CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Intelligent Fire Detection Replaces Waking Watch Scheme in North London High-rise Blocks

Ekho, the newest hybrid wireless fire detection solution from Hochiki, has been installed in six blocks of apartment buildings operated by a North London borough.

EN54-25 approved and RED compliant, the solution uses the latest in radio networking technology and provides a robust ‘always on’ network of devices which automatically adapt to changing environmental conditions. It was this innovative design element that led Fire Alarms Fabrication Services (FAFS) to choose Hochiki to consult on their latest project in a North London borough.

Waking Watch schemes have been used for the last few years to provide 24/7 monitoring of buildings identified as fire risks due to dangerous cladding. With the inherent high operational costs, and the risk of human error, building owners and local authorities are looking to life safety manufacturers and installers to help with more reliable and cost-effective alternatives.

The project covered a huge site with six buildings with 16 floors each. A Waking Watch team of six patrolled the stairs, corridors, and communal areas at a cost of £10,000 per week. However, because the teams could not be in all places, at all times, they might not be able to detect a fire escalating up the outside on the cladding. To add to this Waking Watch teams are not permitted to enter private apartments meaning early detection could be missed here too.

Kevin Dodge, sales account manager at Fire Alarms Fabrication Services (FAFS), comments: “The technology used in the Ekho devices helps residents feel safer compared to relying on a team of people prone to human error. The building owners are reassured due to the self-configuring mesh network which keeps the devices connected and communicating with the fire panel 24/7”

“This was an incredibly complex and highly involved project, we worked closely with the team at Hochiki who consulted on best devices for this project. The Ekho range offered a wireless solution which allowed us to work around issues such as cabling inside private spaces, and allowed for early detection and, most importantly, detection outside of the building on cladding by installing heat sensor devices adjacent to every single window, including the windows for individual dwellings. The solution is ultra-dependable and much more cost effective than the Waking Watch scheme that was in place in these buildings.”

Regional sales manager, Tony Obadipe, adds: “We are pleased that our product range is making such an enormous difference in keeping people safe. The fact that our technology is also helping to drive huge cost efficiencies for our partners and their end users is a bonus. In the current economic climate this cost saving is essential, especially for local authorities.

We are incredibly proud of our teams that have been involved in this project, it really is protecting people’s lives”

CAMFIL HVAC Filtration Solutions

Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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