Complex Buildings Require Complex Solutions

Major new buildings are becoming ever more sophisticated in a bid to reduce running costs, improve the environment for occupiers, save energy and increase security. Each installed electrical or mechanical service provided will demonstrate how it is better than its previous version at achieving some or all of the above. Many individual systems will use PC based software to assist with the management of the system in question. Some buildings may even utilise a Building Management System (BMS) to monitor and control heating, cooling and ventilation.

However, it is becoming apparent that many building owners are not considering the impact, failure of one system has on another, particularly in an emergency. For Drax Technology, experts in Life Safety, a building requires all the many designed safety critical systems in a building to work faultlessly if a major incident occurs and disaster is to be avoided.

For example, if a smoke detector detects smoke due to the outbreak of fire, it is likely that through sophisticated “cause and effect” that many other systems in the building also need to operate effectively. Activation of all these systems is needed to ensure the integrity of the building is maintained and the mass evacuation of hundreds, if not thousands of people takes place safely. But how does the responsible person know that all those systems, ventilation fans, fresh air intake dampers, extract dampers, fire doors, sprinkler pumps, lifts, emergency lighting, communications, access control are all sitting there faultlessly prior to being needed? Additionally, as some are in use constantly, can the responsible person be sure that they will all work as designed when required to do so in an emergency.

It’s all very well carrying out an annual check or inspection of a fire door. However, if that door has been opened thousands of times in the last 6 months, due to the volume of traffic, will it when asked to close, secure a fire compartment? Shutting properly on its own, preventing smoke from escaping and not compromise safety.

Drax Technology’s AMX alarm management software has been collecting valuable data from thousands of fire detection and alarm systems for over 25 years but does anybody use that data to their benefit? Unfortunately, in our experience very few!
So what does Drax Technology recommend. Well firstly, ensuring the collection of valuable data from the many different safety critical systems installed in the building. Not just fire alarm systems but fire doors, fire dampers, extract fans etc. etc. Connecting to the myriad of different systems is the easy bit, we’ve been doing it for years and with the IoT as well as internet communications it has become even easier. Making the most of the data collected and implementing change is more difficult, but we’re here to help.

Drax Technology can add another level of sophistication by using analytics and intuitive dashboards to display the status of critical life safety systems. It then only takes a glance by the responsible person to check that the integrity of the building is not compromised. Analysing the data collected from existing equipment or systems also provides a benchmark for the future. The success or not of any subsequent changes made to system design, equipment, maintenance providers or maintenance processes can now be compared and improvements measured.

At the same time the AMX software can provide essential and detailed information should a fire occur as to its location and hazards that exist nearby. This additional information saves critical time as well as reducing the risks to occupants and the emergency services.

So why not try something that has the potential to improve governance, compliance, productivity and safety?  If you already utilise Drax Technology’s AMX software why not give us a call to see what you can save by using the data already at your fingertips. If you don’t have our software on in your premises but see some value in installing it and would like to know more then, again we are just a call away.