- September 8, 2020
Chief Executive Officer at Liberty Building Solutions, Richard Botting, talks to MEP Middle East magazine about the new WES3 wireless fire alarm
The WES ranges of fire detection, alarm and evacuation panels are fully compliant to BS EN54-25, the British and European standard covering fire detection and fire alarm systems using radio links.
The technology within the WES temporary wireless detection and alarm system overcomes the limitations inherent in traditional systems and provides additional features to increase effectiveness and save costs.
The WES units are wireless and form a robust mesh network when paired. The units are battery powered – there is no need for mains electricity.
There are no power cables and no interconnecting cables, no reliance on generator power and no trip or overhanging hazards. The panels are easy to relocate to a new location, meeting the changing demands of a working construction site.
The system is simple and straightforward to install and commission. The units pair to each other within seconds, providing a near instant working fire detection and alarm system.
The addressable devices communicate with the base station and provide the exact location of the alert. This can be crucial in directing first responders to the correct area of the building.
Compared to most traditional fire detection and alarm systems on construction sites, WES systems are fully automatic. When heat, smoke detector or interface units are included in the wireless network, all WES alarm panels will sound automatically upon receipt of the alarm signal.
Automatic detection via smoke and heat detectors ensures 24/7 monitoring of higher risk areas, regardless whether those areas are manned or unattended.
The base station is available with a SIM card, capable of sending an alarm alert remotely (to an individual, a monitoring station or local authority). Reducing the time taken to detect a fire allows faster fire-fighting decision making. Unlike traditional systems, there is no need for any manual activation.
On hearing the alarm, employees can concentrate on evacuating the area. All WES alarm units sound a 96 dB siren automatically when any unit in the network zone is activated. This means that alarms placed strategically around the building can alert every area.
Using the WES system, the site can be zoned, making it possible for different fire detection to be deployed at different parts of the site, eliminating an unnecessary site wide evacuation.
Sustainability and long-term cost reductions are built into the WES system because each panel is 100% reusable. Once the temporary system is no longer required on site, the units are removed and placed into storage ready for re-activation and installation on the next project.
The features embedded within the WES range make it ideal for installation at remote sites. There is no complicated installation or mains power needed. The system can be remotely monitored.
Once up and running, it is self-diagnosing and individual units will send maintenance notifications to the base station if they encounter any problems such as low signal connections, low battery power and external tampering, an important factor on remote sites.
When the system detects a fire (or maintenance) alert, notifications are instantly relayed to competent persons via SMS. A more detailed remote system monitoring and information delivery is available by connecting the WES system to the manufacturer’s REACT app, which can relay site information including drawings and emergency procedures to initiate a tiered notification protocol.
This significantly enhances the safety of remote sites, remote and lone workers – a real time emergency response system that can protect a site 24/7.
If you substitute cost for value for one moment, the WES fire detection and alert system provides far higher value addition towards the protection of human life and assets than any traditional temporary system.
Translating that back to cost, would you prefer to pay a small (but recoverable) premium to avail of the higher value at the outset, or would you rather incur higher costs over the long term and reduce the level of protection?
Many leading construction companies in UAE have invested in WES. They understand taking into account differing features and benefits when making cost comparisons with basic traditional systems.
Costs between traditional alarm systems and the WES range of panels vary depending on the type of traditional system used. Whilst the WES system may require a higher initial capital expenditure compared to some traditional systems, when the re-usability of the units is considered, the initial cost of the WES system is lower than over the long term.
The units comply with the requirements of EN54 and being wireless, save money and time on cabling and installation costs. The base station can connect to an unlimited number of addressed units and can report externally via SMS without the need to purchase extra systems.
The WES3 range includes a main fire alarm delay timer. This allows the authenticity of an activated unit to be verified as a genuine fire or a false alarm before the system sounds the full evacuation alarm. This reduces unnecessary (and costly) site evacuations and the subsequent down time.
Traditional systems do not feature these benefits, spending a little more at the outset, will actually save you more over time and you have the peace of mind of installing and using a robust high quality fire detection and alarm system that is protecting valuable human life.
Installing a WES fire detection, alarm and evacuation system enhances site HSE in many ways. Primarily, reaction times to fire incidents are quicker, resulting in a lower risk of fire related injuries and fatalities, reduced fire damage to the building under construction and limiting risk of fire contagion to any adjacent buildings.
The system has an interface unit capable of sending the alarm system to third party systems; access control, auto-diallers, even the main permanent fire alarm system of a building where the construction activity is renovating or adding additional space to an existing structure.
The base station creates a log of fire safety tests, movement of units and reporting fire alarms becomes automatic and transparent. The data recorded within WES is easily downloaded for further analysis to continuously reduce fire related risks and find innovative ways of saving costs without compromising fire safety.
Local and national authorities, clients, sub-contractors and visitors to site who see the system will understand that the contractor i s taking their fire safety responsibilities seriously – without enduring higher costs.
Base station units include as standard the capability of sending real time SMS messages to up to six phone numbers allowing 24/7 monitoring of the network for key personnel wherever they are.
Silent testing is a standard feature to perform a real-time fire alarm test on all units in the network at the press of a button without actually activating the main alarm.
The same range also includes a Medical Emergency push button on the manual call points, which will notify first aides of a medical emergency and where the emergency is located.
MEP Middle East 31st August 2020
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