Jesus College, one of the leading colleges in the University of Cambridge, has installed a new fire alarm monitoring system to enhance the level of protection in ‘external staircases’, the houses located in surrounding streets, each of which provides accommodation
for 6 to 8 undergraduates. Developed by Drax Technology, one of the UK’s leading providers of fire alarm monitoring solutions, the new AMX system will enable fire alarms installed in diverse locations to be centrally monitored to deliver higher levels of protection and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements including the ANUK Code of Practice for the Management of Student Accommodation.
The installation of the Drax Technology system demonstrates that Jesus College is taking positive steps to proactively protect the safety of students by ensuring that all installed fire alarm systems are regularly tested. It enables the Porters’ Lodge to deliver a rapid and appropriate response for all alarm activations instead of having to rely on graduates to raise the alarm. The AMX platform will also help ensure that maintenance staff complete all testing to the required standards and allow electronic logbooks to be maintained for each connected system for audit purposes.
The installation started in December 2013 with a pilot linking a single external staircase to an AMX system installed on a PC in the Porter’s Lodge. Located in First Court, the offices are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by a team of twelve Gate Porters. A SMaRT Watch module was installed using the existing broadband connections to transmit any activation and fault data from the Gent Xenex conventional fire panel to the central AMX system. The equipment was supplied by Drax Services and deployed by Jesus College’s preferred specialist electrical installer.
After the success of the pilot scheme, Jesus College has ordered a further forty six SMarT Watch modules to extend the service to additional external staircases. The system may also be further expanded in the future to monitor the refectory and various teaching spaces. Centralising the monitoring and management of connected fire alarm systems installed in external staircases located outside the college will deliver significant productivity improvements to the Porter’s
Lodge. Having an instant view of the status of all connected fire alarms will improve the response delivered in the event of activations and eliminate the need for porters to physically check the alarm panels at diverse locations. The AMX system will also speed up the production of monthly reports by providing factual data showing that all testing and maintenance has been completed in accordance with BS5839 regulatory standards.
“The AMX system is a unique solution that meets the needs of universities managing multiple buildings in diverse locations by providing a common bridge to link diverse alarm systems for event monitoring and regulatory requirements,” added Alex Cother, Sales and Marketing Director of Drax Technology. “It is quick and easy to deploy using existing IT infrastructures and eliminates the need for costly and disruptive cabling installations. What is more, the AMX platform also allows existing fire networks that are installed on main campuses to be integrated using a single connection to deliver a complete view of all connected systems.”