On March 25, Russia experienced its deadliest blaze in nearly a decade, killing 64 people in a mall. The subsequent investigation found a deactivated alarm system was to blame, in violation of safety rules. I can’t stop questioning that if the alarm system’s safety rules were implemented automatically – if it couldn’t have been shut down so easily – could disaster have been avoided? My answer is “yes,” as modern technologies are utilized more and more in fire prevention systems around the world.
As a practitioner in the fire safety field, and with more than 25 years at Honeywell, I’m dedicated to improving fire safety. I know the value of including early detection, monitoring fire prevention equipment through a network, and a system that automatically sends notices and regular reports to building operators. These alerts give adequate warning to people inside the building when there’s an emergency, and most importantly, reduce the risk of human error throughout the process.
Our fire alarm systems are successfully deployed in thousands of buildings and have been protecting people and their properties worldwide for decades. Coupling innovation with a philosophy of putting safety first is one of the biggest reasons we’re a leader in the industry, driving technology and life safety forward. The key to this transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT).
It’s how we evolved from our roots as a manufacturer and became a software industrial, using the cloud to connect edge devices in smarter ways that protect lives and infrastructure better than ever before.
For example, the Venetian Macao, a 39-story luxury hotel and casino resort in Macau owned by the American Las Vegas Sands company, uses our total fire safety solutions. The 10,500,000 square foot (980,000 m2) Venetian Macao is the seventh-largest building in the world by floor area. We recommended Notifier’s ONYX series of intelligent fire alarm control panel to keep pace with the resort’s safety needs. The system includes 49 numbers of Notifier Fire Alarm Control Panels (FACP), 20,000 addressable devices, two NOTI-FIRE-NET fire panel networks and two PC-based graphical workstations for central fire panel network monitoring. Later, when Las Vegas Sands developed Macao’s other two luxury hotels, Cotai Central and the Parisian, the company enhanced the security level with more devices and new digital voice control systems for emergency broadcast in the event of a fire.
IoT allows us to build a much more powerful smart fire alarm and suppression system. With our leading position in both fire alarm and IoT, we can provide an IoT-enabled fire system to ensure instant alerts if there’s a fire. There are three layers in the system.
Traditional smoke detectors are helpful but not particularly “smart.” They have to be wired to fire control panels for full functionality. The Mijia Honeywell Smart smoke detector, co-created by XiaoMi, a well-known Chinese electronics and software company, is easily mounted with a screw or sticker any place you need it. In the event of an alarm, the detectors sound a local alarm and send notification via mobile phone. People are alerted quickly, no matter where they are, which significantly reduces risk of death, injury, and damage to the property.
We also provide different kinds of detectors for smoke detection and gas leak identification, with different IoT communication modes, like NB-IoT and LoRa.
Fire IoT on Honeywell Sentience™
Honeywell Sentience™ is a secure and standards-based IoT software platform that powers our connected solutions. Designed for the data-driven cloud and mobile first and analytics-empowered era, our fire IoT monitors and manages fire-related devices and unifies the foundation to build and deploy connected fire alarm applications. And it does it faster and more cost-effectively. Fire IoT also connects the traditional fire systems, with fire-related personnel, such as building owners, facility operators, and occupants.
Looking at the system architecture above, all fire-related devices at Level 1 (Sensor) and Level 2 (Edge) are linked to Level 4 (Cloud or On-Premise) through Level 3 (Gateway). All the data, like device status, maintenance tracking and workflow information (like the calendar and facility job log) can be ‘excavated’ with at Level 5 (Insight), which results in better fire workflow management, better collaborative operation, and clearer fire safety responsibility. This achieves a comprehensive, enhanced fire safety level, with software applications at Level 6 (Consumption/Application).
In addition, Fire IoT system has an open application programming interface and flexible architecture, so it’s easy to link a non-Honeywell subsystem at Level 1 or Level 2. It’s also flexible enough to combine with non-Honeywell software at Level 6.
Service Oriented Architecture has been a part of the Fire IoT system from day one. Honeywell eVance™ Facility Manager is a cloud-based software service (Software as a service) for remote monitoring of Notifier Fire Alarm system. The software transforms complex and disparate fire alarm panel data into intuitive visualizations and actionable insights. The eVance Facility Manager seamlessly integrates with Notifier™ fire panels and extracts live data providing authorized users access to powerful data analytics, intelligent reports and automatic diagnostic alerts.
Using this software, facility managers can cultivate greater returns from existing infrastructure investments and promote visible and better business outcomes by increasing operational efficiencies, reducing risk and maintenance costs.
Being on the cloud, there is no dedicated ‘on-premise’ server required to host the software and can be accessed from anywhere anytime across the world with an internet enabled device.
As an additional benefit, updates are managed automatically, so customers can always be confident they’re running the latest version of the software. New features are planned for release regularly to track fire system effectiveness, identify fire safety risks earlier, perform predictive maintenance, optimize device inventory, analyze system performance, and run automated reports.
In short, Fire IoT with service-oriented architecture enables multi-site fire management through data analysis via IoT technologies, which makes management more convenient and efficient.
Moreover, our building technologies automates more than 10 million buildings worldwide, helping building owners and operators stay connected and in control of their safety and security, and their comfort, energy efficiency, sustainability and productivity. At Intersec 2018, in Dubai, UAE, we showcased connected hardware and software solutions designed to protect buildings, industries and workers. Connectivity is at the core of everything we do.
Fiona Stanley Hospital, Australia’s flagship healthcare facility, is an exemplary smart building leveraging our building system integration technology to make it one of the first “smart” digital hospitals in the region. We provide the hospital with Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) as a central integration platform. The building management system formed a true, integrated backbone for the smart hospital, providing a pathway for the hospital to leverage the connectivity of other systems, as well. With EBI at the core, the hospital wove in other connected systems, such as Energy Manager that provides campus-wide energy monitoring and controlling, and a security management system that safely manages incidents as they occur across campus. Thus the hospital is in tune with the ultimate objective of providing the best patient care possible.
In China, urbanization is driving huge infrastructure investments in cities, including the booming utility tunnel construction. Utility tunnels are a critical component of smart city infrastructure. These underground passages house utility lines for electricity, gas, and water supply, sewer pipes, and telecommunication cables. To build an effective central monitoring and control management system, cities need a platform for communication between the various subsystems. Our IUT Platform creates efficiency and reliability in safety, security and environment control within the tunnels. With 13 IUT projects secured in 2017, we are demonstrating our comprehensive expertise in total building solutions.
No doubt, our transformation into a premier software-industry company puts us in a unique position to match our deep domain expertise and great physical products, with an intimate understanding of our customers’ needs to create tremendous value.
It’s more important than ever before to improve fire safety, personal and property security, and the overall living environment in buildings.
For more information, go to www.Honeywell.com