Trinity Protection Systems prescribes S-Quad to end false alarms at Bristol University Hospital

Fire Safety - Extinguisher

Trinity Protection Systems prescribes S-Quad to end false alarms at Bristol University Hospital

Trinity a Gent Technology Centre (GTC), has been working with the University of Bristol Hospital NHS Trust for several years. Due for completion in May 2011, the latest project is part of a fire detection and alarms system upgrade programme. The rolling contract was introduced to replace the existing fire detectors with the Gent S-Quad range, with the goal of significantly decreasing the level of unwanted alarms on the site.

Trinity was brought in to undertake this work for one of the country’s largest acute NHS Trusts, with the aim of reducing unwanted alarms from six per day towards a target of zero. With services from the neonatal intensive care unit to care of the elderly, the Trust offers care to the people of Bristol and the South West from the very beginning of life to its later stages. Unwanted alarms were causing the Trust unnecessary disruption to patients’ long term recovery process, as well as introducing wasted time and money to the local fire service.

The expected significant reduction of false alarms will help ensure that the hospital suffers less disruption and continues to deliver high standards of patient care. Trinity will continue to implement the new rolling upgrade over the next few years.

Trinity is currently carrying out a complete refurbishment of the three main fire alarm detection systems in the building, consisting of 15 Vigilon alarm panels with 4,600 loop devices, on over 30,000m of cabling. The new system upgrade incorporates the full design application of the S-Quad range which includes voice enhanced sounders to help with staff and patient announcements. To manage the linked network remotely, Trinity installed a Winmag Graphics Management System. This software tool allows for any size of network to have complete management of the fire detection and alarm system from a central PC.

Winmag integrates seamlessly with the Vigilon software to provide a graphical view of the entire system, enabling easy location of a fire in an emergency and allowing rapid decision making through event based control of devices. It also offers fault signalling, false alarm analysis and text only options. Winmag also provides central management of routine activity.

One of the other major challenges that Trinity needed to address was how to carry out a refurbishment in a working hospital, home to over 7,900 staff operating in 100 different clinical services across nine different sites.

Simon Adams, southern business manager for Gent, explained, ‘Due to the age and degradation of the old system, replacing it with a new detection system was a challenge. Trinity had to liaise constantly with the customer to make sure that everything ran smoothly – and to ensure that the maternity and A&E wards in particular continued to function as normal.

‘The logistical complications of carrying out a refurbishment in a working hospital were significant. Trinity had to carry out sufficient pre-planning to secure worker permits and to make sure they were issued well in advance. This ensured that the project ran smoothly without delays.’

The day-to-day management of the project site meant that the work was scheduled and completed on time and to the client’s exacting standards. Trinity agreed its programme with the Trust prior to the commencement of work, allowing ample time for the switchover to be introduced after the system had been fully tested.

Simon added, ‘The upgraded system could have caused a lot of disruption to hospital wards, but the architecture of the Gent system allowed us to mix and match the systems and work easily. Working on the backbone of the system, Trinity processed the new upgrade while the old system was still live. This was a vital part of the programme, as it meant that the Trust was still protected throughout the upgrade process.’

The University of Bristol Hospital NHS Trust was extremely impressed with Trinity’s organised execution of the planned work on site. The Gent system has already exceeded expectations, providing a solid platform for ongoing future developments at the Bristol Hospital.

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