Providing Hybrid Fire Alarm solutions for Outdoor Education Centre
Company Oxfordshire Outdoor Education Centre
Oxfordshire Outdoors has a proud reputation for providing high quality residential outdoor education courses for over 50 years. The Service offers a wide range of residential outdoor education experiences which are available to all schools in and outside Oxfordshire; further and higher education establishments; families, youth groups; communities of Oxfordshire and beyond. Their educational courses bring together a residential experience with expert-led adventure activities. Courses are designed to give a potentially life enhancing experience and memories that can last a lifetime. The courses are educational, empowering and always fun.
Both sites already had existing wireless fire alarms, but unfortunately the system no longer functioned properly and parts were now obsolete. The entire system needed to be replaced to ensure the building would meet the requirements of their insurance policy.
In order for the wireless element fire alarm to work competently the signal strengths needed to be tested. We carried out a signal strength survey with a testing kit provided by a manufacturer.
It was identified in those tests due to the wall thickness of the Grade 2 Listed buildings the signal strengths in some areas were below minimum requirement needed. A solution for this had to be identified by the team in the design process. Another challenge we faced was that the buildings were going to be in constant use with children in residence while the installation was taking place, so fire detection was required at all times and works must have minimal disruption in order not to disrupt their experience.
We designed a L1 Fire Alarm system in accordance with the requirements of the insurance company and to keep the wiring and damage to the decoration and building fabric to a minimum. Our team selected the obvious choice, which was the Hyfire Hybrid solution. We could both preserve the listed buildings & install swiftly due to this dual system. We kept the old fire alarm working alongside the new install to keep full detection as the buildings were constantly in use with staff and children in residence – there would never be a time where fire alarm wasn’t working.
There were areas where the fire alarm could be wired as there was access to wall cavities & false ceilings, it was clear to us that a Hyfire Hybrid was the best option, the buildings would have the benefits of both a wired and wireless system working together.
In those areas that were identified with low signal strengths we installed signal boosters to strengthen the signal so the wireless element of the installation wasn’t compromised.
Another plus of the Hybrid System was the speed at which the fire alarm was upgraded. The job was installed in a relatively short space of time of two weeks at one site and three weeks at another, and the insurance company, along with the centre was very happy with the results.
Our objective of this project was to design a fire detection system to comply with the requirements of the fire risk assessment and the insurance company with minimal disruption. With the installations taking from two to three weeks to complete while being fully operational we believe our set objective was achieved. The new Hyfire Hybrid Fire Alarm System was also connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre to call the Fire Brigade in the event of a fire alarm activation.
The staff and children who stay onsite now have an extremely reliable Hybrid fire alarm system in place and peace of mind knowing they are safe 24/7, 365 days a year. Combined with the routine quarterly maintenance from us will keep them & the building safe for many years to come.
“Beacon Detection carried out the works required efficiently and as quoted with the minimum amount of disruption. They continue to provide us with a great service – many thanks!”