Looking at the bigger picture

February 2015 Fire & Safety

When a leading global content and technology solutions provider, with over 15 000 employees needed to change its fire detection system as part of a complete building refurbishment, it turned to Surefire Services. Surefire already holds the maintenance contract for the estate and, as part of this process, was asked to carry out a full audit of the building’s life safety system.

Marcus Kemp, Surefire Services’ director, explains: “One of our senior engineers was asked to spend a weekend making his assessment of the incumbent closed protocol fire detection system. Once this was completed, he was subsequently asked to analyse the maintenance costs of the system over a specified time frame, factoring in items such as replacement detectors and other devices.”

After crunching the numbers, it was discovered that the cost of extending and maintaining the existing closed protocol system over a 10 to 15 year period far outweighed the expense of replacing it with an open protocol solution from Hochiki Europe.

Kemp states: “We have installed Hochiki fire detection systems for over 20 years and the reasons for this include its extensive range, proven reliability and excellent support structure. The quality of the company’s products is second to none and, because of the way they are designed, we knew we could make significant time and cost savings.”

Kemp firmly believes that customers should assess total cost of ownership (TCO) before making a purchasing decision, a view shared by Paul Adams, Hochiki Europe’s deputy marketing manager, who adds: “Initial cost is often the area that gets most attention when it comes to selecting a fire detection system. However, this often proves to be a false economy, as maintenance, standards compliance and limiting the problem of unwanted alarms are just some of the factors that contribute to TCO. It is always advisable to look at what a manufacturer can offer in order to prevent additional costs going forward. For example, warranty periods of three years or more are now available from some manufacturers for detector heads, eliminating the need to allocate budget for replacements during this timeframe.”

Once Surefire Services’ findings were presented to the customer, they had no hesitation in giving permission to proceed for the installation of the new system. The BS 5839 compliant category L1 solution is based around Hochiki Europe’s Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP), which is designed for intelligent fire detection and fully integrated systems. It has a multi-purpose structure that provides the flexibility and expansion to accommodate simple addressable systems, as well as integrated building management and complex life safety systems.

Strength against external interference is also important for system integrity. The ESP protocol therefore minimises the possibility of data corruption by using a proven combination of algorithms, and applies parity and checksum principles to every data packet to verify integrity and eliminate unwanted alarms or faults being generated by external noise. This makes it one of the most robust protocols in the market and, as such, the specifier’s choice.

The installation and commissioning work was carried out over a five month period, and a wide variety of devices were installed, including 36 HCPE-E(SCI) call points, and 36 audio/visual devices, such as wall sounder beacons and base sounders. In addition, 280 ACB-E multi-heat sensors were installed, which incorporate a variable temperature heat element and a rate of rise heat element.

Remarking on the ease of installation, Kemp comments: ”Once the base is installed, fitting the devices is a fast and efficient process – usually taking just seconds. This is considerably quicker than most other products that are currently available.”

For further information contact Hochiki Europe, +44 1634 266 566, e-marketing@hochikieurope.com, <a href=http:// www.hochikieurope.com” target=”_blank”>www.hochikieurope.com</a>





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