One of the issues associated with the maintenance of fire-safety systems is the potential impact on day-to-day operations. This is particularly true of public buildings such as hospitals or hotels, where the sound of alarms, flashing lights and the disruption caused by the presence of maintenance technicians can be a real issue.
This is one of the main reasons behind the development of systems that can perform certain checks automatically, without the need for any human intervention. Siemens not only offers ASA (Advanced Signal Analysis) detectors, which detect fire sources early while distinguishing them from deceptive phenomena, but ones which are also equipped with DFT (Disturbance Free Testing) technology. This has been brought about through advances in smart technology, with IoT-enabled detectors conducting tests automatically, removing the need for on-site attendance. Cloud connectivity has been fundamental to this, offering the capability to effectively digitalise fire safety.
Portals are now available that connect with the cloud, while mobile Apps are also being developed to ensure a smoother commissioning and configuration of systems, as well as providing the opportunity to access information on fire safety sites irrespective of a person’s location. Importantly, these connections to sites are secure through cloud gateways, providing a range of details regarding the status of the system and replicating the information available from the on-site safety panel. Data gathered from IoT-enabled detectors can include function tests, soiling and danger levels, all of which can be sent to the cloud to offer invaluable, real-time insights into performance.
Such devices are a major contributor to a proactive rather than a reactive approach to maintenance, continuously and automatically measuring and evaluating the performance of a system or device and thereby both anticipating failures and the need for maintenance checks.
If checks are necessary, the advent of remote services made possible through digitalisation means they can all be undertaken off-site. Gone are the days of costly, time-consuming and potentially disruptive on-site visits. Instead, with flexible remote access 24/7, and devices that can guarantee no false alarms, spaces are undisturbed. This also offers significant environmental benefits, with less travelling reducing the use of fuels and lowering CO2 emissions.
Disturbance-free testing for 24/7 protection
Detectors that offer a self-testing capability are bringing a paradigm shift, offering the capacity for daily testing and thereby significantly reducing downtime compared to a conventional site-based interval testing regime. Whilst on-site testing is unlikely to ever be completely replaced, with an annual inspection, for example, continuing to be an important part of an effective fire safety regime, it is time-consuming, costly and disruptive. Smart devices that conduct reliable daily checks, sending data to the cloud and producing reports as proof of conformity at the click of a button will continue to contribute to enhancing peace of mind that a building and its occupants are being protected 24/7.
For more information, go to www.siemens.com