and threat classification. ZIVA was designed to reduce the cost and time associated with false alarms, using its dynamic and flexible nature to cover blind spots, which can be a major drawback with static cameras.

ZIVA provides 360-degree CCTV coverage and can be driven remotely or set to automatically patrol specified routes using multiple sensors and autonomous navigation.

ZIVA is the first product from Casta Spes Technologies, set up by 24-year-old graduates Selby Cary and Michael McDonald. Designed using funding from pre-seed tech accelerator Seed Haus and Scottish Enterprise support, it’s currently deployed onsite with several companies including West Coast Capital Properties.

L -R Selby Cary and Michael McDonald co-founders

Selby Cary (left) and Michael McDonald pictured with their ZIVA solution

Cary, the CEO of Casta Spes Technologies, completed a Masters degree at Heriot-Watt University, which is known for its robotics research and teaching. He explained: “It’s estimated that the perimeter security market will be worth over $197 billion by 2022, with the global market for surveillance robots expected to reach $10.2 billion by 2025. This is a massive growth industry.”

He continued: “ZIVA works by analysing the images it sees, allowing it to take on important perimeter security roles in remote areas or locations with limited infrastructure, such as warehouses, industrial properties and construction sites.”

Leader in robotic technology

Cary believes Scotland has already demonstrated that it’s a leader in robotic technology and development. “Scotland is fast becoming the robotics capital of Europe with the National Robotarium under construction in Edinburgh and the city playing host to some of the world’s leading robotics experts. We believe Scotland’s capital is the ideal springboard from which to launch ZIVA. Furthermore, the terrain and weather conditions are ideal for testing. Once we knew we had something that could work in the Scottish weather, we were confident we could make it work anywhere.”

Able to reach speeds of 19 km/h and capable of tackling rough terrain, including gravel and long grass, ZIVA overcomes many of the challenges faced by competitor robot security vehicles due to its innovative design. It can also provide a range of agricultural functions, such as checking crops for disease or monitoring livestock.

ZIVA’s mechanical design combines multiple innovations in one platform. Its dual-wheeled system means it has a greater payload capacity, offers energy efficiency and can overcome rough terrain without becoming stuck. ZIVA’s flexible and modular design means that clients can customise it to their own requirements, thereby providing an affordable, real-world solution to their remote security needs.

Casta Spes Technologies plans to deploy more units into the field shortly and will launch a suite of software add-ons and data analytics plug-ins to enhance ZIVA’s CCTV capabilities over the next 12 months.

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Hochiki Europe to showcase latest life safety technology at Security Essen 2018

Hochiki Europe, the leading manufacturer of life safety solutions, will be showcasing a range of its latest technology during Security Essen 2018, which runs from 25-28 September at MESSE ESSEN. Solutions on display at Stand 6E30 include Hochiki Europe’s ACD-EN CO multi-sensor, the new range of short circuit isolator (SCI) sensors and FIREscape Emergency Lighting.

The ACD-EN is badged as “the most technologically superior multi-sensor ever developed” by Hochiki Europe. In addition to smoke, heat and carbon monoxide (CO) detection elements, the ACD-EN also features a sophisticated mode enhancement called +RFA. In multi-mode with +RFA, any changes to the environment will automatically adjust the alarm threshold and sensitivity of the device, therefore reducing false alarms without compromising fire response times.

HochikiEuropeSCISensor

The SCI integrated range offers specifiers and consultants an efficient, cost-effective and compliant solution to life safety. In many central European markets, including Germany, legislation dictates that an isolator is required every time there’s a change of device type on the loop. Therefore, having the SCI integrated into the sensor removes the need to buy separate SCI bases.

Hochiki Europe’s emergency lighting range, FIREscape, will also will be on display at Security Essen. FIREscape is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly emergency lighting system based on LED technology.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition, Mark Jones, export manager at Hochiki Europe, commented: “We know that, for our customers in Germany and throughout Europe, legislation is a deciding factor when specifying life safety equipment on projects. Security Essen is a great opportunity for us to showcase our extensive product range, which includes wireless, marine and aspirating technology, and to help our customers find the right solutions for their projects.”

Over 40,000 visitors from 45 different countries are expected to attend Security Essen, which will host over 1,000 exhibitors.

*For more information on Hochiki Europe’s range of life safety solutions visit www.hochikieurope.com

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Euralarm publishes results of study on false alarms

Euralarm, the European association representing the electronic fire and security industry, has carried out a European study on false alarms. The results have now been issued in paperback format by specialist publisher Eric Schmidt Verlag, with the finalised document – entitled ‘False Alarm Study: False Alarm Data Collection and Analysis from Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems in Selected European Countries’ – available on Amazon.

The study on false alarms was conducted by a Task Group of Euralarm consisting of experts in the field of fire safety technologies, with Sebastian Festag (Editor of the new publication) from Heaktron serving as chairman.

The study focuses on false alarm data collection and analysis from fire detection and fire alarm systems in selected European countries.

In some European countries, the impact of budget cuts, coupled with a perceived high rate of false alarms, has realised changes in the typical reaction of fire services. In some countries, for example, verification is required before intervention forces are deployed in order to avoid unjustified costs. However, this calculation is limited to the impact of false alarms on fire services alone. It could lead to an increase in risk around life safety and inflict more cost overall to society. The study seeks to establish the true cost of false alarms from country to country.

EuralarmFalseAlarmsStudy

Evaluation basis

Through its scientific approach, the study offers a clarification of false alarms as a phenomenon. It includes a description of the processes to initiate fire service intervention and formulas to calculate false alarm ratios, as well as a methodology of the overall analysis. This allows for a precise picture of the situation in selected European countries as regards false alarms. Germany, Great Britain/England, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria/Vorarlberg are covered in the study.

The study also contains recommendations and strategies to reduce false alarms, which are based on carefully examined statistics on fires and, in particular, the number of fire alarms due to the detection of actual fires by fire alarm systems compared to the false alarm rate.

The Euralarm Task Group argues that the topic of false alarms must be increasingly integrated into fire protection and fire alarm strategies. Handling false alarms must become an active part of the management of a site. The Euralarm study gives recommendations to realise this end goal.

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Nittan to exhibit UL-approved SPERA fire alarm range at Intersec Dubai 2018

Following on from the company’s successful first attendance at Intersec Dubai in 2017 and with a fast-growing customer base in the region, Nittan Europe – a leading manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products – will be exhibiting at 2018’s show. This takes place at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre on 21 January 2018. Nittan Europe will be located in Hall 4 on Stand G24.

Taking centre stage will be Nittan Europe’s complete UL-approved SPERA analogue addressable fire alarm range. SPERA has been designed with flexibility at the heart of the system. It’s capable of a wide range of system configurations and customisable with an array of modules.

Readily expandable and suitable for a wide range of applications, among them large sites with multiple buildings, SPERA uses an RS-485 interface and accommodates up to 254 addresses per two loops, with a capacity of 14 loops per control panel and up to 63 panels in one network running over copper and/or fibre optics. As a result, up to 224,000 addressable devices can be supported on one SPERA system.

SPERA features a comprehensive range of products, including fire alarm control panels, annunciators (LCD and LED), both addressable and conventional detectors and accessories. The detectors include optical and photo smoke detectors, heat detectors, combined smoke and heat detectors and Nittan’s award-winning dual optical smoke detection technology designed to eliminate false alarms from steam.

In addition to its SPERA range, Nittan Europe will also be showing a comprehensive range of its EN-approved fire alarm devices and panels.

NittanIntersec2018

Fire alarm control panels

Nittan’s evo+ and evolution 1 fire alarm control panels are fully-compliant with BS EN 54 Parts 2 and 4. The evo+ range is compliant to BS EN 54 Part 13 which is the European compatibility assessment of system components. Both ranges have been designed to be flexible and powerful thanks to the incorporation of the latest dual flash-based microprocessor technology.  With a host of features for maximum flexibility and ease of installation and system set-up, both the evolution 1 and evo+ ranges are compatible with the full range of Nittan Evolution analogue addressable fire detection devices.

A number of these devices will be shown at Intersec Dubai, including Evolution analogue addressable and conventional detectors featuring patented, award-winning dual optical technology plus audio visual devices, bases, manual Call Points, isolators and modules for connection to third party equipment.

A tried-and-tested solution, the Evolution range combines truly exceptional and reliable fire detection with a very high degree of protection against unwanted false alarms. Its class leading, highly flexible protocol is resistant to interference and allows for substantial amounts of information to be transmitted at high speed.

Lee James, general manager of product marketing at Nittan, commented: “Nittan is a truly international company with product ranges designed for the global fire detection industry. We see Intersec Dubai as a valuable platform for us to demonstrate our capabilities to a worldwide audience.”

Intersec is the most popular platform for security industry professionals in the MENA region. The last edition of the show attracted over 32,750 visitors from 58 countries and showcased solutions from no less than 1,304 exhibitors.

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BSIA outlines key points of PD6669 scheme ahead of industry briefings

Ahead of a series of industry briefings on the new PD6669 scheme, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has put together its five key points of the publication.

PD6669 provides guidance for the provision of alarm transmission systems (ATS) in the UK. It has been developed with support from all interested parties within the security industry, including security installers, Alarm Receiving Centres, ATS providers, insurers, the BSIA itself, the British Standards Institution and the police service.

BSIAARC

The Trade Association has outlined five key points of the scheme which will be covered in greater detail during each briefing:

*Alarm transmission providers will supply network availability statistics to identify systems that are highly likely to generate a false confirmed activation and police response to a false alarm. This will help to protect the allocation of Unique Reference Numbers (URNs)

*Alarm transmission providers will suggest alternate telecommunications solutions and networking advice to improve system reliability

*Single path faults are effectively managed, reducing customer disturbance and false alarms

*Installers will be able to clearly identify chargeable installation and post-installation work to the ATS to ensure that it operates reliably and as specified. Using PD6662, installers will be able to upsell their services rather than simply selling on price

*PD6669 ensures that system liability is clearly defined through robust information supply, record keeping and notification

As stated, the BSIA is hosting a series of free-to-attend briefings that will provide industry practitioners with an overview of PD6669, information on how it interfaces to BS EN 50136 and how it will help installers who use the scheme.

The briefings will be taking place at the following locations:

*London: 30 August at UBM, 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8BF. Registration opens at 8.30 am with presentations from 9.00 am through until 11.00 am

*Hampshire: 31 August at Southern Monitoring, 212-218 London Road, Waterlooville PO7 7AJ. Registration opens at 8.30 am with presentations from 9.00 am until 11.00 am

*Wigan: 6 September at the North West Fire and Security Exhibition, DW Stadium (South Stand Suite), 15 Loire Drive, Wigan WN5 0UH. Presentations from 10.00 am to 11.00 am as part of the North West Fire and Security Exhibition speaker programme)

*Nottingham: 13 September at EMCS Ltd, Tissington Close, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 6QG. Registration opens at 8.30 am with presentations from 9.00 am until 11.00 am

*To register for any of these PD6669 briefings visit: www.bsia.co.uk/events

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Euralarm outlines content of upcoming new study on false fire alarms in Europe

Fire and Rescue Services collect facts and figures during responses to alarms from fire detection and alarm systems. Now, Euralarm has reviewed the different approaches for data collection and analysis in England, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria.

A key observation is the differences noted between the examined countries. These differences hamper comparisons, although a view of the European norms would suggest the opposite. Euralarm is therefore calling for more co-operation between the stakeholders involved which would enable new insights into fire alarms in general.

Buildings are safer today because of the fire detection and alarm systems installed within. Indeed, without these systems, fires would go undetected and spread. Exit routes would be impassable due to smoke and fire, resulting in injuries and even fatalities, aside from damage caused to the building(s).

EuralarmFireAlarmReport

As is the case with any system, though, there are conditions that can lead to false alarms binding public and private resources as well as hurting the reputation of fire alarm and detection systems. False alarms can be reduced, for example, through the use of modern multi-sensor fire detectors as well as the regular application of correct maintenance requirements, making the systems reliable and dependable for building occupants.

In spite of such existing solutions, the market is lacking sufficient data that would outline the potential to reduce false alarms even more. An initial study by Euralarm in 2012 showed that data sources were missing and existing sources not comparable. Reliable details (eg data pools) on the range of false alarm difficulties and their causes are needed. At the moment, lack of such detail is hindering the development of a suitable basis upon which to define and deploy effective countermeasures.

The new study focuses on investigating data collection and analysis processes in order to achieve a better understanding of what needs to be done and, hopefully, will provide momentum for changes to be made.

Key observations

The review of the data collection process of transmitted alarms from fire detection and Alarm systems has been carried out by the Euralarm Task Group for False Alarms.

The project’s objective has been to analyse the specific methodologies by taking an empirical approach, with the aim of deriving a common understanding of the facts and figures collected during Fire and Rescue Services’ responses to fire alarms.

From the existing data pools, members of the Task Group then attempted to calculate the false alarm ratios based on four different models. In doing so, they then took the step of attempting a comparison between the investigated countries.

One of the observations of the review is that comparison of fire alarm figures in the respective countries is hampered by “missing alignment” in terms of common terminology and processes. A view towards the European norms would suggest the opposite, but the fact is that the application guidelines are national and these are the basis for any data collection. The analysed material recorded and collected by experts during responses to fire alarms is handled quite differently from country to country.

Lack of proper information leads to narrow or wrong measures being implemented, which is clearly detrimental to society and must be changed.

A fundamental understanding of fire alarms – and specifically false alarms – is a requirement for any attempts towards betterment. Since a common approach would (in principle) be possible, Euralarm proposes that the fire safety industry, Fire and Rescue Services and building owners work far more closely together on this matter.

*The full report will be published in Q4 2017

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EUSAS-Euralarm Fire Safety Conference focuses on R&D and standardisation

The results of cutting-edge research on fire safety were presented during a joint conference of EUSAS and Euralarm, the European research and Trade Associations in the sector. R&D’s potential impact on current and future standardisation work was a further point of focus for the event.

The joint EUSAS-Euralarm Conference took place on February 7-8 at the Berlin offices of Bosch Security Systems and determined to discover how cutting-edge innovation in the fire safety sector will drive the development of future standards and make buildings and people safer than they have ever been.

The event brought together 60 top specialists in the field of fire safety research, engineering and standardisation representing various European countries. Introducing the event were EUSAS chairman Professor Dr Andreas Czylwik, Euralarm president Enzo Peduzzi and, on behalf of the event’s host, Christoph Hampe.

The programme was divided into four sessions: false alarms, performance and quality testing, evacuation systems and fire safety in smart buildings.

As yet unpublished research on false alarms data gathered in Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland and Sweden was presented by Dr Sebastian Festag from ZVEI, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, and Lance Rütimann from SES, the Swiss Association of Security Product Manufacturers. Both are Euralarm delegates in the Task Group on False Alarms and have derived a common approach to an empirical analysis of false alarm data.

Wolfgang Krüll from the University of Duisburg-Essen presented reproducible testing procedures for false alarms and three new testing devices which have been developed for those procedures. In parallel, statistics from Iceland were presented by Gudmundur Gunnarsson of the MVS Iceland Construction Authority.

The problem of testing a safety device’s performance over its whole lifetime was first presented by Thomas Litterst of Hekatron, including detail of a specific testing process he has developed. As demonstrated by Thorsten Schultze from the University of Duisburg-Essen, products currently on the market are largely compliant with current standard’s requirements on age limits and could potentially function correctly well beyond.

eusaseuralarmconference2017

Raman Chagger from the Building Research Establishment in England also showed that optical smoke detectors developed in the 1980s function perfectly in modern environments.

Another matter is the mechanism of drift compensation, making up for the aging of a device and the build-up of dirt on sensors, which has the potential to delay the detection of slowly developing fires. That’s according to Florence Daniault from the Wagner Group.

Evacuation systems was the third topic. It was discussed by Dr Karl Fridolf from WSP, an engineering services group, who exposed the theoretical framework of human behaviour in situations of fire, and how behavioural aspects could be better considered in safety design.

Video fire detection and its influence on evacuation was presented by Dr Tjark Windisch from Bosch Security Systems. On the day, Dr Windisch called for greater efforts when it comes to standardising video fire detection.

The final topic, smart buildings, was first discussed by Raman Chagger from the perspective of visual alarm devices. He demonstrated how the product standard together with suitable guidelines in a code of practice needs to be based on more solid research.

Dr Peter Harris from United Technologies Corporation showed how favouring interoperability and data sharing in smart buildings could bring about ‘context-aware smoke detection’.

In a final presentation, Marc Chenevoy from Euralarm highlighted the difficulties inherent with standardising interoperable systems in smart buildings, but reported on positive progress being made within European standardisation bodies.

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