As commercial property prices have mounted over recent decades, a growing number of residential buildings have been repurposed into offices. Occasionally, a building’s unusual or historic design features can become as integral to a company’s identity as its logo. However, these same elements can also pose challenges when it comes to maintenance and fire-safety compliance. Such sites require solutions offering maximum installation flexibility, often leveraging the benefits of wireless technology. But when a radio-signal failure could put lives at risk, it is imperative that the solution be optimised to deal with the building’s specific challenges.
Meshing cutting-edge with vintage
Tiger Communications plc provide data acquisition services from their distinctive Victorian-style, vintage property in Hampshire. When a risk assessment revealed their fire-safety system required an upgrade, the company’s previous installer was not able to deliver a wireless solution flexible enough to deal with the building’s ‘quirks’. Using Notifier by Honeywell technology, GE Fire & Security were able to propose a fully wireless system, with the aim of minimising obstruction and damage, as well as installation costs.
‘The main challenges of the building’s design were its low, solid ceilings and wooden beams,’ says GE Fire & Security Director, Sam Pitcher. ‘Without wireless technology, this would have required complex surface trunking and caused significant disruption, not to mention aesthetic complications,’ he added. For these reasons, wireless was the optimal solution. However, even this was problematic given the thickness of the property’s walls.
Agile system, full coverage
Following a detailed site study and advance survey of signal strength, GE Fire & Security proposed Notifier by Honeywell’s new Agile wireless equipment, installing a one-loop ID60 panel with two Agile gateways, smoke detectors, heat detectors, wall-mounted sounders and call points. The solution is completely wireless and highly reliable thanks to its powerful, patented mesh technology, with multiple communication paths to minimise interference and maximise system robustness.
Whereas the company’s previous fire-safety system only covered corridors, every room in the building is now protected – including loft spaces, bringing it into compliance with the latest regulations. They also now benefit from fully addressable devices, signalling the exact room and device affected by a potential fire event (rather than just the floor). Moreover, thanks to the history log function within the Notifier panel, any activations will be logged – allowing the rapid identification and verification of repeat offenders.
‘We have been delighted with every aspect of the installation,’ commented Tiger Communications Managing Director, Ben Nicklen. ‘The team took the time to fully understand our needs, were highly knowledgeable in their recommendations and committed to delivering a reliable and unobtrusive wireless solution, which was both adapted to our space and future-proofed,’ he added.
Not all wireless is created equal
Whilst Wi-Fi is a convenient solution for buildings that present structural challenges for conventional fire safety equipment, not all wireless systems are the same.
For more information, go to www.notifierfiresystems.co.uk