Embracing emerging technologies with Comelit-PAC

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Mandy Bowden, Comelit-PAC Fire Manager, investigates how fire safety systems are rapidly evolving to adopt the latest technology

As the industry continues to innovate and adapt, it is poised to redefine standards in fire safety, ensuring comprehensive protection and peace of mind for all.

 We have a duty of care and responsibility to stay one step ahead when it comes to embracing the possibilities.

Not least to counter challenges to the market, with the growth in legislation and the introduction of both the Fire Safety Act and the Building Safety Act requiring much more stringent standards across buildings, from historical sites to modern residential complexes.

 Now is the year of coordinated action for fire safety, where each site has bespoke requirements that must be accommodated.

We are at a crossroads where we can embrace the latest technology to establish more advanced solutions than the “wake and watch’ scenarios, particularly in concrete structures, residential developments and even educational institutions.

Embracing technological innovations

As the industry embraces technological innovations, wireless systems and cloud-based platforms are becoming integral components of modern fire safety solutions.

These advancements enable seamless integration, remote monitoring, and enhanced data analytics, empowering stakeholders with real-time insights and proactive response mechanisms.

Wireless systems offer greater flexibility and scalability, allowing for easier installation and adaptation to evolving needs.

Cloud-based platforms enable centralised management and accessibility, facilitating efficient administration and maintenance of fire safety systems across diverse portfolios.

Meeting end-user and installer needs

As an industry, whilst it is critical to embrace the new technologies available to us, we must align their capabilities with the needs of both end users and installers.

For end-users, our focus is on delivering intuitive, user-friendly solutions that ensure seamless integration into daily operations and provide peace of mind in terms of safety and compliance.

There is also the adaptability of fire safety systems to suit the bespoke requirements of a building and not least blend with their environment, whilst maintaining their safety functionality.

 And we have to be aware that all of this must be achieved with no compromise on style or design.

For installers, simplicity and cost-effectiveness are critical.

This is where the benefits of wireless fire safety systems have proven a success.

 Unlike traditional wired systems, which require extensive cabling and infrastructure, the latest wireless fire alarm systems utilise wireless connectivity for seamless communication between devices.

 All saving time, resources and cost.

Designing for bespoke building requirements

Designing fire safety systems for bespoke building characteristics and requirements for fire safety all can be determined with a detailed risk assessment.

If we take heritage buildings as an example, there is a need to consider factors such as the structure and architecture of the building, the number of occupants, evacuation routes, accessibility requirements, and the presence of valuable artefacts or collections that may require special protection.

By carefully addressing these considerations and collaborating with preservation experts, architects, and fire safety professionals, a fire safety solution can achieve this.

As a balance between preserving their historic significance and implementing robust fire protection measures tailored to their unique challenges and requirements.

Heritage buildings are also subject to strict preservation regulations and guidelines that govern modifications and additions.

Fire safety systems must comply with these regulations while addressing the specific challenges posed by historic structures.

The wireless systems emerging are perfectly suited here, by eliminating the need for wiring and cabling that can be disruptive and damaging to historic building fabric.

The wireless fire alarm system also offers greater flexibility in its placement and configuration of detection devices, allowing for customisation to suit the layout and architectural features of any historical building.

This adaptability ensures comprehensive coverage while accommodating unique structural elements and spatial constraints.

Reducing reliance on waking watch facilities

In line with Government objectives, there is an increased call to find more effective ways to reduce reliance on waking watch facilities.

With our addressable wireless devices, we can identify specific points, areas or zones selectively in a building.

In educational institutions with multiple buildings or wings, point-specific alerting helps localise alarms to affected areas, preventing unnecessary disruption.

Comelit-PAC’s imminent launch of its wireless alarm systems presents a conventional or addressable transceiver which may be installed as a standalone unit with a conventional panel.

 It scales from one transceiver per zone up to a maximum of 5 zones or on the loop of the LogiFire system, with a maximum of 5 transceivers per addressable panel.

Associated voice evacuation systems provide clear, intelligible instructions to occupants during emergencies, guiding them to evacuate safely and calmly.

Pre-recorded messages or live announcements can be broadcast throughout the facility, ensuring effective communication in concrete buildings and large educational campuses.

Remote maintenance and monitoring

Wireless communication technology ensures reliable transmission of alarm signals and emergency notifications, enabling timely response to alerts and incidents.

Mobile applications or web-based platforms provide real-time status updates and offer remote control of system functions, enhancing situational awareness and operational efficiency.

The integration of cloud-based solutions in Comelit-PAC’s fire safety systems proactively meets the growing demand for integrated cloud-based technology and the latest legislative requirements for fire safety.

Facility managers, building owners, and authorised personnel can access real-time data, receive alerts, and perform system diagnostics from anywhere, meeting requirements for weekly testing and providing enhanced situational awareness and appropriate response instantly.

Looking ahead

As we navigate through this era of change and innovation, the future of fire safety systems holds immense promise.

We are keeping an eye on opportunities that can quickly enable predictive analytics and intelligent decision-making.

These capabilities empower systems to analyse vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and anticipate potential hazards before they escalate into emergencies.

In the not-too-distant future, we are excited by the possibilities and potential of AI and machine learning technologies to enhance fire safety by enabling more accurate detection, early warning systems, and adaptive response strategies.

And exploring the integration of AI algorithms into its fire safety solutions to improve detection accuracy, reduce false alarms, and enhance overall system reliability.

Across our global reach and all that we do for our customers and installers, we have an ongoing commitment to sustainability.

 This includes ensuring all our activities encourage environmental resource use.

 It means developing fire safety solutions that are energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and compliant with environmental regulations.

By embracing the latest technology, staying ahead of regulatory requirements, and fostering collaborative partnerships across the industry, we can collectively raise the bar for safety and resilience in the built environment.

At Comelit-PAC, we remain committed to driving positive change and shaping the future of fire safety.

Through continuous innovation, investment in research and development, proactive engagement, and a steadfast dedication to excellence, we can protect assets, and ensure safer, more secure buildings across every sector for generations to come.

This article was originally published in the March 2024 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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