When the Dafoudill Company, a specialist electrical installer based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was asked to provide a fire alarm installation for a retail development attached to the city’s most prestigious five-star hotel – the Seacliff – it chose a solution based on the Fike Quadnet addressable system. So successful has this proved to be that when the Seacliff group subsequently built a new hotel in Zanzibar it once again specified a Fike Quadnet system.
Having become dissatisfied with the performance and reliability of the existing fire alarm systems in the luxurious Dar es Salaam Seacliff Hotel & Spa, and with the only support it received coming from the supplier’s nearest office almost 700 km away in Nairobi, the Seacliff Group decided that it needed a better solution for the new retail area it was developing adjacent to the hotel.
Having analysed the requirements for fire alarms in the new retail development, the Dafoudill Company had no hesitation in recommending a fully addressable solution based on Fike’s Quadnet fire protection panels and multifunction detectors.
“Quadnet was an ideal choice for this project,” said Dafoudill proprietor, Jayesh Bhatt, “because, as a fully addressable system, it provides an instant and accurate location for any alarms that occur. In addition, it is very easy to install and set up, which is a benefit as faster, easier installation means that the overall cost of the system is lower, and the work is completed more quickly.”
Fike Quadnet panels support up to four loops and up to 200 devices can be addressed on each loop. When loop-powered devices are used, each loop can typically support up to 110 detectors with integral sounders or up to 60 detectors with integral sounders and strobe lights. Dafoudill has found this large loop capacity to be particularly useful on this and similar projects, as it makes system design simple and eliminates the need for complicated calculations. In addition, it also makes it easy to make provision for future system expansion.
The Fike multifunction detectors selected for the project provide further benefits. They offer a choice of 15 combinations of heat and smoke detection modes, which makes it easy to accurately match the operation of the installation to the user’s exact requirements, even if these change. When these detectors are used with Quadnet panels, their function can be set remotely from the panel without needing to access the detector itself.
This is an invaluable feature for the Seacliff Hotel retail development, as it means that if, for example, an area that had been used for selling dry goods is subsequently used for food preparation, the detector can be remotely reconfigured to reduce its sensitivity to smoke and steam.
“A really important feature for us,” said Bhatt, “is that any of the multifunction detectors can be fitted with a sounder and a flashing beacon without the need to change the base or modify the wiring. This makes life so much easier and saves a lot of money for us and for our clients because if we discover, for example, that the alarm sound levels are too low in a particular area, we simply add a sounder to one of the detectors. The cost is minimal, and the work takes only a few minutes.”
For the retail development at the Seacliff Hotel in Tanzania, the Dafoudill Company supplied a system that incorporates one Quadnet control panel, 110 multifunction detectors and 14 manual call points. As anticipated, the system proved easy to install and commission and, because of its straightforward user interface, Dafoudill was able to train all of the hotel managers in its use in under two days.
The installation has already proved its worth. When an exhaust fan failed in a restaurant covered by the system and smoke began to build up, the alarm was triggered immediately. Because Quadnet is an addressable system, the hotel managers were able to rapidly determine the source of the problem and to respond in a way that ensured the safety of all those in the area, while also minimising disruption.
More of the same
The Seacliff Hotel Group has subsequently built a new luxury hotel in Zanzibar and, given its positive experience with Fike equipment, it specified a similar installation for this new development. The installation in Zanzibar covers five hotel blocks and incorporates a single Quadnet panel with 180 multipoint detectors and 38 manual call points. In the near future, the installation will be further extended to include an additional 70 detectors.
Plans are also in place for the existing fire alarm system in the main buildings of the Dar es Salaam Seacliff Hotel to be stripped out, and replaced by new Fike detectors which will link to the Quadnet panel, serving the retail operations on the site.
“The Fike equipment is reliable, easy to install and easy to use,” said Bhatt, “and it is also attractively styled so that it blends in with the décor of prestigious buildings like the Seacliff Hotels.”
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