Tag Archives: Fire Alarms

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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New website launched by Bull Products for Cygnus wireless fire alarm system

Bull Products has just launched a brand new website at www.cygnusalarms.com devoted to its innovative Cygnus wireless fire alarm system.

Developed in conjunction with major construction companies, the Cygnus system is designed specifically for use on construction sites where the environment demands far higher radio performance than standard systems. The Cygnus system is able to link no less than 480 alarm devices in 15 zones.

The new website has been created to help construction companies specify the exact Cygnus system they would like for a particular project. As well as giving an explanation of the system and its capabilities, there’s a full listing of all the control panels and individual alarm units available.

There are also helpful videos to explain the system and its maintenance, and a gallery showing recent installations for end user customers including BSkyB, Crossrail and Scotland Yard together with a number of customer testimonials on projects as well as full Case Studies.

bullproductscygnuswebsite

Included on the site is a full technical section and servicing advice plus details of the standards relating to the use of fire alarm systems on different types of construction sites and conformity to regulations.

The Cygnus wireless fire alarm system is backed by an eight-strong customer support team who are there to help customers with their specific requirements, installation and servicing needs.

Five control panels, 31 alarm units

In the Cygnus family there are a choice of five control panels and 31 alarm units and accessories, all illustrated with their details on the website. A CYG6 control panel has recently been introduced to cater for smaller construction sites, handling 32 alarm devices in a single zone. There’s also a control panel available with a GSM modem allowing reporting via SMS text messaging.

Another innovation is a PIR option available on all alarm modules to detect intruders and alert off-site personnel for added safety protection.

The Cygnus fire alarm system has an impressive capability of linking up to 480 units across a construction site. Individual units may be either a fire alarm Call Point, First Aid alert point, smoke detector, heat detector or a combined Call Point/First Aid alert alarm. Further capabilities include out-of-hours notifications via an auto-dialling panel to key-holders.

Cygnus has been specifically designed for use in dense concrete and steel structured buildings, and areas where there are many other radio frequencies in use. Particular attention has been given to achieving an extremely long range connection. Operational distances in excess of 1.5 km have been recorded in an open air environment.

Cygnus covers impressive distances due to a meshing system which allows devices to communicate through one another and not directly to the panel.

Bull Products offers a full one-year guarantee on all Cygnus devices and provides high levels of technical, on-site and after-sales service support in addition to its standard maintenance contracts.

*Further information on the Cygnus wireless alarm system is available from Bull Products on (telephone) 01432 371170 or send an e-mail to: info@bullproducts.co.uk

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C-TEC, WAGNER, Apollo, Vanderbilt and Kentec Electronics look to make their mark at Security Essen

Security Essen runs from Tuesday 27 September to Friday 30 September in Germany. This year, solution manufacturers C-TEC, WAGNER, Apollo, Vanderbilt and Kentec Electronics all have an array of systems to display alongside key messaging for end users, integrators and installers.

For its part, C-TEC will be showcasing its life-safety systems. Located for the first time in Hall 3, the action-packed area dedicated to fire detection and live demonstrations, C-TEC’s stand (3E14) is set to feature the company’s new CAST-protocol XFP 1-2 loop addressable fire system, the range of VdS-certified EN54-4 power supplies and its powerful 1-8 loop ZFP touchscreen-controlled addressable fire panels.

Also on display will be C-TECs popular BSI-certified conventional sounder isolator system, its new EN54-13 conventional fire alarm system solution and a wealth of other innovations specifically designed for the European market.

C-TECSecurityEssen

Charlotte Manley, C-TEC’s sales director, told Risk UK: “We’re always very excited about Security Essen as it’s a truly international show and attracts visitors from all over the world. C-TEC has invested heavily in third party certification over the past decade, and we’re certainly reaping the rewards in Europe where the demand for certified systems is exceptionally high.”

Visions Become Reality

‘Visions Become Reality’ is the slogan under which WAGNER will be exhibiting at Security Essen. WAGNER’s stand (Hall 3, Stand 3D44) will feature innovative, future-safe fire prevention solutions, including air sampling smoke detectors, extinguishing technology, fire prevention and fire risk management.

WAGNER will be unveiling the TITANUS FUSION, a new all-rounder that combines the successful TITANUS family’s many advantages, such as LOGIC.SENS smoke development patterning and PIPE.GUARD air flow monitoring. The air sampling smoke detector can be used even in dusty environments and is accurate to temperatures as low as -30° C. It can monitor areas up to 3,200 m² in size, and is available in sensitivity levels of 0.5, 0.1 and 0.015 % LT/m.

This year, WAGNER is also introducing the TITANUS MULTI SENS, a pioneering system designed for areas where specific deceptive phenomena (such as cigarette smoke, theatrical fog or dust) can trigger false alarms. This new self-teaching air sampling smoke detector can tell the difference between false alarms and real fires. Visitors can experience this innovative, multi-dimensional optical detection system live in fire experiments.

WAGNERSecurityEssen

WAGNER’s vision of employing nitrogen as an extinguishing agent gave rise to the OxyReduct active fire prevention system. The introduction of this new technology at the end of the 1990s transformed the fire prevention market, as WAGNER began offering OxyReduct active fire prevention rather than reactive extinguishing solutions.

Security Essen will be featuring the newest generation of OxyReduct models: the powerful, compact, modular OxyReduct P-Line for larger protection areas and the noise-optimised, compact OxyReduct M-Line for modular nitrogen generation at rates of 10-90 m³/h.

Apollo to showcase next generation solution

Apollo Fire Detectors, a specialist in the design and manufacture of high quality fire detection products, will be showcasing its comprehensive range of products on Stand 3B14 at Security Essen.

The new SOTERIA range is the next generation in fire detection technology and is designed to improve detection, reduce false alarms and deliver improved reliability. SOTERIA is the start of an ongoing technology innovation at Apollo. The detectors have been extensively tested by members of the Apollo in-house testing team with facilities that boast some of the most advanced private testing equipment in the UK.

Alongside SOTERIA is Apollo’s enhanced protocol named CoreProtocol, the next generation in fire loop communication from Apollo giving greater control and more loop power. The new protocol builds on the established capabilities of XP95 and Discovery; with forward and backwards compatibility and the ability to manage a significantly increased number of devices.

ApolloIntelligentManualCallPoint

As well as the introduction of new products, Apollo will have its new 2016-2017 Product Catalogue available, a crucial guide for anyone who specifies or installs fire detection equipment. The catalogue features all of Apollo’s detection equipment, system components and specialist devices suitable for a wide range of environments.

Vanderbilt aims to be the talk of Security Essen

Vanderbilt will attend Security Essen for the first time this year, and will be exhibiting the latest developments across all three of its product ranges: access control, intruder detection and video surveillance.

At Security Essen, Vanderbilt will feature Aliro 2 – the latest generation of its access control solution. Building on the success of its predecessor and created alongside external developers, Aliro 2 is suitable for small through to medium-sized commercial applications, boasting easy-to-use Internet-based software and intuitive mobile features.

Using the advanced Mercury firmware platform, it supports – as standard – 64 doors and 5,000 users. With additional software licenses, the system can be increased up to 1,024 wired doors, 1,024 wireless doors and 25,000 users. Integration with Aperio is one of the highlights in the new feature set of Aliro 2, but there’s “much more to come” as this new system paves the way for Vanderbilt’s future migration strategy.

VanderbiltIndustries

Vanderbilt’s SPC intrusion panel will also be featured on the stand. Vanderbilt continues to develop attractive features for this range, including its SPC Connect. This cloud-based innovation provides customers with remote access to control panels, safe in the knowledge that the process is highly secure thanks to the implementation of financial grade SSL security.

New to the video portfolio is the Eventys range, a cost-effective range of cameras and recorders that are aimed at the simple set-up and plug-and-play approach. With an intuitive interface offering “outstanding functionality” and flexibility, Eventys is perfect for small to medium-sized installations that require up to 20 cameras.

Fire detection and alarm control panel solutions

Visitors to Stand 1A03 in Hall 1 Security Essen will be able to see some of the latest fire safety products from Kentec Electronics. Its extensive range of EN, UL and FM, marine, analogue, conventional and extinguishant fire control panel solutions are the first choice for many safety critical, prestigious locations across the world.

Kentec will be exhibiting its Syncro and Sigma ranges designed for the widest, most demanding range of applications. The Sigma XT range includes status units, Sigma XT+, the Sigma XT ECU hybrid solution and Syncro AS, plus its comprehensive range of UL-listed, FM-approved Elite RS analogue addressable fire control panels, Sigma A-XT releasing panel and status units and the UL-listed Sigma A-CP annunciator panel.

KentecSecurityEssen

Show visitors will be able to see live demonstrations of the company’s all-new Taktis range of fire alarm control equipment, which combines the very latest hardware and software to produce a powerful and sophisticated control and indication system that’s both simple to use and understand.

The flexibility of the Taktis platform means that it can be reconfigured to realise many other control and indication applications, with direct integration into intelligent buildings a reality for end users.

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BRE schedules Workshop to explore reduction of false fire alarms

Across the past 12 months, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has been working with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to investigate the underlying causes of false fire alarms. The live investigations of false fire alarms research work is now complete and a briefing paper detailing the findings is available from www.bre.co.uk/firedetectionresearch.

The work has identified 35 recommendations for nine Stakeholder Groups that could lead towards a reduction in UK false alarms.

With the support of the Fire Industry Association and BAFE, the BRE is now scheduled to host a Workshop aimed at promoting the study’s findings, and is inviting key individuals that will adopt the recommendations from the Briefing Paper and reduce false alarms in their sector.

The Workshop is being held at the BRE’s Watford site on Monday 8 February. The overriding aim is to discuss and develop actionable methods for implementing the research findings as quickly as possible.

“Over the past ten years we’ve seen a reduction in false alarms,” stated Raman Chagger, principal consultant in fire detection at the BRE. “However, this is starting to plateau. The Workshop is aimed at reducing the more difficult false alarm causes.”

*For further detail send an e-mail to: conferences@bre.co.uk

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Chiron’s IRIS Touch 4-NG Series certified to EN 54-21/CPR for fire detection systems

Chiron Security Communications has been awarded the highest standard accreditation of EN 54-21/Construction Products Regulation (CPR) for the entire IRIS Touch 4-NG Series, the company’s high-end alarm over IP diallers.

Adopting a strict quality management policy, Chiron has always been at the forefront of obtaining approvals – such as EN and VdS – for its products.

This latest accreditation is of major importance to the company in terms of new market segment development, and will enable Chiron to assist its customers towards better and easier compliance with insurers’ regulations.

ChironIRISTouch4NGSeries

The EN 54-21 European Standard specifies requirements, test methods and performance criteria against which the effectiveness and reliability of routing equipment capable of transmitting fire alarm and/or fault warning signals for use with fire detection and fire alarm systems installed in buildings can be assessed.

The routing equipment is designed to allow the system to function in accordance with the requirements of this European Standard. It also provides for the evaluation of conformity of the equipment to the requirements outlined in the document.

To be compliant with the CPR, products always need to be tested while connected to a panel such that it can be proven they’re communicating. The IRIS Touch 4-NG Series has been tested as part of an overall fire system and approved to EN 54-21 throughout Europe for the fire market.

IRIS Touch 4-NG Series fire panel integration

Traditionally, the signalling for fire alarms has only been applied to two events: ‘Fire’ or ‘Fault’. However, this scenario provided very little information for Monitoring Centre operators in terms of the best way in which to action/escalate an alarm event.

Most fire panels can generate a great deal more information (eg identify that a sensor is activated, and in what zone) on a local serial port. This is normally done in a panel-specific manner with the protocols differing from one manufacturer to another, and therefore not in a format recognised by the Monitoring Centre operators.

For some time now, IRIS Touch diallers have supported the serial ‘ESPA’ pager protocol interface which many fire panels offer and use to signal such additional information. The IRIS Touch dialler converts the ESPA messages from the panel into standard SIA format and sends these to the Monitoring Centre with additional information to the ‘Fire’ or ‘Fault’ signal.

This concept has been extended in the V2.14 firmware of the IRIS Touch NG range so that serial event messages generated by Honeywell Notifier and HHL fire panels can be handled in the same way and converted to standard SIA format for the Monitoring Centre.

Chiron’s CEO Willem Harthoorn stated: “Chiron recognised the fire sector’s requirement for reliable alarm over IP transmission. On that basis, we invested significantly in both development and applicable certification for our IRIS Touch 4-NG Series. These efforts have already resulted in us winning a major project in Germany. We will continue to implement serial fire panel protocols when we’re asked to do so.”

 

*For more information visit: www.chironsc.com

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Scottish Fire Stations opt for C-TEC’s EN54-4 power supplies to support remote monitoring of systems

C-TEC’s VdS-certified EN54-4 power supplies are performing a vital task at 22 fire stations north of the border.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service called on Safe Services to install CSL DualCom fire units powered up by C-TEC’s BF360-24 power supplies to add remote monitoring to fire systems at its stations. As a result, any faults are now reported to a 24-hour Alarm Receiving Centre to ensure additional protection at the sites located across the Scottish Borders, West and East Lothian.

Graeme Millar (director at Safe Services, a Galashiels-based SP203-1 accredited company) commented: “As fire legislation in most European countries now states any power supply performing a mandatory function of a fire alarm system must comply with EN54-4/A2, C-TEC’s power supplies were the obvious choice for this project.”
C-TEC is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of life safety electronic systems including fire alarm control panels, detectors, call systems, disabled refuge systems, induction loop amplifiers and power supplies.

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Custodian releases monitoring portal upgrade with promise of “new levels of efficiency” for end users

Custodian Monitoring Services – a recognised leading provider of intruder, fire and life safety systems monitoring – has released a new version of its online TOUCH monitoring portal that affords end users real-time access to a wide range of new reports and capabilities.

Created in response to stakeholder feedback, the new portal offers a broad range of benefits. End users, engineers and installers can now enjoy greater oversight of their buildings and portfolios via this web-based customer portal which places them in control of critical areas such as key holding.

Victoria Waude, head of monitoring sales at Custodian, is adamant that TOUCH users will gain improved levels of access control management.

“End users and installers now have the ability to temporarily suspend and re-instate key holders without delay,” said Waude. “This is extremely useful for those companies looking to manage access when employees go on holiday or are absent.”

Victoria Waude

Victoria Waude

Installers can now create and maintain engineer rotas at the touch of a button, anytime and from anywhere.

“The new features are aligned with our approach of designing products and systems that simplify processes and deliver greater operational efficiencies for our customers,” added Waude.

For their part, installers are now also able to upload logos and company information to their TOUCH platform to maintain their corporate identity.

Another feature includes bulk end user registrations, which makes it easier for installers to invite all of their customers to register. In addition, there are further functions in the engineer portal for online testing and event history.

Custodian operates in the UK as Security Monitoring Centres Ltd and is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a business unit of the United Technologies Corporation.

Custodian is one of the UK’s leading NSI Gold Alarm Receiving Centres, providing 24/7 monitoring for its customer base.

*For more information visit: www.custodianmonitoring.com

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