THE BOTTOM LINE DECEMBER 2020

This month Simon Banks talks to Neil Hughes of Moray Fire Protection. Based in Elgin, the company provides fire detection and protection equipment and services to companies, government organisations and individuals throughout Scotland.

How important is EN54 certification for Fire Systems?

EN54 certification is critical when dealing with life safety systems. By utilising solutions that meet this certification and ensuring all our Fire systems adhere to the highest standards, we can demonstrate our commitment to the sector. As part of the BAFE scheme, we are also demonstrating to our customers that we are always focused on moving the business and our practices in the correct and positive direction, giving the public reassurance when selecting a fire alarm company. By guaranteeing that all the products we provide are robust and fit for purpose, we can guarantee a level of service for our customers. When systems do fail, they need to fail safely, for example by providing an output to make Installers aware that the system is not fully functioning.

Today, many Fire Systems are not connected to an ARC. What is the value offered by professional monitoring?

We all know that a fire alarm is designed to save lives by alerting those on-site so they can evacuate as quickly as possible. This idea of speed also applies to a monitored system. Having a fire alarm that will alert an ARC and then the fire brigade – even when no-one is on-site – can help to save a property’s contents, the building itself and ultimately someone’s home or livelihood. For us, a monitored fire system, with all the wide-ranging benefits it can offer, is well worth the investment. The peace of mind, knowing that being on or off-site, any alarm and fault signal transmitted is processed and actioned at the earliest possible time. At Moray, we have many installations at rural locations, where time is crucial and every second counts when a fire occurs. 

As a company that covers many rural areas, how important are radio-only systems for these remote locations?

Radio communication is of crucial importance to rural communities. In many instances, public safety, critical communications and other emergency services rely on this. Wireless digital technologies offer cost-effective solutions to remote areas, improving the access to professional systems which historically have depended on older, wired connections. Moreover, we are seeing these older connections becoming redundant as part of the UK’s All IP (Digital Voice) programme.

Some rural sites still offer challenges to the Installer. Some extremely remote areas have limited mobile network availability or low signal strength and we sometimes have to adjust the installation to meet customer requirements. But with the ever-increasing availability of 4G coverage, roaming SIMs available as standard to access all networks and High Gain Aerials to ensure we get the best signal, we can install with confidence knowing that we can provide the highest level of resilience for that system. This combination offers a better service than older wired systems, and access to sites that previously did not have it.  

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