In short, a healthcare facility is any location where healthcare is provided. Healthcare facilities range from small clinics and doctor’s offices to urgent care centres and large hospitals. Healthcare facilities may be owned by for-profit businesses, non-profit organisations, governments and, in some cases, by individuals.
Some healthcare facilities provide purely outpatient services, where patients just attend for appointments, while others, such as hospitals, provide specialised treatment for inpatient (overnight) stays. Either way, healthcare facilities can host thousands of patients, visitors, staff and personnel every day.
Healthcare facilities, no matter the type or size, all have a legal obligation to protect their visitors from fire. Therefore, suitable fire detection must be in place to allow sufficient time for evacuation. Not only is the safety of occupants extremely important but expensive, life-saving equipment must also be preserved.
What are the Challenges?
As these types of facility often provide ongoing patient care, the operation of the building is also extremely important; operational downtime is not only costly, but may also lead to critically ill patients being transferred to other facilities for treatment, putting lives at risk.
Therefore, when designing, upgrading or conducting routine maintenance on fire detection equipment, the effect it will have on the operation of the business must be considered.
Access is also a challenging factor. Many areas, particularly in hospitals, are usually densely occupied. Moving patients to allow access for maintenance, repair or upgrades can cause them a lot of unnecessary stress and is not always practical. Running new cables is almost impossible and requires extensive planning so arrangements can be made to clear the area for a period of time.
By employing a hybrid fire detection solution such as Wi-Fyre, wireless detectors, sounders, manual call points and input/output (I/O) modules can be used where necessary to minimise disruption.
Wi-Fyre allows hardwired and wireless detection technologies to coexist as part of the same detection system. This means that for new installations, hardwired devices can be used in less critical areas such as atria and offices that have fewer access restrictions, and wireless devices can be used in areas where time is of the essence.
Wi-Fyre can also be incorporated into existing hardwired fire alarm systems and provides the ability to upgrade, extend or replace broken or outdated components of an already installed solution; with this in mind, Wi-Fyre has six user-selectable modes of operation for increased compatibility with a range of systems:
- ProFyre 2-Wire addressable
- ProFyre addressable
- Addressable (collective)
How Wi-Fyre Works
At the heart of the Wi-Fyre system is the Wi-Fyre wireless transponder. The transponder is installed into the fire alarms wiring via a compatible interface module. Once installed, each transponder can communicate with up to thirty, mixed, wireless field devices such as wireless smoke and heat detectors, wireless manual call points, wireless sounders and wireless I/O modules.
For areas such as plant and boiler rooms, where linear heat detection provides the most reliable solution, a Wi-Fyre I/O module can be used to monitor the output from the detector and wirelessly report its condition to the fire alarm control panel.
Likewise, for areas such as external bin yards, detectors such as Panasonic IP67 and ATEX compliant detectors can also be connected via a wireless I/O module.
In any situation, a Wi-Fyre Survey Head must be used to ensure that the signal between the transponder and the connected device is strong enough for the system to work efficiently.
For more information about Wi-Fyre and how it can be used for healthcare facilities, please feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)1329 835024 or email [email protected] where we would be happy to answer any questions.