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Fire-Safety: The Next Innovation Frontier?

October 9 -15, 2016 is Fire Prevention Week

Most of us don’t think too much about the fire alarm systems in our homes or offices. We know they are there and trust that they will do their job – detecting smoke or fire and quickly alerting us to danger.

These devices are an important part of our everyday lives, and, now, new innovations in the fire alarm space are available that further increase protection and help people feel more comfortable interacting with their systems.

As explained in a recent market report in the trade journal SDM Magazine, companies like Honeywell are seeing greater acceptance of technology advancements that are helping the industry achieve impressive growth. In the article, Todd Rief, president of Honeywell Security and Fire in North America, says more engineers and fire marshals are viewing wireless technologies as safe and acceptable under the codes. When the cost of running wire and conduit becomes prohibitive, wireless devices provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional wired devices. But the benefits of a wireless system go beyond cost savings. These systems, like the Honeywell SWIFT wireless technology devices, offer faster installation time, improved appearance and can be installed with minimal physical impact on a structure.

Apps are also becoming more common as well to help professionals perform tasks like annual inspections and maintenance. From a consumer’s perspective, this is a big part of the equation that allows building occupants to rest easy knowing their alarm systems are functioning as they should and within the rules.

In another SDM June article, Samir Jain, Honeywell Security and Fire general manager of enterprise solutions, says other technologies are emerging to help apps utilize additional functionality permissible under codes and regulations.

Jain says using an app to remotely arm or disarm a fire alarm system from just anywhere isn’t very desirable. Geo-location capabilities, though, can verify if an authorized person is actually on the premises, and the system can then permit them to use the app. Honeywell eVance Services, a set of desktop and mobile applications that help site technicians efficiently test all fire-safety equipment in a facility, better connect the contractors who manage the fire alarm systems within their buildings.

Using fire alarm systems as mass notification technologies and the incorporation of touchscreen interfaces into fire panels are additional advancements that help make it easier for professionals and users alike to interact with the panels.

“Our Gamewell solutions have touchscreen displays that help to guide the person interacting with the fire system,” says Jeff Netland, engineering leader for Honeywell Security and Fire North America Commercial Business. “People who may not traditionally work with fire systems may not understand some of the buttons and what they do, but the touchscreen takes the fear of interacting with the fire system away.”

Read more about the state of the fire industry and how Honeywell is uniquely positioned to make innovation a greater part of an industry poised for more growth in 2016.

Learn more about Fire Prevention Week and smoke alarm safety.

Katie Hunt
Home and Building Technologies
(502) 836-4926  - Mobile