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Feature Fire Safety


Raising the standard of fire detection T


As part of its decision to upgrade its fire detection infrastructure, The Downs School & Sixth Form in Newbury used Hochiki’s Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP) communications solution


he Downs School & Sixth Form is a co-educational comprehensive school specialising in science and language, and has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Following the celebrations the


school’s business manager, Lisa Hill, decided that the time was right to upgrade its fire detection infrastruc- ture. She commented, “The school comprises three main buildings, which were built at different times, and this meant that we had three sepa- rate fire detection systems of different ages and types in place. In order to


in stark contrast to our experience with other manufacturers’ products. However, while fast and efficient installation is obviously a good thing, any benefits can quickly be negated if the products are not reliable. Fortunately, we get the best of both worlds with Hochiki.”


ESP


have a more coordinated life safety infrastructure we needed a completely new solution that could meet our immediate and future needs.” Hill approached West Berkshire Education Authority, which in-turn contacted one of its specialist suppli- ers, Reading-based Westronics. Andrew Mundy, the company’s fire projects sales manager, explained, “Since establishing the business in 1969 we have specified, installed, ser- viced and maintained an extensive range of fire detection systems across southern England and Wales. We carry out a lot of work in schools and col- leges, so have significant experience of this type of environment.”


After carrying out a comprehensive audit, Mundy and his team recom- mended the installation of a BS 5839 part 1:2002 compliant category L2 ana- logue addressable fire detection system. An L2 system is designed for the protection of life and has auto- matic detectors installed in escape routes, rooms adjoining escape routes and high hazard rooms.


Asked why Hochiki Europe is


Westronics’ preferred supplier, Mundy responded, “The ability to use a stan- dard Hochiki base unit offers us signif- icant time and cost savings, which is


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The Downs School’s addressable fire detection system is configured around Hochiki’s Enhanced Systems Protocol (ESP). Stuart Davies, the company’s marketing manager, com- mented, “ESP is a total communica- tions solution for intelligent and integrated fire detection and offers the flexibility to accommodate simple addressable variants through to sophisticated integrated building management and safety systems.” The system comprises of three con- trol panels - a six loop panel in the new Graham Taylor building, a four loop panel in the older building and a sepa- rate single loop panel in the craft, design and technology (CDT) area. These are complemented by a range of Hochiki devices including ALG-E opti- cal smoke detectors, HCP-E call points, YBO-BSB base sounder beacons and ACA-E multi-heat sensors. Due to the age of the wiring, this was replaced in two out of the three buildings. In all common areas ALG-E optical smoke detectors have been installed which feature Hochiki’s High Performance Chamber Technology. This minimises the differences in sensitivity


Above and left: in order to have a more coordinated life safety


infrastructure, The Downs School & Sixth Form


needed a completely new solution that could meet its immediate and future needs


Below: the Downs School’s


addressable fire detection system is configured around Hochiki’s Enhanced Systems


Protocol (ESP)


experienced in flaming and smoulder- ing fires and helps to reduce the possi- bility of unwanted alarms at the school. ACA-E multi-heat sensors are sited in the science, cookery and CDT classrooms and were chosen specifi- cally for their ability to alternate between day/night detection modes. The detectors are programmed to operate as heat sensors between 8.00am-6.00pm and as optical smoke sensors and heat sensors between 6.00pm-8.00am. The times are set via the control panel time clock and can be reset when necessary to account for changes of use or school holidays. Westronics also recommended that the system should operate with a five minute delay. Hochiki sounder beacons are strategically placed so that when an initial alarm goes off only personnel in the administration offices and the facili- ties manager’s office are alerted. They then have time to go to the control panel, find out where the alarm has been acti- vated and carry out an investigation. Mundy commented, “This is common practice in secondary schools as there are occasions when pupils find it amusing to deliberately activate the detectors. If this proves to be the case then the five minute window negates the need to carry out a full evacuation of the school and, for example, disrupt those taking exams.”


Summary


The system has worked perfectly since installation and no unwanted alarms have been reported. Hill concluded, “The fire detection system installed by Westronics has been excellent and 100% reliable. We want our staff, pupils and visitors to be safe here and having a best in class solution from Hochiki gives us the peace of mind of knowing that they are.”


Hochiki Europe www.hochikieurope.com T: 01634 266 569


Enter 221 FEBRUARY 2013 Electrical Engineering


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