Dorset County Hospital undertakes substantial upgrade of fire systems

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Major upgrade to improve hospital safety

Dorset County Hospital, located in Dorchester, has successfully completed an extensive upgrade of its fire systems, implementing 2,700 Apollo Discovery fire detection devices amidst various challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic and the complexity of the hospital buildings. The hospital, a foundation trust, is home to 18 wards, 375 beds, and employs more than 3,300 staff. The old fire system, now outdated and inadequate, was replaced to enhance the safety of the buildings and to decrease the time taken for testing and operation of the fire system.

Navigating the hurdles of system installation

Installation teams faced the daunting task of implementing the new fire system while ensuring the hospital remained fully operational around the clock. This effort was further complicated by the need to observe additional safety measures imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Regardless of these complications, the installation was executed with minimal disturbance to the hospital’s services.

A tailored fire system solution

Mike Sutton, Regional Sales Manager – South at Apollo, spoke on the undertaking: “Our team worked closely with Dorset County Hospital to specify a fire system that meets the current needs of the site, and provides the option for future expansion or upgrades. About 2,700 multi-sensor devices were installed throughout the hospital, paired with an advanced fire panel, offering variable sensitivity settings to ensure optimal protection for patients, staff and visitors.”

Sutton further added: “The Hospital’s priority was to significantly improve fire safety across all its buildings, while reducing the required input from its staff and external fire engineers. This was achieved by streamlining the testing regime and decreasing the need for repairs and maintenance. Transitioning from a ‘make do and mend’ approach to the installation of a completely new fire system has significantly reduced the ongoing costs of testing and maintenance.”

Features and benefits of the new fire detection system

The fire detection devices installed are part of an innovative line of detectors, offering high versatility for complex environments. These detectors provide reliable fire detection and false alarm management, making them an ideal choice for facilities requiring a sophisticated fire system. The detectors feature five modes of operation, all approved to EN54-23 standards, allowing users to adjust the sensitivity based on the specific environment in which they are installed.

Roy Pinder, Fire Safety Advisor for the Dorset County Hospital, said: “The installation of the new fire system was particularly challenging during the pandemic, which consequently caused some delays. This has been a major project for the trust and could not have been delivered without the support of the staff and the estates team. Our new fire system provides greater versatility and flexibility.”

Superior detection capabilities and proactive safety measures

Apollos’ fire detection system is lauded for its superior detection capabilities, enhanced diagnostics, and maintenance features. The devices integrate seamlessly with the fire panel, providing a comprehensive fire safety solution. With self-monitoring capabilities, these detectors can identify and report potential issues before they escalate, ensuring the highest level of protection at all times. The range includes various detectors, including optical smoke detectors, heat detectors, and detectors with integrated carbon monoxide sensing, providing a holistic solution for diverse fire system needs.

The manufacturer of the fire detection devices, based in Havant, Hampshire, specialises in designing and manufacturing high-quality fire detection solutions. These protect people from fire in over 100 countries around the world. Since 1983, the company has been a part of a FTSE 100-listed group of life-saving technology companies.

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