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16/07/2018 / Graham Lowe

Record Emergency Lighting Fine of £400,000

Fined 400K - 720

A private landlord has been fined a record £400,000 over the lack of emergency lighting and other breaches of fire health and safety legislation (luxreview, 2018). It is therefore the perfect time to remind building owners, installers, architects and consultants of the revisions made to BS 5266-1 2016. Please note, this blog has been written to provide essential information on key changes found in BS 5266-1 2016, but should never be utilised as a substitute for the standard itself.

 

  1. Emergency Safety Lighting

BS 5266 now acknowledges that it is not always practical to fully evacuate a building, especially in care homes and hospitals where building occupants might be elderly or infirm. The standard therefore accepts that, a ‘stay put’ strategy may be the most appropriate option when no other risk has been identified, and has introduced the concept of ‘Emergency Safety Lighting’. Emergency Safety Lighting should provide a safe working environment for those who remain in the building; a risk assessment should therefore determine whether any additional precautions should be taken (for example, higher levels of illuminance and/or additional signage). For more information on Emergency Safety Lighting, please read our earlier blog.

 

  1. Maintenance and Repair

Information regarding routine inspections and testing has been added under Clause 12 and pays particular attention to the need to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken during times when the system is not fully operable. With this in mind, there is also a strong recommendation to ensure that essential service spares are kept onsite to minimise system down time in the event of a failure. Further information regarding service and repair can be found under Clause 13, where it also recommends monthly testing and steers the installer towards self-testing systems.

 

  1. Auditable Documents

As in previous versions of the standard, BS 5266-1 2016 strongly recommends that the responsible person maintains accurate installation and maintenance records for auditing purposes. The standard provides various model documents for this purpose:

  • Annex H – Model completion certificate
  • Annex I – Model certificate for completion of small new installations
  • Annex J – Emergency Lighting Log Book
  • Annex K – Model certificate for verification of existing installations
  • Annex L – Additional guidance on the compliance checklist and report for an existing site
  • Annex M – Model periodic inspection and test certificate

Annex K and Annex L contain new information regarding existing installations. Instead of condemning an emergency lighting system when an appropriate log book and/ or certification cannot be provided, K1 and K2 have been introduced as a way of checking and validating the existing system. K1 is a model certificate of completion, which should be signed by the responsible person after the check list and report (model K2) has been completed. Please note, this means that the certificate designed for small emergency lighting installations, not exceeding 25 self-contained luminaires, is no longer a dual-purpose certificate.

 

We hope this blog has provided some useful information. If you would like access to the model auditable documents, these can be found at the bottom of our FIREscape Emergency Lighting web page.

05/06/2018 / Graham Lowe

No Margin for Error in the Life Safety Sector

JayOliverBlog

When it comes to manufacturing life safety solutions, there is no margin for error. In our latest blog, Jay Oliver, Production Manager at Hochiki Europe, discusses how careful planning and innovative production processes ensure that the highest quality products are manufactured on time, every time.

At Hochiki Europe, our Production department is, of course, central to meeting our customers’ requirements – both in terms of creating the life safety solutions we offer as well as the manner in which they receive them. In my role, I oversee and support the operations of both the Production and Production Engineering teams which help make this possible.

The two divisions have a joint responsibility for the manufacture and assembly of our life safety systems. On the Production Engineering side, this means keeping all machinery in full working order so processes can be completed efficiently. For those in production, it is about having the right amount of resource available at all times so components can be readily assembled, packaged and shipped as required.

Our production schedule is heavily dictated by sales to ensure efficiency, with products being manufactured in line with customer demand. That said, we also keep reserve stocks of some products so customers can continue to get the life safety products they need, when they need them, in line with Hochiki Europe’s next day delivery policy. Having production forecasts in place to maintain this reserve stock of products is key. We work closely with our suppliers to make sure we have all the required components for our solutions at all times, which keeps processes running smoothly.

When it comes to bringing new products and systems into our production schedule, we operate a lean manufacturing process. Departments from across the business, including design and technical, come together to understand how we can manufacture high-quality products in a timely and cost-effective way. Once a plan is in place, a product will go into pre-production and a set number of units will be built. This process will then be reviewed to check for ways to increase productivity before mass production. By understanding the different elements of the production process, we are able to constantly review and adapt our practices, so we can continually improve as a manufacturer.

This level of review also feeds into our day to day working within our Production division, and real-time feedback is shared via screens on the factory floor. In the past, this kind of process was done with paper systems which did not always provide the most recent data, and consequently, production was not adequately adjusted to meet targets.

Another part of our production that sets us apart from other life safety manufacturers is our solid smoke testing procedure. Incorporated into our manufacturing equipment is a tool that calibrates our smoke detectors and carries out a smoke test in as few as 15 seconds.

Our production capabilities have grown exponentially in recent years, and our manufacturing output now extends beyond traditional fire detection equipment to accessories, modules and emergency lighting. We’ve also been making the most of our existing efficiencies when developing new products. Earlier this year, we shipped one of our production lines from our Japanese factory to our Gillingham site, solely to manufacture our ACC range. It is processes like this that make Hochiki Europe and our ways of working so unique.

Looking ahead to the next 100 years, we are looking to further expand our production and increase our capacity for the coming year. At the same time, we are also adapting our current processes in line with the latest technological advances. Components are getting smaller, some of which are just the size of a pin head so we’re having to amend our assembly lines to suit this miniaturisation. With this approach, and our new machinery, we are hoping to grow our output by 130%.

This kind of investment will go a long way in improving our productivity, which is already well above target. For example, Hochiki Europe achieved its Q2 targets on both performance and outputs at the end of Q1, and compared to last year, the company is 126% up on its production capabilities. These results are testament to our extensive production planning.

Technology is getting smarter and at Hochiki Europe, we are working to find ways to stay ahead of the curve. By continuing with our rigorous production review process, we can continue to deliver the most robust and dependable life safety solutions promptly, efficiently and effectively.

Jay Oliver is Production Manager at Hochiki Europe. Having joined the business in 1993, Jay has extensive experience in planning and managing production processes. He has been in the role of Production Manager for 12 years and is responsible for running the production department ensuring it supports Hochiki Europe’s wider business objectives.

For more information about Hochiki Europe, and our products, visit www.hochikieurope.com

14/05/2018 / Graham Lowe

Mitigating Risk to Ensure Global Life Safety Compliance

ShaneBartlettBlog

Manufacturing life safety products for the global marketplace often means navigating a complex, ever-changing landscape of compliance and certification. At Hochiki Europe, my responsibility is to ensure we communicate effectively as a team and that our innovative products meet current and future internationally-agreed standards.

Managing differing standards

As Hochiki Europe’s compliance manager, I work in the company’s recently expanded UK headquarters in Kent with my team, helping cover compliance in terms of quality, health, safety, and environmental standards. This involves a vast array of different daily tasks, including liaising with industry accreditors, managing workflows, talking to customers about their individual requirements and ensuring we can meet their expectations.

Fire safety system standards vary around the world. For example, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) sets internationally agreed guidelines for products entering the European market place. At the same time, UL covers products entering the Middle East and American markets. For this reason, we need to make sure the devices we’re creating meet or exceed these global standards, so our customers can rest assured they’re receiving ultra-reliable products of the highest quality.

Success through collaboration

It’s been an extremely busy year for us at Hochiki Europe, with a record year in terms of business success, and the compliance team has worked tirelessly to support sales in regions around the world. There’s also a lot going on over the next few months with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) set to completely shake up the way companies interact with their customers. Here, we’re on track to be fully-compliant with the new regulations by the time they come into force and we’re working closely with our suppliers to make sure they are as well. We’re also working on a new integrated management system – which will guarantee a ‘one system fits all’ approach for all of our departments and stakeholders when dealing with compliance processes.

Although it has been a busy time for our department, it’s also been successful in a number of ways. In March 2017, we became the first fire safety business to be awarded both ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 standards. This was a fantastic achievement and completely down to effective team work and communication throughout the company. ISO 9001 sets the internationally recognised benchmark for quality management systems while ISO 14001 looks at how businesses manage their environmental responsibilities. To have achieved both of these accreditations throughout the business is a massive achievement and everyone involved should be extremely proud of the work they’ve done.

In terms of our RMA (return material authorisation) processes, we’ve also made great strides in this area recently. Our customers can now call us with any concerns around products, be dealt with immediately and be given a unique number once they’ve given us some basic information. Ultimately, we aim to complete a full investigation into the matter within 30 days.

Ensuring we can identify risks and opportunities quickly means we can make continual improvements to all our processes and pass the benefits on to our customers. This is why we adopt a systematic approach to product approvals, making sure every issue is dealt with in a timely manner. Currently, Hochiki Europe is leading the way in terms of creating solutions which are synonymous with quality and reliability. By keeping them certified with the latest standards and by implementing processes which ensure quality and responsible production, our customers are assured that the systems they purchase meet every expectation.

With an extensive background dealing with compliance in the automotive, plastics, medical industries and the military, Shane Bartlett brought his expertise and industry relationships to the Hochiki Europe family in 2016. With a focus on continuous improvement and collaborative working, Shane manages an industry-leading team which oversee a robust system of risk management for the business.

23/04/2018 / Graham Lowe

IMPROVING INSTALLER SUPPORT ACROSS THE INDUSTRY

MarkSmithBlog

Technology is driving innovation and improvement in the life safety sector, and it is becoming increasingly important to ensure our installers are up to speed with the latest products and legislation. Here, Mark Smith, UK Sales Manager at Hochiki Europe, expands on Simon Massey’s earlier blog in which he explained how fire safety manufacturers should use their time and expertise to help installers stay ahead of the ever-changing game.

Today’s life safety technologies are more intelligent and more complex than ever, with inter-connectivity making systems ultra-efficient and reliable. Legislation has been developed to provide the highest standards of guidance – but, of course, these progressions have brought a number of challenges with them. At Hochiki Europe, we believe there is an industry-wide need to invest in educational resources, and provide customers with bespoke training, guidance and support. Training customers is key when it comes to ensuring the effectivity of life safety systems and standards should be frequently revisited by industry professionals.

Changing standards

A recent example of this are the changes to the BS 5266-1 2016 Emergency Lighting Code of Practice (CoP). The standard introduces a wider range of categories and new guidance regarding testing and maintenance. We recently hosted a CPD-approved emergency lighting webinar to help raise awareness of the changes, which actually proved to be one of the most successful sessions we’ve ever hosted. Offering this kind of insight is an accessible and easy way to help educate our stakeholders on the latest legislation.

We also host a number of other courses and provide tools to help train industry professionals on our intelligent products. In 2015, we extended our range of EN54-23 compliant Visual Alarm Devices (VADs). To help installers comply with the introduction of EN54-23, we created a simple configuration table which allowed customers to select the VAD most suited to their environment simply by answering a series of questions.

Continuous improvement & technical support

Over the last century, Hochiki has been continuously committed to educating the wider sector. Our Technical Support Department are a fundamental part of the business, responsible for delivering our comprehensive, structured product training courses. They are also on hand to provide telephone and email support for our stakeholders. This training provides customers with an understanding of our products as well as boosting their confidence in advising and supporting their own clients. Working in conjunction with the technical team, our Regional Sales Managers also offer field training on a selection of product ranges, as well as CPD and CIBSE-accredited seminars.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on its electrical systems, there is a growing need for electricians in society. It is vital that manufacturers and installers maintain a mutually beneficial relationship, and continue supporting each other in these changing times.

For more information about the training offered by Hochiki Europe, and our products, visit www.hochikieurope.com, or email me at msmith@hochikieurope.com

03/04/2018 / Graham Lowe

Developing an Holistic Service offering

SimonMasseyBlog

Simon Massey, Technical Support and Training Section Leader, explains why manufacturers of life safety solutions should educate customers on new technological advances, and boost their awareness of life safety legislation and standards.

In the last 100 years, there have been substantial changes to the ways in which life safety systems are designed and made.

In 2018, panels and devices need to be much more complex in order to suit modern day life and comply with the greater number of standards and regulations. For example, L@titude, Hochiki Europe’s new life safety platform, allows facilities managers and those responsible for fire safety in a property to rapidly locate and examine any incidents occurring across their premises, in real-time, from any location. It can even record up to 1,000 events and incidents, providing a detailed history of activity.

With more of these intelligent systems becoming engrained in our society, it is vital to ensure our customers and partners receive the highest levels of technical support and guidance. In fact, in a recent Hochiki Europe customer survey, 20% of respondents said that technical support is the most important factor to them when working with a fire detection manufacturer.

As one of the world’s leading life safety system manufacturers, we know it’s essential to keep stakeholders aware, not only of changes to legislation and regulation, but also of the full technical capabilities of the exciting new products we’re creating. There are a number of key ways in which we address this. For example, our series of training modules devised and carried out by the Hochiki Europe Technical Support Team, give professionals the knowledge and support to confidently select, install and maintain our systems.

Each module introduces a different Hochiki Europe product offering. These sessions can range from simple half-day overviews to more hands-on, one to two-day system installation courses. The majority of these take place in our dedicated Training Centre at our Gillingham Head Office, although Hochiki Europe’s Technical Support Team are also able to travel to conduct programmes at a customer’s premises if required.

To further support those who make use of Hochiki Europe products in their business, we offer CPD registered and CIBSE-accredited educational seminars on topics including; Visual Alarm Devices (VADS), hybrid wireless systems, false alarm reduction, BS 5839 and BS 5266. These CPD courses have been specifically designed to share best practice information with installers, specifiers, consultants, architects and anyone else who is concerned with commercial fire detection or emergency lighting.

There is also a range of reference literature available from our website, including technical documents, product guides and more in-depth whitepapers. We’ve most recently released a free-to-download whitepaper examining the debate around fire safety within Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This document, available from our new website, looks at the use of mixed Part 1 and Part 6 systems in these premises.

At Hochiki Europe, we find that some customers or technical engineers require additional support post-sale. To meet their expectations, representatives from our technical support team are always on hand via telephone and email to offer free product installation guidance and training to customers with life safety queries, as well as being able to conduct site visits if required. We also work with a group of over twenty systems partners to offer additional project solutions, and provide full technical support on projects from early inception through to final handover.

All incoming support requests we receive are logged and evaluated. These can range from information on a product number to choosing the correct technology for a certain application. By listening to our customers’ concerns, we continuously identify opportunities where we can offer further training and support, in line with our commitment to providing the highest standard of aftercare.

Having reached our 100-year anniversary, we’re not only looking back at how far we’ve come in terms of technological advances, but also looking forward. We’re always thinking about how we can further enhance our life safety technology and ensure we’re giving customers and partners the best possible support for their projects, before, during and after installation.

To get in touch with the Hochiki Europe technical support team, call 01634 260 133 (option 2 for technical support), or email psupport@hochikieurope.com

About Simon Massey

Simon Massey is Technical Support and Training Section Leader at Hochiki Europe. Along with his team of four employees, Simon’s department is responsible for providing support and training on fire detection and alarm equipment to customers in the UK and worldwide. This includes ensuring clients in sectors – such as government, healthcare and education – are equipped with the highest standard of knowledge on life safety products and services.

09/03/2018 / Graham Lowe

How Hochiki Maintain an Effective Supply Chain

750 base and soldering

In this blog, Adish Rastogi, Group Supply Chain Manager, discusses the complexities of a life safety system manufacturer’s supply chain, and the various processes that have been put in place to support such a large operation.

In the last century, thanks to globalisation, the development of vast shipping transport networks, and the advancement of technology, manufacturing supply chains have become ultra-efficient but also incredibly complex.

Today, life safety products, especially if they incorporate smart technology, can be made from hundreds of individual components, sourced from different locations. At Hochiki Europe this is no different, so managing our supply chain effectively and working closely with industry partners is vital to ensure we can deliver the highest quality products on time.

Component parts are sourced from around the world and then hand assembled here in the UK. Each one of our products is then individually inspected and tested before it is released into the market. We utilise more than 250 in-house design tests, analysing each of the 50,000 devices produced every month. With such stringent quality assurance processes in place, it’s essential we forecast production requirements accurately to ensure we consistently fulfil our customers’ orders on time. To do this we have developed our own propriety production monitoring and forecasting tools, based on our individual needs as a business, and utilising industry-wide practices.

Having experienced extremely fast growth, in the last year, we faced a number of challenges. However, this has also given us the opportunity to further enhance our supply chain capabilities. Last year, we increased capacity of our warehouse to 1,300sq/m of floor space, some of this space is utilised for special labelled products, such as marine devices, to meet demand. In addition, we have also extended our warehousing in Italy and India and have plans to expand our UK warehousing facility further in 2018-19.

This strategic investment gives us more flexibility and helps us to increase stock holding capability, reducing lead times for customers. Because of this, this has allowed us to offer next day deliveries in mainland UK when ordered by 12 noon as well as deliveries to Europe within 72 hours. All stock takes are conducted at weekends so that operations can continue to run smoothly Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm.

From our UK Hochiki Europe headquarters, we service the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent, as well as Europe. As a result of our increased market reach, Hochiki Cooperation moved the production of several key products to Hochiki Europe’s headquarters in Gillingham. This was of course a significant operation for our Production Team, involving six months of planning, shipping, set-up and QA testing, so it was important to ensure that stock levels were sufficient for customers during this ‘down period’.

This unique position and our supply chain management has meant that, at a time when many manufacturers are moving their production to the far east to reduce costs and increase margins, we have been able to maintain our UK manufacturing base. In fact, we have even increased our production capabilities in the UK to better serve the EMEA region, while ensuring production quality remains at its very best. The Hochiki brand is synonymous with high quality and reliability, and we strive to maintain this superior reputation.

For more information about our supply chain and quality assurance capabilities, visit www.hochikieurope.com.

Adish Rastogi, Group Supply Chain Manager

Adish Rastogi has more than 20 years’ experience in end-to-end supply chain management and has worked as Group Supply Chain Manager for Hochiki Europe since 2016. Adish specialises in the implementation of supply chain processes and continuous improvement.

 

04/12/2017 / Graham Lowe

Add a laptop to your tool box!

Engineer with laptop purchased.jpg

Fire technology has developed significantly in recent years; gone are the days when a fire engineer could just bring a screwdriver and a pair of cutters to site, today an engineer won’t get very far without a laptop.

When a fire engineer is called to site, one of the first things he will do is check the event log on the fire panel, but he is going to need a laptop to download it. Even something as simple as adding a text description to a zone requires a laptop. When you begin to look at the more innovative fire panels featuring powerful configuration templates, substantial cause and effect capabilities and extensive networking capabilities; none of these features can be accessed or configured without a laptop.

Further examples requiring a laptop include;

  • Checking the airflow on an aspirating system
  • Checking the signal strength on a wireless system
  • Backing up configurations
  • Updating panel firmware
  • Configuring a beam detector

A fire engineer simply can’t do his job any more without a laptop.

We aren’t talking about an all singing all dancing computer with a high memory capacity; a simple laptop or netbook will do – so long as the battery is adequate.

This then becomes the next problem.

All too often an engineer will be sent out onsite with an office cast off and the battery will die. The engineer is then back to square one, struggling to find a power source.

Assuming the engineer manages to find a power source, the next problem is administrator rights.

We all understand why ‘administrator rights’ are set up – to protect our computer and the information held on it. However, this can be a real pain when an engineer is onsite and he can’t install the software he requires to access a fire system. This needs to be considered before the engineer leaves the office.

But what if the engineer doesn’t need to leave the office?

What if an engineer can access the panel remotely, check the event history, and identify the problem – all from his desk.

This is becoming the new reality.

Hochiki customers using the FIREscape Emergency Lighting System, will already be familiar with remote access to; event history, luminaire testing, measuring voltage, reading reports and much more. And, in the not too distant future, Hochiki will be offering similar remote access to the brand-new L@titude fire panel. The panel will not only be able to send service notifications to the engineer, but it will also allow them to make a remote diagnosis and isolate/ de-isolate devices if need be.

Of course, this doesn’t remove the need for site visits, but what it does ensure, is that an engineer can understand the issue and determine whether a site visit is necessary, and if it is, he can take the correct parts to site.

This is an exciting time for the fire industry, but it is going to mean that engineers need to be better equipped and up-to-date with their training.

For more information about L@titude, visit www.hochikieurope.com/latitude

For more information about FIREscape, visit www.hochikieurope.com/firescape

18/09/2017 / Graham Lowe

BS 5839-1 2017: What’s New?

5839 UPDATE.png

 

On 1st September 2017, BS 5839-1 2017 was released. The revised standard includes 25 changes to 14 existing clauses; the key changes will be discussed in this blog.

 

Call Point Covers
The biggest change, and the one that everyone is talking about, is the recommendation for call point covers. Going forward, all call points should be installed with a call point cover. The standard does not specify whether existing installations should be updated to include call point covers, however if an existing installation doesn’t have call point covers and the risk assessment indicates they are not required, it would be best practice to record this as a variation in the fire detection log book.

Multi-sensors
The definition of a ‘multi-sensor’ has been somewhat in dispute in recent years. Under section 3, in the Terms and Definitions, clause 3.40 defines a multi-sensor as, a “fire detector that monitors more than one physical and/ or chemical phenomenon associated with fire”. If you read on through the standard, it acknowledges that a multi-sensor could be; optical and heat, CO and heat, or smoke, heat and CO. The standard does however accept that a multi-sensor can also be used in a single sensor state. Whichever state the multi-sensor is being used in, the detector should meet the performance requirements of the appropriate part of BS EN 54. The standard also explains that the testing of a multi-sensor can be carried out with the application of modern sensor test equipment.

call point cover and multi-sensor

Pictured Above: Hochiki’s PS200 Call Point Cover and ACC-EN(WHT) Multi-sensor

 

Video Fire Detection
Technology continues to develop at a phenomenal rate, as such, video fire detection is now a recognised specialised fire detection technique, specifically for L5 and P2 consultant specified categories.

Annexe E
Annexe E details the correct procedure for the selection of detector type, to reduce false alarms.
In a further attempt to reduce false alarms, Annexe E also recommends;

  • The use of staff alarms to validate a fire alarm and avoid unnecessary mass evacuation and/or fire service call outs.
  • Linking fire alarm systems to security alarms to ensure that the responsible person is notified, even when there is no-one in the office at night. However, it is important to ensure that the battery capacity of the security alarm is equal to that of the fire alarm.
  • The deactivation of the connection to the alarm receiving centre (ARC) during maintenance to avoid unnecessary call outs.

PD6669:2017
BS 5839-1 2017 also makes reference to PD6669:2017, which builds upon the existing BS EN 50136; in which, new alarm transmission system (ATS) categories, SP3+ and DP2+, have been introduced.

  • SP3+ has a primary ATP reporting time of 10 minutes, a catastrophic failure reporting time of 10 minutes and an ATS reporting time of 10 minutes.
  • DP2+ has a primary ATP reporting time of 10 minutes, a catastrophic failure reporting time of 11 minutes and an ATS reporting time of 20 minutes.

 

We hope this quick reference to the changes incorporated into BS 5839-1 2017 has been useful, however it should not be used as a substitute to the British Standard Document. There are several other changes that have not been included in this blog, therefore please refer to BSI for full details.

07/08/2017 / Graham Lowe

Wired? Or Wireless? That is the Question.

Peterborough Cathedral West Front2

As fire detection technology continues to diversify, specifiers are demanding the most efficient and cost effective solutions for an array of applications. But how do you determine whether wireless is the right technology for the application?

First of all let’s talk about cost. When installing a fire detection system there are two factors to consider; the cost of the equipment and the cost of labour. Wireless sensors and accessories generally demand a higher price, however when you factor in the cost of cable, and the extra time and labour required for a wired system, there might not be much difference. On large scale projects, you might even find that wireless works out more cost effective.

Of course, you also need to consider practicality. With the advantage of ‘plug and play’ and the fact that wireless field device ranges often exceed 100m, wireless systems can provide a flexible and versatile solution for; temporary buildings, remote buildings, retrofits and buildings with complex architecture. Lack of cabling also makes wireless systems the obvious choice for churches, cathedrals, castles and museums, where aesthetics cannot be compromised.

In some instances, it might be necessary to create a hybrid wireless solution whereby wireless devices are interfaced with a wired system via a module. For example, wireless detectors could be installed in a remote school building or a new doctor’s office and interfaced with the existing wired system in the main building; providing the best of both worlds!

 

FIREwave Group Shot (with shadows) Oct 2016

Finally, let’s talk about reliability. In a recent Hochiki survey, 64% of installers said that quality and reliability are the most important factors when selecting a fire detection system. It goes without saying, but first and foremost, you need to ensure you are purchasing equipment from a reputable manufacturer who offer products fully compliant with local regulations. Then, you need to ensure that you select the technology that best suits the environment.

If you are considering using wireless devices for a project, a survey should be carried out to ensure that signal strength and radio frequency disturbances are not going to be a problem. Metal structures, concrete surfaces, electro-magnetic fields (EMF) and even large volumes of people, can affect wireless communication. If the wireless survey does raise some unexpected issues, the use of expanders can improve your signal strengths and distances; but wired devices are a technical equal that are not as susceptible to signal disruption, and may therefore be your best option.

This is not a definitive guide to wireless applications; however we hope it has highlighted some important factors to consider. If you would like to learn more about the hybrid wireless range offered by Hochiki, FIREwave, please use the link below. If you are an existing customer and are interested in our wireless equipment, please talk to your regional sales manager who can arrange for you to receive free of charge specialist training from our Product Support team.

For more information about Hochiki’s FIREwave please click here.

14/07/2017 / Graham Lowe

Another Year, Another Firex!

Hochiki firex stand.png

The Grenfell Tower fire happened only days before the doors opened to Firex 2017. It therefore came as no surprise that the event attracted its largest ever audience; in fact, UBM reported a 44% increase in the number of government visitors alone. UBM even changed their planned schedule of seminars to include discussions about Grenfell Tower, which has led to ongoing debates about the need for building regulations to be reviewed.

In the Expertise and Guidance Theatre there were daily presentations from the FIA regarding the future of qualifications in fire industry, and later in the day, a law firm opened visitors’ eyes to recent fire related case law. There was also a panel discussion regarding ‘a new construction strategy for improving passive fire protection’, which Tracy Kirk, General Manager at Hochiki and member of the FIA Export Council, formed part of.

firex seminar.pngMeanwhile, on the Hochiki stand, we also had seminars running!

Our first presentation ran through some of the new products displayed on our stand. This not only included the newly released L@titude modular panel, but it also included products such as LEAKalarm and our new multi CO sensor, which are both coming to market soon.

Our second seminar focused on Emergency Lighting. Ian Watts gave a quick overview of the recent changes to BS5266 Part 1 2016, focusing specifically on ‘Emergency Safety Lighting’.

Finally, we discussed the importance of selecting the most suitable fire detection technology for the environment, albeit; point detectors, beam detectors, flame detectors, aspirating systems, SIL approved products etc. Failing to install suitable technology could result in false alarms, or even worse, a delayed response to a real fire!

If you would like a copy of the seminar content, or a copy of our white paper titled ‘Understanding Fire Detection Technology and its Application’, please email our marketing department to request a copy.

Going back to the number of visitors; UBM has reported that a total of 17,430 people visited from 22 different countries. Amongst the visitors, were a number of end users from the healthcare, education, transport and housing industries; and as you would expect, large numbers of fire installers, electrical contractors, consultants and security companies.

We would like to thank all of our existing customers, and potentially new customers, for visiting our stand at Firex. Plus, big congratulations (and thank you) to our top customers who received award trophies live on the stand in recognition of their sales performance.

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Next year we will be celebrating Hochiki’s 100-year anniversary, and highlighting the pivotal contributions Hochiki has made to the fire industry in that time. For example, did you know, in 1920 Hochiki designed and installed the first ever public fire alarm in Japan! Put Firex 2018 in your diary now (19-21 June) so that you can come and celebrate with us! And if you have any ideas for celebrations, pop them in the comments below!