The fire industry has experimented with touch screen technology for many years as ever sophisticated and human friendly solutions are sought to tackle fire situations which can be particularly problematic in cases involving large, complex sites and high-rise buildings. Advanced’s Sales Manager for Southern Europe, Vladimir Zrnic, looks at some of the benefits to introducing touch screen technology.
Protecting these buildings and often hundreds, if not thousands, of people from the danger and damage of fire requires ease of control and monitoring with touch screen technology providing this at the user’s fingertips.
In expansive buildings with complex designs, irreplaceable or valuable contents and large numbers of people to protect, the ability to quickly identify and monitor a potential fire can make a significant difference to avoiding life threatening situations.
Touch screen technology provides ease of use allowing fires to be located down to both a zone within a site and individual devices facilitating speedy evacuations, if appropriate, and focused action to isolate and minimise the spread and potential damage of the fire.
These intuitive systems are easily configured and can include dynamic graphics and maps allowing for a fast response which is essential in these emergency situations. Providing information about a possible fire at a glance, touch screen technologies also provide the benefit of ease of management and monitoring from one location saving valuable time and prompt preventative action.
Not all situations are as a result of an actual fire. Avoiding large scale evacuations to minimise disruption is another benefit of installing touch screen technology with this innovation also identifying faults and disablement issues.
Where touch screen technology is particularly invaluable
The innovative technology is particularly beneficial in settings such as hospitals for example, where evacuating patients requires care and time, with touch screen technology delivering the earliest possible warning and specific details of the location of the fire enabling the affected zones to be isolated.
Large buildings can be monitored from one location with touch screen technology facilitating a fast response to the specific area in question, maximising both time and efforts to tackle the problem before it escalates.
Buildings in remote areas are also particularly vulnerable and can also benefit from installing touch screen technology where assistance with controlling and extinguishing a fire may not be as accessible as in less remote locations.
Evacuations in these incidents, involving hundreds and possibly thousands of people, require speed, careful management and calm with fire systems that include touch screen technology delivering immediate and specific warnings that are paramount to the process to help avoid life threatening situations from escalating out of control.
Factors to consider when selecting touch screen technology
There are a number of factors to consider before choosing the right touch screen technology for a site including:
- Can it be networked to cover a large site without compromising reliability and performance? Some systems’ effectiveness can be significantly reduced if large areas need to be covered
- Is it easy to install and configure to your specific requirements? The ability to easily install and configure the system to the individual specification of a site is key, improving performance and heightening protection of the building
- Does it provide an effective and easy user interface? Ease of use should be paramount as it may be some years from initial installation before a response to a potential fire is required. Does it provide sufficient detail allowing monitoring and control of each location and device?
- Is it an independent terminal, saving significant costs? Touch screen technology on fire panels add significant cost, compromise performance and add complications
- Does it provide high quality, dynamic and easy navigation maps and site plans providing at a glance information on the location of a potential problem? Detailed maps, the ability to zoom into high definition images and ease of navigation can significantly improve the response to a potential fire situation
- Does the touch screen respond to gloved hands enabling fire fighters to monitor and control the situation? This is an important factor as fire fighters need to be able to operate the touch screen technology in situations where it may not be safe nor time efficient, to take gloves off
Leader in fire systems technology, Advanced, manufacture one of the market’s largest touch screens, TouchControl, with a 10-inch screen providing more detailed at a glance information.
Designed as a remote terminal rather than being part of a fire panel, the stand alone innovative technology means that users save on cost, complication and the independent network node means performance isn’t compromised.
One of the unique features of TouchControl is Active Maps which enable live zone status information in high definition delivering incredible detail. Users can easily navigate a site/panel and network via Active Maps.
TouchControl is easy to install and is a fully functional Remote Control Panel, often installed in receptions, lobbies and public areas providing full fire panel and network control and reporting. When not in fire-use the touch screen repeater can be configured to display corporate, advertising or health and safety messages to the public.
Designed with intuitive ease of use, quality, detailed reporting and monitoring, TouchControl has been the preferred touch screen technology for a number of buildings of all sizes within diverse sectors, chosen for its reliability and high performance.
Examples of TouchControl installations:
- Lidl – the popular European discount supermarket
- One of Bulgaria’s largest banking groups DSK Bank chose TouchControl for its high level of protection and reliability
- The world class chemical plant Victrex in Lancashire which delivers high performance polymer solutions to a range of sectors
- The 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall Building in London which comprises 45 floors of office space
- The Atlantic Islands Centre on the 5.5 sq mile Isle of Luing