Richard S. Conner
New notification appliances from Silent Knight provide code-required low-frequency output Just before the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) World Safety Conference and Expo, June 22-25 in Chicago, Honeywell unveiled new solutions and features designed to boost life safety and provide more intuitive installations. S3 series control/communicator A “virtual press conference” unveiling the announcements was kicked off by Beth Welch, manager of public relations and social media engagement. She highlighted technology, code requirements and new market demand. Presenters included: Brian Carlson, manager of strategic marketing, Gamewell-FCI; Susan Adam, marketing director, NOTIFIER; Richard Conner, director of marketing, Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight; Christa Poss, senior manager of product marketing, System Sensor; Charles Simek, industrial, product and technology specialist, Honeywell Industrial Safety; and Gene Pecora, business leader, industrial fire, Honeywell Fire Safety. Brian Carlson, Gamewell-FCI, manager of strategic marketing, outlined intuitive capabilities of the new S3 Series control/communicator designed for small- to mid-sized buildings. The S3 Series includes touchscreen technology that allows for greater confidence and ease of use during fire alarm programming and event control. “Some of the most commonly heard feedback is that there is some fear of fire alarms and what buttons to push during an event. We’ve taken the fear out of using fire alarm systems with the S3 Series. The focus is on mistake-free operation, and everything on the keypad is highlighted. This guides the user on exactly what to do during an emergency so they can have the confidence to press the right button and move on. Five custom shortcut buttons provide simple system control,” Carlson says. The S-3 Series comes with a built-in Ethernet port for programming, monitoring and diagnostics. “IP connectivity is critical,” adds Carlson. “Fire protection integrators can connect to the system via a smartphone, so they can see what’s happening on site.” New opportunities in wireless fire detection Honeywell also outlined new opportunities in wireless fire detection and protection, focusing on the Smart Wireless Integrated Fire Technology (SWIFT), introduced at the 2014 NFPA Conference & Expo. According to Susan Adam, marketing director for NOTIFIER, SWIFT offers systems integrators the ability to offer fast and flexible installation, a less evasive specification and heightened solution reliability. “SWIFT greatly expands the array of applications for wireless systems and is perfect for temporary protection and detection, even through metal construction.” SWIFT, she says, was recently deployed at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail Valley in Avon, Colo. "Fire protection integrators can connect to the system via a smartphone, so they can see what’s happening on site", says Brian Carlson of Gamewell-FCI Located on the edge of the ski course was a temporary facility called the VIP Building, with walls of glass that allowed spectators to watch the races outside the windows while staying indoors. Though not required by local code enforcement to install a fire alarm system within the temporary buildings, organisers did so as a precaution. “They concluded it would be a good idea to have some form of fire protection in the buildings,” says Tim Ward, NICET IV, general manager at Commercial Specialists of Western Colorado. The structures would be disassembled after the race, so organisers did not want to waste time pulling wires across the buildings to support the fire alarm system’s assorted field devices. Coupled with a tight deadline for installation and tear-down, it made sense to turn to wireless smoke detectors. “Because of the ease of installation, it was just the perfect solution to go wireless,” says Joe Quinn, service manager at Commercial Specialists of Western Colorado. “By running a wireless system, we knew it would be beneficial because all we would have to do is place our bases and do the programming.” Low frequency for waking Low frequency was also on the press conference agenda. Richard Conner, director of Marketing for Silent Knight, says new research indicates that a signal or tone at 520 Hz is more effective at waking building occupants, including those with mild to severe hearing loss. The expanded line of the Silent Knight IntelliKnight 5820XL-EVS emergency voice system now includes SpectrAlert® low frequency sounders and sounder bases. "SWIFT greatly expands the array of applications for wireless systems and is perfect for temporary protection and detection, even through metal construction", says Susan Adam, marketing director for NOTIFIER Conner says the International Building Code 2012 and others increasingly recognise the use of low frequency notification in certain applications, especially sleeping areas such as dormitories, hotels and motels. Current versions of Silent Knight detectors and traditional sounder bases can be upgraded simply by replacing the base with the new low frequency version. Other highlights of the press conference included the announcement that the FAAST XS Aspirating Smoke Detectors will soon be available for smaller applications up to 5,000 square feet, said Christa Poss, senior manager of product marketing, System Sensor. “The variable speed fan allows users to select the best coverage for their space,” she adds. Finally, Honeywell announced a new line of Industrial Fire and Gas Protection products featuring the HS81-HS Controller, designed for hazard monitoring and control at industrial sites such as oil and gas facilities and petrochemical processing plants. Gene Pecora, business leader, industrial fire, Honeywell Fire Safety, said the oil and gas industry and fracking are driving the construction of new facilities in the Americas and the world and demand for fire protection equipment, such as this fire and gas controller, that efficiently ties everything together with the plant safety system. “This is an area where damage, economic and structural, can be devastating,” Pecora says. The HS81-HS Controller performs flame, smoke, and gas detection and extinguishing/agent release, and seamlessly interfaces with plant safety and control systems through multiple protocols.