An escape room, also sometimes known as an escape game, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles to escape from a locked room. There is a variety of different types of escape room, but typically they can have teams of up to twelve people taking part, working their way through games and puzzles. Some of the most common features found in escape rooms include; locks and keys, a locked door, multiple rooms, hidden doors and a particular theme that the game is based around.
Due to the nature of these games, where a group of people are essentially locked in a room, fire safety is extremely important. Fast and reliable fire detection is essential to alert staff and players to ensure that they are given enough time to evacuate to safety.
As players are locked in rooms that are designed to be difficult to get out of they may become disoriented, think that fire alarms are part of the game or not be able to find the nearest exit. Therefore, it is essential that escape routes are well signed and that teams are properly briefed on alarm and evacuation procedures before they begin.
Poland Escape Room Fire
Earlier this year, a man was charged over a fire at an escape room in Poland, in which five teenage girls died. The man was charged with “deliberately creating the danger of fire in the escape room” and “unintentionally causing the death of people in a fire”. Where fire had been part of the game that the teenage girls were playing, no escape routes were available and the five girls died of asphyxiation after being locked in a room close to the fire.
Escape rooms are particularly popular in Poland, and after this tragic accident thirteen other escape rooms have been shut down over safety flaws and fire safety laws, of which there were none previously, will be introduced for all similar attractions.
In light of this devastating occurrence, and given the relatively new concept and the increasing popularity of escape rooms, it is likely that will see more strict regulations enforced all around the world. Besides this, we should treat this event as an opportunity to reevaluate our risk assessments and ensure that there are no more tragic accidents like this.
What are the Challenges?
Naturally, fire detection is essential for escape rooms. However, these rooms are built to very specific design specifications and, if a fire safety system is not included at the beginning of the design process, adding one could not only damage the aesthetics and illusion of the rooms, but installation could cause significant downtime. In addition to this, these rooms can be changed regularly to suit different themes and provide different games and puzzles. Therefore, new cabling will need to be run each time to ensure suitable detector, sounder and call point positioning.
What is the Solution?
Hybrid fire detection allows hardwired and wireless devices to work together. This means that, in situations such as this, wireless devices can be used in areas that require new or additional fire safety devices without the need for time-consuming, unsightly and costly cabling. What’s more, if the design of a room is changed, the wireless devices can simply be moved or repositioned, making hybrid the ideal and most cost-effective solution for escape room applications.
Wi-Fyre Hybrid Fire Detection
Wi-Fyre is Eurofyre’s own hybrid fire detection solution. Wi-Fyre uses a transponder, installed into the fire alarms wiring via a compatible interface module, to communicate with wireless devices installed around a property. Each transponder can communicate with up to thirty mixed wireless devices such as wireless manual call points, wireless sounders, wireless detectors and wireless input/output devices.
Wi-Fyre has 6 user-selectable modes of operation for increased compatibility with a range of different detection types:
- ProFyre 2-Wire addressable
- ProFyre addressable
- Addressable (collective)
A Wi-Fyre wireless survey head is also available and must be used to ensure that the signal between the transponder and its devices is adequate enough for the system to operate efficiently.