AMX on the Telly

Did you see Paddington Station this week on Channel 5? Transport Police were called after a passenger urinated in a carriage on a train pulling into the station, a low bridge had to be assessed after it was hit by van, a train's brakes failed in Reading causing widespread delays and Drax Technology’s AMX alarm management system was spotted in the Paddington Station Control Room! 
You’ll be amazed at where our AMX alarm management software ends up being installed. What’s more because of the way we go to market we don’t always know who the end user is either! Hence how excited we were to spot AMX on the TV this week! You can see how effectively our technology is utilised.

There are so many important and significant premises which have our software to manage thousands of fire sensors that populate modern buildings. Every commercial building has fire detection and alarm systems, in the main to warn the occupants of the need to evacuate premises in the event of a fire. However, as buildings get bigger, more complex and the level of occupation increases the requirements for a comprehensive fire detection and alarm system becomes more onerous. This is great for the safety of the building and its occupants but brings a number of challenges for the premises management. Firstly, it’s important to know where all the fire sensors and manual call points are located, are they working and most importantly of all when were they last tested.

As Paddington Station highlights railway stations, airports and shopping centres are another group of users that utilise the Drax software. There are many similarities with these three. Large numbers of people often unfamiliar with the buildings pass through every day. These establishments usually include a large number of retail units, again with fire detection and alarm systems of different manufacture. Keeping a close eye on maintenance and the constant changes that regularly occur to the building's infra-structure is invaluable and our software adds a level of detail available to operational staff, that cannot be provided by a standard fire detection and alarm system.

As you can see, the requirements of these larger establishments are not exclusive due to their size. Many smaller buildings can benefit from our alarm management system by delivering a cost-effective way of providing an electronic log book, asset register, and audit trail as well as detailed additional information to key staff in the event of a serious fire incident.
For more information or a chat about your particular requirements just give us a call on 0345 459 3005 or email,
You can watch the episode here.

Asset Tracking

Drax Technology is to broaden its product offering with the launch of our new Assetwhere range of products designed to help locate life safety related assets using the latest wireless and GPS technologies.

Drax Technology has strong relationships within the NHS, education and commercial sectors built over many years through the monitoring of fire detection sensors and other life safety critical equipment both on and off site.

“As a result of our long-term relationships with these bigger institutions, using a reliable product, we are now being asked to do much more”, says Drax Technology’s sales director Alex Cother. Alex goes on to say that, “These institutions are now beginning to see that there are financial and productivity benefits as well as enhanced compliance by investing in new technologies”.

To meet customer’s demands, Drax Technology are looking to launch several new products. The first uses a small discreet battery powered wireless transmitter capable of transmitting more than 500,000 times before a replacement is needed that can be affixed to normally static items such as fire doors, fire extinguishers and escape chairs. The low-cost sensor, about the size of a 50p coin, will show whether a fire door is open or closed or whether a fire extinguisher is on its bracket or has been moved. Used proactively the data collect on each asset can be used not only to identify and locate the asset but to notify when a service is due or a replacement needed.

For those items that get moved around site, hospital beds, wheelchairs, keys, tools, ladders and vehicles there will be a range of wireless and GPS transmitters suitable for both internal and external use. To locate assets, transmitters are plotted on to detailed AutoCad drawings overlaid on to Google maps to show their precise location. Additionally, rules can be created for individual transmitters to provide notifications or alerts on mobile devices and if required, reports generated for analysis.

As for cost, always a consideration, the solutions are all scalable and apart from a small initial set up cost, are subscription based. Generally, dependant on the size of the building and the quantity of sensors installed. When compared with the cost of replacing mislaid equipment the money spent on tracking assets is small. For example, a bunch of keys, not a high value item but if their loss presents a security risk, the potential costs to the business or organisation are enormous and the disruption significant.

For larger more valuable items of equipment, knowing where the equipment is located, when you need it, is probably just as significant. It’s difficult to put a value on the time wasted by staff trying to find equipment that has been discarded by another user. Identifying where the equipment is quickly, will certainly be important to the smooth running of the operation and to the level of service provided to the customer.


Why FMs need to be SMaRT managing their premises

Using our latest technology such as SMaRT Web, it is now possible for you to receive detailed information about your fire alarm system and the precise location of any alarm activation on your smartphone or tablet. Admittedly, this won’t put the fire out – we aren’t that smart … yet! It will however, alert your key staff immediately, regardless of where they are, saving precious time.
You can also receive automatically-generated notifications of any faults in the fire alarm system, for swift action. Receiving such precise information of a building fault subsequently saves you money. Engineers who know the system well, will be able to decide whether the fault needs an immediate response. Of course, if the fault is critical, they will need to see to it straight away but if it is not urgent they can decide to wait until they are in the vicinity - avoiding unnecessary weekend or evening call-outs. The additional advantage is that having the full information to hand, the engineer can attend site with the appropriate parts to resolve the problem, negating the need for two visits; first to investigate and then to fix.
Other key benefits include a permanent record of all events that have occurred and the ability to drill into that data to produce reports confirming whether routine maintenance has been completed or detailing that the devices haven’t yet been tested. Further reports can be created to show that weekly testing is being carried out. Reports can be customised and saved in different formats to show the status of the system and measure engineer and system performance.
Even if the fire alarm systems are not connected to the internet, hand-held devices carried by engineers can be temporarily connected to the fire alarm control panel, recording activities as they carry out the maintenance. These can then be downloaded when there is an internet connection later that day.
Systems are now available that are compatible with all leading fire alarm control panels to provide a view of the status and performance of all connected fire alarm sensors. As a result, you can now carry around a real-time ‘snapshot’ of the alarm system in your building or even your entire portfolio on your mobile device. Now that is smart thinking! Call us on 0345 4593005 to find out more.

How the NHS shines a light on the true cost of false alarms in your business

False alarms are costing hospitals a small fortune, how are you managing life safety in your business premises?

Every year, the fire Brigade receives more than 600,000 calls about blazes up and down the country. Of those calls a staggering 50% are false alarms; hospitals have been identified as responsible for the vast majority, particularly in London.

To address the problem, in 2014 the London Fire Brigade introduced a penalty charging scheme for excessive false fire alarm call outs, although at present the scheme is suspended for review.

But the action shows how seriously the brigade views this issue and need for action by hospital trusts. Last year, NHS Ayreshire and Arran issued an information sheet on the issue. It provided figures from Audit Scotland which estimate that it costs taxpayers £2,342 every time the fire brigade is called to a false alarm on hospital premises.

It lists the most common causes of fires in healthcare buildings as cooking equipment; aerosols; malicious or accidental operation of break-glass call points; steam from showers, kettles and dishwashers; residual dust; insects invading sensor chambers in smoke detectors; and fumes from vehicles and petrol-driven garden tools.

By far the most common is burnt toast! The document states that most of these false alarms are preventable.

To quote directly, ‘New smart technology is currently being used in a number of locations to cut down on false alarms.’

This is where we come in. Drax’s AMX software was developed to do just that - help reduce false alarms. This is achieved by collecting data on all fire detection and alarm systems, analysing said data, and instigating measures to ensure unwanted alarms do not re-occur. Sounds simple? It really can be, add to this cost savings, secured safety as alarms become reliable with necessary procedures adhered to correctly and you know you need to be contacting us for a no-obligation site survey.

Call 0345 4593005 to discuss ways we can use the latest technology to enable the life safety applications in your business function more cost effectively. We can also connect you with one of our local accredited partners that can carry out a holistic review of your life safety service and maintenance package.