Wireless Fire Detection With Xpander

Apollo has updated and extended its XPander range of wireless fire detectors. Designed for use in areas where hard-wired fire detection is impossible or impractical, XPander devices are ideal for use on construction or refurbishment sites.

Apollo extends its Xpander range of wireless smoke detectors

Apollo extends its Xpander range of wireless smoke detectors

Traditionally fire detection systems are installed once the building is complete and the main services are installed, yet it is still important to protect the building from major damage by fire during fit-out and alteration.

XPander can be used as part of an extension to a fixed fire system, so is ideal where works are ongoing as an extension or where temporary structures are in place. Buildings undergoing fire system refurbishment can also benefit from wireless devices: in this case the wireless fire detectors are used to provide temporary cover until the old fire system is decommissioned and a new hard-wired fire system can be installed.

The extended XPander range includes two new products and now consists of an optical smoke detector, a multisensor smoke detector, heat detector types A1R and CS, a wireless base, a manual call point, a sounder and a sounder beacon, and Single and Dual Input/Output Units. The complete range has been granted the new wireless link fire standard EN54 Part 25, which is the standard for European-compliant radio products.

Apollo’s wireless XPander has been designed to be used in conjunction with a standard fire detection system, being able to protect areas that require wireless technology. XPander has an updated 31-device loop interface and connects to an XP95-compatible control panel via an interface which is wired to the loop. No special adjustment or programming is required and the devices are recognised by the control panel simply as another detector connected to the system.

The detectors are multi-state in that they report normal, fire or fault states to the radio base, which transmits the information to the interface. The radio bases and signalling devices are addressable and use a pre-set analogue value to report via the XP95 protocol. In addition to ‘normal’ and ‘fire’ signals, the bases can also indicate a low battery, a dirty detector, detector tamper and low signal strength fault conditions.

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Apollo Technology Protects Queen Boudica

Apollo fire detection technology has been chosen to protect Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum. T&P Fire Ltd, which has represented Apollo for more than 15 years, was appointed by Norfolk Property Services to replace the existing fire protection with an open protocol system.

Eddie Bean, Technical Manager at T&P Fire Ltd, says: “We have always advocated the open protocol approach, because it offers flexibility of product choice and better whole life costs. We recommended Apollo technology due to the high quality, range and reliability of Apollo products, which satisfied all of our client’s requirements for this historic site.”

Apollo Fire Detectors protects Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Apollo Fire Detectors protects Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

James Carswell, Cabinet member for Cultural Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery is so much more than just a building. It is a treasured part of our community loved by visitors and staff alike because it brings to life our heritage in a space fit for the 21st century, complete with state-of-the-art fire detection that secures the safety of our staff, visitors and valuable collections.”

Norwich Castle was built by the Normans 900 years ago, and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Originally a wooden fortification, surrounded by deep dry ditches for defence, the castle was later used as a prison. The castle complex is both a Scheduled Monument and a listed Grade I building. Today the castle is a museum and art gallery, housing collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history. One of the museum’s star collections is centered on East Anglia’s very own Queen Boudica; visitors can admire displays of Iceni gold and treasures and ride on a re-creation of an Iceni warrior’s chariot.

Attached to the castle by a First World War Communication Trench is the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum. This museum traces the lives of the soldiers of the County Regiment and their families from 1685 onwards, through the items that have been collected from their campaigns; including a medal collection boasting three Victoria Crosses.

T&P Fire was appointed to supply, install, commission and maintain the new fire detection system. Installation was required on a like for like basis, and using the existing loop wiring. The work was programmed around the building’s occupants and requirements, mostly taking place during normal working hours.

The fire system replacement was split into two main areas; the Castle Museum and the Regimental Museum, Shirehall and Chambers at street level. More than 700 Apollo analogue addressable devices – including smoke and heat detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, audio visual devices and interfaces – have been installed altogether.

Within the Castle Museum and Art Gallery, around 300 Apollo Discovery fire detectors are configured across seven loops controlled by an Advanced Electronics Mx4807 panel. Nearly 100 interface devices allow the fire system to interact with other building systems, such as the sprinkler system and the Public Address Voice Alarm system, as well as access controlled doors and other critical plant. The main point fire detection system also interfaces with aspirating smoke detection which has been installed to protect the building’s large ceiling voids and the main castle keep.

The Regimental Museum and Shirehall are protected by a two-loop fire system, again based around an Advanced Electronics control panel, and incorporating 130 Apollo devices, while the Chambers has a four-loop system that includes more than 200 Apollo fire detectors, sounder beacons, base sounders and interfaces.

Designed to meet L1 standards, the fire systems offer a phased evacuation, with an alarm signal being raised in the affected area only.

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Apollo Technology Protects Slovenian Parliament

A new fire detection system based on Apollo technology has been chosen to protect the Slovenian Houses of Parliament; the home of the National Assembly and National Council. The contract for the fire detection system was awarded to Zarja Elektronika d.o.o., who have represented Apollo in Slovenia for over 20 years.

Apollo Fire Detectors protect Slovenian Houses of Parliament

Apollo Fire Detectors protect Slovenian Houses of Parliament

The parliamentary building, which was built in 1959, is located in the heart of the Slovenian capital city, Ljubljana. The building itself was designed by the architect Vinko Glanz. It includes a decorative main entrance that features symbolic, sculptural compositions depicting peaceful scenes from everyday life, focusing on industry and family. The premises include a seven-storey main building and three additional buildings, housing a total of approximately 500 staff. At the centre of the main building is the 422m2, 150-seat Great Hall, where the upper house convenes.

Bojan Kern, Development Engineer at Zarja Elektronika, says: “The client asked for full protection of their premises, which includes a number of buildings and covers a large area. In addition, the fire system had to preserve the architectural heritage of the building, as most rooms include decoration on the ceiling.”

Zarja recommended an Apollo-based fire detection system to meet EN54-14 standards. The main building is protected by almost 500 XP95 detectors, which are controlled by an 11-loop Zarja Elektronika NJP 2000A panel, and interfaces with 238 Apollo wireless XPander detectors. The three smaller surrounding buildings each have their own Zarja control panel NJP 401A and are protected by Apollo XP95 devices. All four control panels are connected to a common Graphic Control Centre.

Apollo’s XPander wireless range has been designed for use in areas where hard-wired fire detection is impossible or impractical, and is ideal for use in historic buildings, remote annexes and temporary structures. The Slovenian Houses of Parliament required wireless detection in order to preserve the building’s prized decorations in the main building. The XPander range should be used in conjunction with a standard fire detection system; no special adjustment or programming is required as the devices are recognised by the control panel simply as another detector connected to the system.

The historic fabric in some rooms was so precious that even wireless detection could not be mounted directly to the ceiling. Zarja designed a bespoke base unit, which requires only one screw to minimise the impact on the architectural heritage.

Bojan concludes: “Apollo fire detectors were perfect for this application – the products were simple to install and now provide the reassurance and reliability required to safeguard our politicians from the risk of fire. The wireless XPander range has a long enough battery life to be able to meet the client’s demands and provide quality fire detection without damaging the building’s ornate design features.”

With the addition of the Slovenian Houses of Parliament, Apollo technology is now protecting governments across Europe and the world, in locations as far afield as Dubai, Brazil and Norway.

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Apollo Pioneers Lifetime Guarantee For Fire Detection Products

Apollo Fire Detectors claims that the ability to assess the true lifecycle cost of a fire detection system is being compromised through lack of clear information about product life.

Apollo offers Lifetime Guarantee on Fire Detectors for reduced life cycle cost of fire protection systems

Apollo offers Lifetime Guarantee on Fire Detectors for reduced life cycle cost of fire protection systems

Richard Bramham, Marketing Director for Apollo, explains: “Understanding how long a fire detector can reasonably be expected to function is absolutely critical to assessing the lifecycle cost of a fire system. Currently, there is only very limited information available to specifiers and end users on this aspect, which makes true cost comparison at the procurement stage and the predicted maintenance costs extremely difficult to calculate. While there is no legal obligation to supply product lifetime information, any responsible manufacturer should have no problem divulging these details.”

BS5839, the industry code of practice, puts the onus on the manufacturer to define the working life of the product, along with requirements for servicing and maintenance. However, the amount of detail available can vary enormously from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Apollo Fire Detectors has demonstrated its commitment in this area by introducing a Product Lifetime Guarantee. This warranty covers Apollo products for their anticipated 10 year lifetime (5 years for CO detectors), which is the length of time the company says their products will function reliably if appropriately installed and maintained. Their Product Lifetime Guarantee is based on 30 years of experience in the industry and clearly shows that Apollo is confident about the quality of its manufacture – which continues to be based in the UK.

Richard Bramham says: “We are very proud of our British engineering heritage and of course the Product Lifetime Guarantee is a clear signal to our customers that we will back our own products all the way. But this is really a much wider industry issue – this is about transparency and responsible business practice.

“It’s important for installers, many of whom are small businesses, to know that they have the manufacturer’s full support in the event that any device malfunctions due to a manufacturing fault. Taking a broader view, in a world where resources are becoming scarcer and costs are rising, people have a right to understand exactly how much their fire system will cost – not just at the outset, but for the life of the building.”
Apollo also sees the issue of lifecycle costs as an area where knowledge within the fire industry is lacking. The company has recently completed a series of roadshows on this topic in conjunction with ADI Global Distribution and is also presenting a seminar at International Firex in May on ‘Life Cycle Costs in Fire Detection Systems’. In addition, Apollo now offers a CPD-approved training course on this topic.

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