Hochiki Europe demonstrates FIREscape+ system at FIREX International 2013
Published on 27 May 2013
By integrating addressable fire detection and emergency lighting technology FIREscape+ provides an intelligent way-finding solution that represents a step-change in how people safely evacuate buildings.
Evacuation is usually hindered by a lack of detailed knowledge of the internal connectivity of the building space, along with confusing and poorly thought out instructions. Studies have also shown that in these situations occupants usually make use of familiar routes – typically using the exit through which they entered the building. Even more worryingly, research from the University of Greenwich, which is currently undertaking a study called the Human Behaviour in Fire Network (HUBFIN), found that only 38 per cent of people see passive signage in an emergency.
Even if the signage is recognised, a traditional emergency lighting system does not allow signs to be ‘shut off’, which can direct people into the path of danger. FIREscape+ addresses all these issues and more by integrating the fire detection system with the emergency lighting, and by identifying where in the building the fire is taking place, the correct route can be communicated. By responding to information sent from the fire detectors FIREscape+ is able to put an illuminated red ‘X’ on specific emergency exit signs, which signals to people not to exit via that particular route.
FIREscape+ comprises an addressable emergency lighting control panel with battery back up, and addressable, self-contained light emitting diode (LED) luminaires and signage that is connected via low voltage (40V) cabling. This is all powered and configured on the same loop via a single panel giving high levels of control via an automatic system.
It also benefits from being extremely energy efficient. Whilst a FIREscape+ luminaire consumes less than 0.5W, a similar 8W fluorescent light exit luminaire will consume approximately 12W. The lower energy consumption directly correlates with a reduction in CO2 emissions. For example, replacing 100 230V fluorescent exit luminaries with FIREscape+ LED based exit lights means that CO2 emissions can be reduced by 2,100kg annually.
‘In the event of a fire people often become disorientated and this can inadvertently increase the risk of danger if they take the wrong route out of a building,’ commented Paul Adams, deputy marketing manager at Hochiki Europe. ‘We look forward to welcoming visitors to stand 3/G10 at FIREX International so they can see for themselves how FIREscape+’s intelligent signage can make safe evacuation far more likely.’
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