Rochdale Tower Block Residents Safeguarded by Hyfire Wireless Devices

Tower blocks in Rochdale town centre

To complement the ‘Waking Watch’ patrol service on site, the seven residential tower blocks at College Bank, which are owned by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, now feature BS 5839-compliant L5 fire systems in addition to BS 8629 evacuation management systems.

Anthony McKinnon, Contracts Director at ABCA Systems, commented: “This is one of the largest contracts we’ve been asked to deliver in order to help our clients meet new legislative and regulatory standards for high-rise residential blocks in the UK. Wireless devices were a great choice. Not only are they easier to install, but they also reduce the impact on the interior aesthetics and fabric of the building.

McKinnon continued: “We have a long-standing partnership with Hyfire and the company’s new Taurus range of wireless devices is the equal of any wired alternative, so we had no hesitation in recommending this solution for College Bank, alongside Advanced MxPro fire panels.”

The installation process for the system was significantly streamlined by the use of wireless devices, with wiring reduced by around 90%.

In conclusion, McKinnon noted: “The success of this project and the experience it has delivered puts ABCA Systems in a great position to reapply this solution to other high-rise developments with a similar need.”

Hyfire offers the widest range of commercial standard wireless fire devices on the market, ranging from optical, multi-criteria and heat detectors to notification, alarm, interface and control units, all fully certified to EN54. All products offer the highest performance and quality in the industry, and are also fully compliant with BS5839 Part 1. Fire panels are wired via a loop to translators, from which wireless devices can be used on their own to build fully wireless systems of virtually any size, or mixed with Hyfire wired products to provide seamless hybrid solutions, offering total flexibility to specifiers and installers.

Robert Bruce, Hyfire Regional Sales Manager, said: “This was a fantastic project to be involved in and ABCA delivered a first-class installation. The client brief allowed us to showcase our new Taurus system being utilised as a Waking Watch replacement, in conjunction with a BS8629 EvacWireless system. Our unique Network Optimiser technology gives us 60 communication channels, allowing us to install both wireless systems in all seven blocks without any interference and channel conflict.

“Working to a tight project timescale for installation of both systems, with residents still in situ, it was also important for us to have the ability to pre-programme the devices offsite before installing them in their final locations. The power and flexibility of the Hyfire TauREX software allowed us to configure our systems remotely. Once installed in their final location, it was simple to ‘wake up’ these devices and have them report back to the main control panel.”

Developed in Trieste, Italy, the global centre for wireless fire design, Taurus features Pathfinder Technology, which allows the devices to communicate over 1km, point to point in open air, and further where expansion hops are used. Antenna technology has been optimised to allow communication across different frequencies and environments, which means that Taurus can do the job with less equipment and less batteries, thus saving on costs.

Scott Lawson, Fire Risk Manager with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, commented: “The tower blocks at College Bank are part of a vital regeneration project for Rochdale town centre. While there will be big long-term changes affecting these blocks, we are doing everything we can to ensure residents are kept safe throughout the regeneration, including investing in these alarm systems.”

Lawson continued: “The flexibility of the Taurus devices made them really suitable for a quick installation to meet the needs of residents. This was also our first experience of commissioning a new BS 8629-compliant system. Again, a Hyfire EvacWireless system, based on the Advanced EvacGo panel, was our first choice for these blocks.”

Hyfire was launched as Sterling Safety Systems in 2007, bringing to market some of the first commercial wireless detection and alarm devices fully certified to EN54. Since then, the Hyfire brand has become synonymous with quality, reliability and innovation in the commercial fire sector. Hyfire devices come with a five-year warranty, backed up by a dedicated partner programme to ensure the best survey, installation, commissioning, after sales service and exceptional technical support.

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