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Rochdale residents safeguarded by installation of wireless devices

29 March 2022

RESIDENTS OF the College Bank high-rise development in the heart of Rochdale are now being protected by cutting-edge fire safety systems, with wireless devices having been supplied by Hyfire and installed by ABCA Systems.

To complement the ‘Waking Watch’ patrol service on site, the seven residential tower blocks at College Bank, which are owned by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, now feature BS 5839-compliant L5 fire systems in addition to BS 8629 evacuation management systems.

Anthony McKinnon, contracts director at ABCA Systems, commented: “This is one of the largest contracts we’ve been asked to deliver in order to help our clients meet new legislative and regulatory standards for high-rise residential blocks in the UK. Wireless devices were a great choice. Not only are they easier to install, but they also reduce the impact on the interior aesthetics and fabric of the building.”

McKinnon continued: “We have a long-standing partnership with Hyfire and the company’s new Taurus range of wireless devices is the equal of any wired alternative, so we had no hesitation in recommending this solution for College Bank, alongside Advanced MxPro fire panels.”

The installation process for the system was significantly streamlined by the use of wireless devices, with wiring reduced by around 90%.

In conclusion, McKinnon noted: “The success of this project and the experience it has delivered puts ABCA Systems in a great position to reapply this solution to other high-rise developments with a similar need.”

Communication channels

Robert Bruce, Hyfire’s regional sales manager, stated: “This was a fantastic project to be involved in. ABCA Systems has delivered a first-class installation. The client brief allowed us to showcase the Taurus system being used to reduce the need for a ‘Waking Watch’, in conjunction with a BS 8629 EvacWireless system. Our Network Optimiser technology gives us 60 communication channels, allowing us to install the wireless systems in all seven blocks without any interference and channel conflict.”

Further, Bruce noted: “Working to a tight project timescale for the installation of both systems, with residents still in situ, it was also important for us to have the ability to pre-programme the devices off-site before installing them in their final locations. The power and flexibility of the TauREX software allowed us to configure the systems remotely. Once installed in their final location, it was simple to ‘wake up’ these devices so that they can report back to the main control panel.”

Scott Lawson, fire risk manager with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, informed Fire Safety Matters: “The tower blocks at College Bank are part of a vital regeneration project for Rochdale town centre. While there will be big long-term changes affecting these blocks, we are doing everything we can to ensure residents are kept safe throughout the regeneration, including investing in these alarm systems.”

Lawson continued: “The flexibility of the Taurus devices made them really suitable for a quick installation to meet the needs of residents. This was also our first experience of commissioning a new BS 8629-compliant system. Again, a Hyfire EvacWireless system, based on the Advanced EvacGo panel, was our first choice for these blocks.”

Detectors and control units

Hyfire offers commercial standard wireless fire devices ranging from optical, multi-criteria and heat detectors through to notification, alarm, interface and control units, all of them fully certified to EN54. All products are fully compliant with BS 5839 Part 1.

Fire panels are wired via a loop to translators, from which wireless devices can be used on their own to build fully wireless systems of virtually any size, or otherwise mixed with Hyfire’s wired products to provide “seamless” hybrid solutions, in turn offering total flexibility for specifiers and installers.

The Taurus solution features Pathfinder technology, which allows the devices to communicate over 1 km, point-to-point in open air, and even further in those applications where expansion hops are used. Antenna technology has been optimised to allow communication across different frequencies and environments, which means that Taurus can satisfy project requirements with less equipment and fewer batteries.

*Further information is available online at www.hyfirewireless.com