Gent VigInSite software-based tool identifies age of fire detection system components
Published on 12 July 2016
Gent by Honeywell has announced the introduction of VigInSite, a powerful software based tool that can be used to quickly identify the age of the various components of a fire detection system. An industry first, VigInSite helps ensure that safety levels are maximised, while allowing end users to actively schedule and budget for maintenance activities.
Warning of poor maintenance
VigInSite has been developed in direct response to the Fire Industry Association’s (FIA) 2014 Guidance on the Life Expectancy of Fire Detection and Alarm Systems document. It warned that poorly maintained life safety systems that produce regular unwanted alarms can engender a sense of complacency amongst those who they are designed to protect. It also suggested that equipment manufacturers are in the best position to advice on the expected lifetime of the equipment they produce.
Gent undertook a comprehensive research programme into the longevity of its products and discovered that the smoke scatter light emitting diodes (LEDs) used in its optical smoke detectors could fall below 70 per cent of their initial light output within 15 years. As this could take a device outside its original calibrated performance parameter and it could therefore potentially become less sensitive. Gent now recommends that these devices should be replaced within 14 years, as part of any planned maintenance schedule. Further component research concluded that Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors should be swapped out within seven years, while other equipment such as control panels, interfaces and other field devices have a realistic lifetime of 20 years.
A Gent 24 Approved Systems Integrator can simply plug VigInSite directly into a Vigilon control panel, at which point its advanced software identifies the age of each device. After this process is completed, it formulates an inventory and uses a traffic light system to provide an instant visual guide as to what action should be taken. Green denotes products that are well within their operational lifetimes, amber indicates that replacement is imminent, while red signifies that remedial action should be taken within reasonable timescales. Systems Integrators can send a customer a copy of the document along with a suggested programme of implementation.
‘As a responsible manufacturer, we fully support the FIA’s stance on ensuring that fire detection systems are properly maintained, and that’s why we have developed VigInSite,’ commented Simon Foulkes, Product Manager at Gent. ‘There are many thousands of Gent legacy systems all over the UK and Ireland and some will inevitably contain devices that, due to their age, are no longer fit for purpose. These products can cause higher numbers of unwanted alarms or, more importantly, fail to detect fire in its early stages. VigInSite is already making a valuable contribution to our on-going efforts to make sure that people, property and assets are adequately protected.’
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