Rob Evans, Sales Director at CSL speaks exclusively about the company's new DualCom Pro Fire Range as well as innovation in the fire detection and alarms market.
What opportunities do you believe the fire alarm signalling sector is not fully utilising?
There is a definite lack of monitored fire alarm systems. If you have a regular, non-monitored system, there is always a risk of no-one being there to raise the alarm to the emergency services. Without alarm monitoring, a standard alarm simply rings out while fire spreads undeterred and this is something that should be re-evaluated for assets and properties.
I believe there is a misconception that these types of alarm systems do not add value or are too costly, but this is simply not the case. Professional monitoring in fire is crucial for professional installations.
At CSL, we believe we have the ideal solutions for the market and we look forward to installers benefitting from our latest offering, DualCom Pro Fire. It is priced competitively, whilst providing the added benefits of remote access and peace of mind when premises are not occupied.
How is the DualCom Pro Fire Range a unique product for the fire and safety industry?
DualCom Pro Fire offers installers an easier and faster installation of professional fire signalling systems. The solutions are totally wireless, meaning there is no need to delay the install to configure a wired connection. They are plug and play – you simply power the device up and it will automatically download its configuration. The device can be installed wirelessly, meaning it can be in whatever position provides the best signal. All of this is backed up by the My Base App and CSL Live portal, which allows remote maintenance and access to the installation once the engineer has left the site.
How important is EN54 certification and why it is a huge asset to the DualCom Pro?
EN54 certification is the most important aspect in terms of signalling for fire detection and alarm systems. Over the past few years, we have seen an increased industry demand for EN54 (Fire) certified signalling products that offer flexibility of installation, increased reliability and cost-effectiveness. Today, most fire systems having no monitoring at all despite many fires occurring when the premises are empty. We are confident that all criteria have now been satisfied with the new DualCom Pro Fire products.
Why is professional alarm signalling an important aspect and in what situations can this type of monitoring be efficiently utilised?
The wireless capabilities of DualCom Pro mean that no installation is limited by the infrastructure of the premises, making it easier than ever to provide professional fire monitoring.
The range includes two variants. DigiAir Pro Fire offers a totally wireless single path solution, whilst GradeShift Pro Fire offers dual path signalling via two separate radio modules. Both solutions come with multiple 4G WorldSIMs, providing the most reliable fire signalling systems ever.
Could you elaborate on the cost effectiveness of the DualCom Pro and why this is generally an issue in the fire systems market?
The cost of EN54 approved signalling products has long been an issue in the fire industry. Monitored systems for fire systems are historically priced high and only available at dual path. Older EN54 certified signalling solutions were very expensive, meaning many installers could not justify the investment and leaving most fire systems having no monitoring at all – despite many fires occurring when the premises are empty.
DigiAir Pro Fire offers an ideal solution here, as a totally wireless, cost-effective, single path option. The wireless capabilities of DigiAir Pro Fire mean that no installation is limited by the infrastructure of the premises or the need for a wired connection. It is also a great option for upgrading non-monitored fire systems or futureproofing those that are using legacy communications like digis. For those installations that require dual path signalling, GradeShift Pro Fire is available.
How long was the process for the DualCom Pro – from concept, to finished certified product?
Our recent acquisitions of WebWay & Emizon helped to make it a reality. We took all the best parts of each product to create the DualCom Pro range. Work was already underway following Emizon joining the CSL Group in 2017. Once WebWay came on board in June 2018, the experts from across the three brands came together to deliver the leading product within 12 months – officially launching in July 2019. Shortly after this we attained the prestigious EN54 approval for Fire.
As with all product launches in our industry, the launch was staggered with rigorous beta and live trials to ensure optimum performance and on-site success. Since this moment, DualCom Pro has been utilised in over 10,000 installations across the UK and Ireland.
It is important to note that the DualCom Pro range was launched in partnership with the industry – working alongside our CSL Connected Partners and listening to the market to ensure that we build a range that will not only benefit our customers but all those in the supply chain.
Do you have any predictions for the fire detection and alarms market?
Tougher legislation to mandate fire against insurance and help drive down false alarms would be welcomed. This legislation would need to come from the industry with involvement from government and trade bodies.
60 fires a day occur in or beside vacant or derelict properties in the UK (Home Office Statistics). When a fire occurs and the premises are empty, it will not be reported unless someone nearby sees it or hears the alarm.
A Fire System with Professional Signalling reports any faults or alarms to a Monitoring Centre, providing 24/7 365 peace of mind for premises owners.
Are there are any other safety innovations from CSL that will be introduced to the market soon?
Our new CSL Router was recently introduced and offers instant connectivity for systems including CCTV, Access Control and many more. It provides secure connectivity for applications that support fire systems and is pre-configured for quick installation. The recent trend of visual verification between CCTV and alarm signalling can also be supported by CSL Router.
Its static IP address allows remote access into the system without interfering with any IT infrastructure. All options offer a fully encrypted service via our Gemini Global Platform to guarantee data is kept safe. For installations that require professional monitoring, the CSL Router can be connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre. It is also available as a self-monitoring solution with the ability to upgrade to full ARC Connection at any time.
At CSL, we are always listening to the market and our installers share their challenges, frustrations and opportunities with us. This allows us to deliver products and services to the industry and maximise their success. We also ensure they tick all the boxes for our customers to allow them to provide the highest-level service to end users.
Click here to read this article published in the latest edition of International Fire and Safety Journal.