A Healthy Dose of Fire Protection for St. Joseph’s Hospital

This New York-based health center consolidated its multiple fire detection systems with a single network solution.

New Solution Revives Hospital Protection
Working cooperatively with the hospital, ST&A, a Campus Gamewell-FCI engineered systems distributor, suggested the hospital look at an integrated fire alarm solution. The hospital hired an independent consultant, RobsonWoese Inc. Consulting Engineers, to design a sole-source integrated system for the complex.

The consultant’s main task was to design a horizontal evacuation plan that complies with current NFPA standards. Defining fire zones and smoke and fire barriers was the first step. Next was the conception of a voice alarm system that indicates fire ‘zone’ origins to all occupants while providing evacuation instructions to relevant areas.

The new design called for Gamewell-FCI’s 7100 NetSOLO™ fire alarm control, integrated with the E3 Series™ voice evacuation system, which completed the new network.

According to Mark Simpson, a vice president with ST&A and NICET Level IV certified electrical technician, “We had two custom cabinets built to house all the ASM-16s (addressable switch modules). Firefighter phones are installed throughout the complex and ring only to the pertinent command centers. The command centers are configurable to fit 40 of the ASM-16’s. These 16-button modules have three colored LEDs associated with each button to provide feedback on the status of each button.”

As one of the E3 Series’ addressable modules, the ASM-16 is programmable via software. Each ASM-16 push-button switch can be utilized for an assortment of functions, including fire zone speaker circuit switch, firefighter phone switch, auxiliary control switch or any number of applications that pertain to system functionality, such as device reset.

“With the new system we installed, just the push of a button will take a zone out of operation. This allows hospital management to do whatever they need to with regard to maintenance or testing. No one can believe how easy it is now,” says Simpson.

The new system installed by Myriad Construction of Syracuse, N.Y., is made up of 54 nodes on a 100 percent fiber backbone. A great deal of planning was done, relative to conduit routes and firewall patching. The installation used circuit integrity (CI) cable in conduit to provide two-hour fire notification appliance circuit (NAC) survival with one terminal box in each fire zone. All wires are labeled, tagged and archived on computer-aided drawing (CAD) files. The result is a serviceable and expandable installation.

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