fire safety

Advances in fire alarm technology

Tyco's Peter Redfern shares the benefits of addressable notification systems
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fire alarm technology is an important consideration for any apartment building owner today. By installing a current system featuring the latest advances, facility owners and managers can better commit to the safety of an apartment building’s occupants and help to increase operational efficiency. Addressable notification technology for fire alarm systems uses targeted audio messaging that guides apartment residents to safety and offers directional assistance in a range of emergency situations, including weather related issues or external threats. This technology helps ensure the safety of the residents by providing clear communication and direction, whether that be to shelter in place or move to a different location.

To find out more about the many benefits of this technology, read the following insights from industry expert Peter Redfern, Commercial Sales Leader at Tyco Integrated Fire & Security, Canada.

How has the technology changed?

Gone are the days where building owners needed to wire each device with conventional systems. Addressable notification systems leverage “smart” technology that differentiates them from conventional systems that are hardware-based. Facility managers are now able to access and test systems remotely from a central location without causing loud, time consuming maintenance disruptions for apartment occupants. With conventional systems, only the wiring to each device is supervised, so manual tests must be done to determine operational readiness of a notification appliance. Addressable technology helps protect residents while giving facility managers a convenient and cost effective method for notification.

What are the benefits?

Although addressable notification is not a new technology its value can be unprecedented, particularly for fire alarm systems. Some of the top benefits include:

• Targeted messaging for enhanced emergency communication. Addressable speakers have the capability to deliver targeted audio messages to specific areas within an apartment building, including in stairways, main lobbies and outside apartments depending on where the concern is. In times of emergency, this targeted audio-messaging enables the delivery of critical, time-sensitive and event-specific information to designated areas of an apartment building.

• Improved audibility and intelligibility. Emergency situations can be uneasy and concerning, and residents may not always know the next best steps. Improved, targeted messaging technology in offers guidance and clear direction to help guide residents to safety and so they do not have to think twice about where to go in the case of an emergency.

• Easier testing and maintenance (appliance self-testing). As today’s lifestyle is more on-the-go than ever, self-testing capability allows devices to be remotely activated and tested, saving residents the aggravation of disturbances and apartment owners time. Furthermore, self-tests can either be run manually, or scheduled to run automatically, allowing testing to be done at the most convenient time for building occupants.

• Flexible design and improved aesthetics. The wiring architecture of addressable speakers is extremely flexible, which means easier, more efficient design for building engineers and owners. The system is also highly scalable, allowing facility managers to easily accommodate a growing amount of work as apartments grow and the safety needs of residents evolve.

• Cost-efficient installation and ownership. Apartment building budgets are an ongoing task and can be a challenge when thinking about integrating security, which is why it’s important for apartment owners to focus on cutting costs while not skimping on security technology. The system’s easy, cost-efficient installation, increased wiring efficiency and reduction in equipment result in lower maintenance costs and ultimately a lower cost of ownership. These systems can help to save time and money for building owners, while providing residents with the safety they deserve and expect.

What’s in it for you?

Addressable fire alarm notification systems help to ensure the highest level of safety for apartment occupants through intelligent messaging that enhances emergency communication, offering residents guidance in the event of an emergency. Additionally, easy and cost-effective integration, and remote access increase the operational efficiency for facility managers and building owners, keeping apartment residents happy as a result of less disturbance and better upkeep.

These benefits allow both the residents of the apartment and those in charge of building operations to profit from addressable fire alarm technology. Choosing to invest in the latest addressable technology the industry has to offer is an investment in running a smooth and efficient business, while also offering the most robust safety and cost-effective solutions available.

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