Smoke Detection

Recent fires in senior living homes across Canada have highlighted the need for advanced warning to ensure enough time to evacuate residents and staff – especially those vulnerable people that require help.

This highlights a challenge for any institution responsible for those who are more vulnerable –  educational institutions, hospitals and retirement living – and are concerned about how fast they can respond to alerts, most notably smoke and fire detection. This challenge applies to almost any organization that owns its own building and is responsible for the care and well being of staff – industrial organizations being particularly exposed.

Using an advanced, software based, automated system, ensures that any fire emergency plan is optimally executed.

Automating Fire Safety

Stricter Fire Safety Codes

In response to several high profile incidents, many provinces have enacted stricter regulations regarding improved smoke detection. Facilities are being forced to replace standalone smoke detectors with those either connected to a fire panel or some other device to be better, centrally monitored. This can be a costly proposition, especially if it requires hard wiring, especially in buildings that do not have open ceilings, existing conduit or require plenum rated cable.

While it may appear that connecting to something like a fire panel is ideal, in many cases the fire panel is not immediately visible. Even when in a lobby or common area, it presumes staff will be nearby when a smoke detector goes off to alert others.

The answer is to use a wireless device, integrated into the fire panel that eliminates expensive wiring, while the automated, rules based alerting system like the Status Solution’s SARA, ensures notifications are sent directly to a staff member(s).

Wireless Smoke Detection

To solve the wiring challenge, organizations can leverage wireless smoke detectors.

New smoke detectors with built-in wireless transmitter are more expensive than a standard smoke detector but the labour to install is significantly lower. Only one device has to be installed by simply screwing to the ceiling. Each smoke detector with a built-in transmitter will have a code that is associated with that room when setting up the SARA system. In the case of smoke being detected, this code is wirelessly transmitted and automation rules determines who and how staff or agents will be notified.

Existing smoke detectors that have a relay contact can be made wireless by attaching to a Universal Transmitter,  a generic wireless alerting device that can be attached to anything that has a relay contact closure. The combination might be less expensive than a smoke detector with built-in transmitter but there is additional labour required to wire the two devices together.

The code associated with the detector is sent wirelessly to the automated rules engine, SARA server, so that the exact room can be immediately indicated to the person notified to respond.

Automated Rules Engine

Alerts are wirelessly detected and the code information is sent to a server running an application that uses an automated rules engine. This is the Status Solutions SARA – which stands for Situational Awareness and Response Application.

Status Solution’s SARA can detect an almost unlimited number of alerts – from doors and windows opening and closing, relay contacts, smoke detectors, pendants carried by staff or residents, pull cords, temperature alerts, water/flood alerts and much more. The majority of the devices it monitors are static, meaning they are always in the same physical location. Once the code of the device is sent and detected SARA looks for the rules that have been set up for that device – and automatically runs the sequence. A responder will receive the alert and can deactivate it once they arrive. SARA tracks and reports on this. If not, SARA will wait a pre-programmed time period and then escalate to the next level as specified in the rule. This could be to another staff member, supervisor, manager; it could be a phone call, email, text or any of several other methods. All this information is tracked.

If it is a true emergency, then SARA’s mass notification capabilities can be used to aid in enacting the emergency plan.

Multi-Purpose System

The Status Solution’s SARA can perform mass notification extremely well and cost-effectively. But it can support environmental monitoring, mobile duress, security and much more.

Usually there is one compelling challenge that requires solving immediately and a short term answer using a discrete tool is found.

Organizations are finding that by using a multi-purpose solution like Status Solution’s SARA, staff only have to learn and manage one system.

Wireless, Not WIFI

Status Solutions can install anywhere as it uses a wireless MESH system to manage alerts.

Status Solutions uses a series of wireless repeaters that simply require AC power and can cover vast distances. This means a Status Solutions system can fit into any environment, quickly, simply and cost effectively.

Wireless MESH is not Wifi. So it does not require expensive WiFi access points, does not suffer from Wifi interference and does not load or require upgrades to your data network.

A Wireless MESH solution allows Status Solutions to pinpoint the exact location of mobile duress buttons

Detailed Reporting

Detailed reporting means that organizations can both improve adherence to life safety and security plans, provide proof that actions took place at the specific time.

For public sector organizations Status Solutions provides complete reporting of every alert, the time the alert was received and acknowledged and the time the alert was resolved.

Full Integration

Status Solutions can integrate into a complete range of existing safety systems control panels and sensors such as:

  • Access Control
  • Security Panels
  • Fire Panels
  • Motion detectors
  • Audio Sensors
  • Glass-break detectors
  • Security Cameras
  • Building management systems
  • HVAC
  • Boilers
  • Pools/Spas
  • Fridge/Freezer temperature monitors
  • Moisture/Humidity Detectors

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