With high-rise residential building owners and managers under pressure to be ready for the new BS8629 evacuation-control regulations, global wireless fire-detection and alarm devices leader Hyfire has launched EvacWireless, offering rapid installation, simplified maintenance and minimal installation disruption.
The British Standard BS8629, introduced in England and Wales in November 2019, and now mandatory in Scotland, applies to many high-rise residential buildings and identifies the critical design criteria required to achieve an effective evacuation, controlled by the fire and rescue services. The standard is applicable to both new and existing buildings, currently covering all residential properties over 18m, and it provides recommendations about the evacuation alert system comprising the evacuation alert control indicating equipment (EACIE), along with the audible and visual alarm devices, to ensure simple, consistent and intuitive operation.
Des Dukes, Hyfire’s in house expert on BS8629, said: ‘With an upcoming requirement to install these systems, and the necessity to minimize one-on-one contact created by the current pandemic crisis, we feel that wireless is the obvious answer to meeting the requirements of BS8629. Our EvacWireless solution involves minimal cabling and, like all Hyfire systems, devices can be pre-programmed offsite to reduce contact between installers and building residents.’
To ensure maximum reliability and system integrity, BS8629 systems must function independently of the fire detection and alarm system, and from other building control systems and equipment such as lifts, gas valves, air-handling systems or smoke-control systems. The system features evacuation alert control indicating equipment that can be operated by fire and rescue services, along with audible and visual alarm devices in each apartment, providing clear evacuation signals to occupants.
Des added: ‘The challenge for the fire industry is how to install evacuation devices in a large number of residential units, while minimizing contact with, and inconvenience for, residents, complying with health and safety regulations, and keeping to project timelines and costs. EvacWireless facilitates all of these, while still offering full compliance with BS8629 Section 16 and BS5839-1:2017.’
Ease of use and intuitive functionality are a key element of the BS8629 regulations, so EvacWireless is focused on simplifying and supporting fire and rescue service operations in high-rise buildings. Instead of an LED display, the system uses a series of vertically mounted manual switches, mirroring the storeys of the building, with adjacent LEDs to notify a fault or to indicate that the evacuation zone is switched on. The Hyfire solution uses the EvacGo evacuation alert panel developed by Advanced, using MxPro 5 Advanced technology.
Des concluded: ‘The integrity of any BS8629 evacuation system is fundamental, as it is assumed that the fire will already have taken hold when the operation of the evacuation system is required. This makes a wireless evacuation system an even more logical option, as cable infrastructure can often be vulnerable to fire damage, hence the requirement for circuit isolators to be installed at the point of entry and exit to a zone, and prior to cable penetration into the flat. In short, the less cabling in the system the better.’
The team at Hyfire is hosting free webinars and Q&As about the new BS8629 Standard, its recommendations and the critical design criteria. To learn what BS8629 means for high-rise buildings, how the standards should be applied and how Hyfire wireless devices can help achieve BS8629 quickly and economically, register your interest on the Hyfire website at www.sterlingsafety.co.uk/contact-form and the team will be in touch with details of the next available session.
Hyfire was launched as Sterling Safety Systems in 2002, bringing to market some of the first commercial wireless detection and alarm devices fully certified to EN54. Since then, the Hyfire brand has become synonymous with quality, reliability and innovation in the commercial fire sector. Hyfire devices come with a five-year warranty, backed up by a dedicated partner programme, to ensure the best survey, installation, commissioning, after sales service and exceptional technical support.
For more information, go to www.sterlingsafety.co.uk