Safety and security is very much a focus for hotels, not only in terms of guest protection, but also in terms of ensuring a safe and secure working environment for staff. All major hotel brands have addressed this need by developing their own standards. This often sees the increasing integration of security, fire and building automation to provide a more effective approach whereby all systems are controlled through one central point. This improves the capability to prevent incidents, as well as providing the means to more effectively manage and respond to them if they do occur, a particularly important factor in hotels, where large numbers of people are often involved.
This integrated approach is well illustrated by a project in Russia for the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), where an innovative all-suite hotel, with 294 rooms to meet the needs of extended-stay guests, is the very latest of the Staybridge Suites chain to be built.
Fire safety systems supplied by Siemens Building Technologies Division, through St Petersburg based Confident, a Siemens Solution Partner, were successfully commissioned and tested prior to the hotel's completion. The contract, signed in April 2010, covered the supply and installation of one of the first Cerberus Pro fire protection systems in Russia - along with a MM8000 danger management station to connect the fire protection system with other security-related subsystems, such as the access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and building automation systems.
The new hotel is the first of four planned in the Russian city currently under negotiation between a number of owners and the IHG, an international hotel company with more than 640,000 rooms and over 4,400 hotels in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group operates seven well-known hotel brands: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood. Staybridge Suites is well established in the USA with 118 hotels already open and the new hotel in St. Petersburg is part of a planned expansion programme across Europe and the Middle East.
Large hotels offer particular challenges to safety and fire protection systems. With so many guests - some still engaging in unauthorised smoking - and hotels invariably having busy kitchens and other hazards, the potential for false alarms is ever-present. Like all other Staybridge Suites, the new hotel is a residential-style hotel for business, relocation or leisure, located close to the commercial and leisure centers of the city. The apartment-style accommodation offers more space than would be found in a conventional hotel room and includes a fully fitted kitchen, where guests can do their own cooking. Reliable fire detection to safeguard the lives of so many guests and staff is obviously a priority, but the elimination of the disruption caused by unwanted alarms - and any ensuing full-scale evacuation of the hotel - is also very important.
|With fully fitted kitchens in the rooms, having reliable a fire detection system and was an important priority|
Cerberus Pro is equally suited to standalone systems or extensive networks such as those needed in large hotel complexes. The sophisticated detection and control features of its products, such as optical, thermal and multi-sensor fire detectors, give speedy, accurate detection with alarm forwarding, allowing operators to assess any situation quickly and correctly. The broad range of specialist detectors includes linear smoke detectors for high-ceiling areas with limited accessibility such as for example in hotel buildings of historical importance. But most importantly, the integrated algorithms and selectable parameter sets of the detectors can be adjusted to prevalent environmental conditions, in order to minimise the possibility of false alarm.
The main priority of the St. Petersburg project for the IHG Group was the gaining of full compliance not only with local Russian fire regulations but also with the requirements of its own risk management team. Having experienced delays to the opening of a previous hotel when a competitor's fire system was installed, IHG's Mr. Jon Arrenberg, Director of Brand Safety Design - EU, ME & Africa, contacted Siemens for support and advice in this local project, acknowledging Siemens' capability to support global customers at all levels. The scalability, ease of configuration and wide range of Siemens' peripheral devices appealed to IHG who look for replicable technologies that can be applied consistently and efficiently in their hotels throughout the world. IHG particularly wanted sounder bases in every room at the St. Petersburg hotel to provide ‘cause and effect' programming that would normally require Programmable Logic Controls, with the additional benefit of full EN 54 compliance. This facilitates the provision of protection in a fully automated way with a specific timing pattern - for example, the phased evacuation of the hotel complex or the integration of smoke and damper controls within high-rise hotel blocks.
"We have an excellent partnership with Siemens. The support and technical expertise that they provide as part of this relationship were important factors in this prestigious project"
The fire protection system in the St. Petersburg hotel comprised three Cerberus Pro control panels and one Cerberus Pro terminal, all connected via a cluster, along with 1,200 smoke detectors (306 with sounder bases), seven heat detectors and 89 manual call points. Cerberus control panels are easy to install, can be integrated into existing IT networks and feature an integrated Ethernet interface for connection to Siemens' MM8000 danger management system. MM8000 is a highly flexible and scalable station that can be adapted to changing requirements any time, enabling centralised alarm management and supervision of a wide range of fire safety, electronic security, and control systems. All are displayed in clearly structured graphic layouts, giving a fast overview. Alarms and messages are listed according to security-relevant priorities, so operators have all relevant information at a glance and, in the event of any incident, are guided step by step through predefined procedures. At the new hotel, the MM8000 system comprised one server and one operator station, with 1600 points for integration.
The systems were installed, commissioned and successfully tested by Siemens Solution Partner, Confident at the end of September 2010. Siemens Solution Partners are selected, certified system integrators around the world, who provide consistent solutions and deliver proven expertise - as well as in-depth application knowledge and industry experience. Siemens provides all its Solution Partners with an extensive repository of tools, training and support in every sector, including smart tools for efficient testing of its products and systems. Petr Kuznetsov, General Director of Confident, said of the Staybridge Suites project - "We have an excellent partnership with Siemens. The support and technical expertise that they provide as part of this relationship were important factors in this prestigious project."
The close relationship and cooperation between its partner and Siemens - particularly the local office - helped secure the IHG contract in the first instance and paid dividends throughout the whole process of supply, installation and successful commissioning. Mr. Arrenberg commented - "Having worked on previous projects with Siemens and their customized hotel solutions that integrate various areas of hotel infrastructure, we were confident in their ability to support us on this project too, at all levels through the combination of customer relationship management, local expertise and technological capability. We were also quickly convinced that their chosen partners on this project, Confident, were highly experienced and would readily be able to complete the awarded scope of work, gaining all necessary approvals and completing comfortably within the demanding time schedules."
For more information, see www.siemens.com/hospitality.