IFSJ Exclusive: Versatile Fire Safety Solutions from Advanced

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Sasi Kumar, Commercial Manager Middle East and Africa at Advanced, speaks about Intersec and current trends in the GCC

Are you looking forward to Intersec 2023? We’re delighted to be exhibiting at Intersec again and demonstrating why we are a ‘one-stop shop’ for a variety of fire-safety needs across a wide range of different sites and sectors – from high-rise and infrastructure to hospitality and commercial. As well as showcasing some innovative new and updated products we will also be demonstrating the benefits of each and the problems they can solve.

What new products is Advanced showcasing this year?

Our AxisGo will be on our stand, it is the new-generation single-loop non-networkable fire panel that is versatile and packed with premium features, offering a powerful option for protecting smaller sites. AxisGo gives access to Advanced’s Axis EN range performance, quality, and ease of use but in a simpler, non[1]networkable format for complete fire protection peace of mind. We’ll be demonstrating AxisGo and outlining the typical settings where it can be used, such as villa projects and smaller commercial sites. Visitors to Intersec will also be able to see the benefits of AxisGo being available as a wired, wireless or hybrid system.

What requirements does the GCC have compared with other regions?

The Middle East is a unique market with both EN and UL solutions being used. GCC customers can be disappointed if a fire system doesn’t meet the standard they require on a project, but we offer solutions for both standards in our Axis EN and Axis AX product ranges respectively. Few competitors are able to match us from that respect and this flexibility is valued by our GCC customers.

We will have our Axis ranges, with solutions for both EN and UL standards on show. The Axis ranges are not only robust and versatile, but also easy to use – from installation and commissioning to servicing, maintenance and day-to-day operation.

Providing powerful networking capacity, the Axis EN system supports robust networks of up to 200 panels per network. Networks can also be combined to create very large fire systems making the Axis EN ideal for complex, large-scale installations. Whether networking high-risk sites with complicated cause and effect, remotely monitoring networked sites, or integrating with building management systems, intuitive software and panel navigation make setup straightforward.

Meanwhile, the UL 864-approved Axis AX fire system makes light work of integrating the smoke control and audio or voice options which are frequently required for fire systems in the Middle East. The flexible Axis AX offers integrated audio for automatic (and manual) fire alarm signalling and live voice paging during an emergency. The system also provides access to DynamixSmoke, a revolutionary approach to smoke control that radically reduces the time and associated costs of configuring fans and dampers.

What trends are you seeing in wireless technology?

 Versatility is becoming key in wireless technology. We are therefore seeing heightened interest in both our Axis EN wireless system and our MxPro 5 and Go open protocol solutions. Open protocol fire panels offer great versatility by allowing customers to choose from a range of different leading detector protocols to suit individual sites and needs.

We are also seeing a growth in hybrid wireless solutions. While many companies offer wired or wireless systems, we can offer both as well as combining wired and wireless elements in one system. This versatility is ideal for existing systems requiring expansions or upgrades in settings where fire system work needs to have minimum disturbance.

What is the most common question installers ask when they come to your stand at Intersec?

They ask about false alarms – these can cause financial, operational and reputational damage, as well as costly downtime. Where they occur frequently, they can even put lives at risk through fire alarm complacency.

Our solution is AlarmCalm which allows easy, flexible configuration of false alarm strategies. It provides unprecedented control of verification and investigation delays thanks to its unique use of ‘building areas’, independent of fire zones, for programming. This feature allows precise application of different false alarm strategies across various parts of a building. Kitchens, bathrooms and conference rooms in a hotel for example require very different approaches and AlarmCalm provides plenty of freedom to choose exactly the right one.

What will visitors be looking for at Intersec when it comes to fire systems?

Reliability and quality of product – customers want complete peace of mind. We’re proud our UK-made products are proven to be robust, reliable, resilient and efficient. Some of our systems which were installed way back in 1999 are still working in 2022.

Innovation – specialist fire system manufacturers like Advanced have the innovation expertise to be able to build what the customer wants and turn things around quickly. We offer our AdSpecials service for more complex sites requiring customised fire safety equipment and we can provide both EN and UL systems as well as extinguishing systems, 100% redundant backup – and more.

Will you have any products on show for critical and high-risk sites?

Yes, we will have our ExGo gas extinguishing panels on display. It is vital to be able to protect critical infrastructure, data centres and sensitive sites where water extinguishing could destroy irreplaceable assets, so gas extinguishing is required. ExGo provides the control for the extinguishing system and is certified to extinguishing system standards.

We will also have on show our specialist redundant panel that kicks in if the main fire panel stops working and so maintains fire protection. It’s ideal for big oil and gas power plants, manufacturing, datacentres and places requiring uninterrupted fire protection. We provide a 100% hot redundant panel so users have the assurance the fire system will continue to work should a fire panel fail as the redundant panel takes over completely. This also allows repairs and maintenance to take place without any operational downtime.

What are the current trends in the Middle East when it comes to fire systems?

Most high-rise buildings require an option of voice activation but issues can arise if the audio doesn’t sync and people are able to hear multiple messages at once. To solve this our Axis AX range features PerfectSync which ensures audio synchronisation across the entire network to avoid confusion by a mixed message. This includes large networks where we are able to deliver the message from the first panel to the 200th with highly synchronised fast messaging to help people evacuate faster in case of fire.

Is building management system (BMS) connectivity important?

As buildings become increasingly complex and we see the rise in smart buildings, the use of BMS continues to grow. There has been a rise in open communication protocols such as BACnet and Modbus which allow third-party devices, such as fire panels, to be easily integrated with the BMS.

What support does Advanced provide to back up its products?

We have a highly experienced technical support team. They offer support from presale, through design and installation to maintenance. We also provide training and want users to be confident they are specifying and installing the right solution for their customers every time. Plus, this is all backed up with a good warranty for extra peace of mind.

How does Advanced see the GCC market?

We’re committed to the GCC market and are expanding our presence for the long term and we’re recruiting in the region to expand our sales and support teams. Advanced has distribution partners in UAE, Oman and South Africa and we are actively looking for partners in the rest of the GCC and beyond, as well as OEM partnerships across the world.

Visit Advanced at Intersec on 17-19 January at stand F24, Hall 4. For further information about Advanced and its products tel: +971-504854165 email: [email protected] or visit: https://uk.advancedco.com

This article was originally published in the January edition of IFSJ. To read your FREE digital copy, click here.

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