Cleo Cosens and Antonio Carvalho of Pulse Systems explain why technology is evolving in the life safety industry, by leveraging the power of automation
All too often visibility and control is lacking in life safety. Engineers attend sites to report faults when their physical presence is no longer needed. Often, faults are reported without adequate information, resulting in increased engineering downtime and inefficient first-time fixes. Companies providing life safety systems are beginning to recognise gaps in compliance, testing, reporting, and response times.
We are in the age of “IoT” – a big buzzword that is often misunderstood with a simple meaning; the ability for devices to talk to each other. In the context of life safety, the level of control we need to safeguard and optimise a building and its operations would seem impossible without IoT. It bridges the gap for commercial buildings to provide greater building efficiency, visibility, and gain complete control.
Consider data as a goldmine that holds all the answers to problems buildings face, while raising new questions to prevent future challenges. By understanding the inefficiencies of a building (e.g. not all fire detectors or emergency lights are being tested over the year, etc.) automation can be utilised. Automating reports enable facilities teams to gain back time to focus on the more important areas of the business.
Having control over your systems is crucial. Unless you can access the system directly, you can become blind to its status. Instant online access provides the person responsible with the ability to see what the true status of their system is at any given time and can even provide early fault detection to prevent fires or failures by notifying the person responsible. It’s better to prevent problems than to solve them, particularly when lives are at stake and maintenance costs are on the rise.
The ability for systems to notify people when faults occur isn’t a new idea, but the ability to be notified in real-time is a game changer for this industry. The bottom line is that real-time data can save a building millions of pounds throughout its lifetime, facilitate evidence-based decision making, assist with management, and provide a superior service to its stakeholders. Real-time information accompanied by complete details of a fault results in faster and more accurate first-time fixes, resulting in less downtime and overheads.
THE FUTURE OF COMPLIANCE REPORTING
There is a heavy reliance on third party manual compliance reporting when this role could be automated. Automating compliance reports not only saves money but ensures the person responsible is always aware of the exact status of the system. Automating compliance compliments facilities teams by keeping them informed of deadlines, whether any actions have been taken, and if any are outstanding.
Modern IoT platforms can take it one step further by capturing exactly which call points or devices have been tested and generates a schedule to route a path that verifies that all the call points are being tested on a rotational basis.
COP26 and Net Carbon Zero targets are fuelling the world to do better for future generations. The built environment cannot realistically reach carbon zero targets by 2050 without a thorough understanding of its building and workflows. Data is crucial to the success of attaining and sustaining ESG targets. Sustainability is no longer a choice and by knowing exactly where energy is being wasted in your building can effective decision making, and strategies take place.
Now, let’s put the carbon emissions of the built environment to the side, another large contributor is travel. Travelling is inevitable when callouts and site testing occur but what if it could be minimised?
Adopting modern building management systems enables engineers to be alerted of a fault in real-time with all the relevant details required to fix the problem before dispatch. This increases the efficiency of first-time fixes and reduces the need for travel. Additionally, by automating emergency light testing for 11 out of 12 months of the year, the need for travel can decrease further.
Cloud connected building management platforms are the future. Having the ability to monitor energy use in buildings as well as identify how procedures can be automated- saves lives, money, time, carbon, and is crucial in achieving Net Carbon Zero targets. This is better for the user and better for the bottom line.
CLOUD BASED BMS
A collaboration between Pulse Systems and EFT Group, Gemineye is a future-proofed combination of fire safety and smart building technology. Its purpose is to relieve pressure from facilities teams by streamlining building operations, compliance, and maintenance. The platform is built to allow the integration of third party devices allowing it to seamlessly work alongside your existing operations infrastructure.
The platform tracks, analyses, and reports on activity from fire alarm panels- their associated endpoints and can integrate other building assets such as smart lighting, air quality, emergency lighting, and more across multiple sites, that feeds into one platform. It’s a one stop shop for building management systems.
These latest innovations demonstrate why leveraging the power of automation, real-time data, and a modern building management system can save energy, carbon, money, time, and ultimately lives.