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June 10, 2022


Lithium-Ion batteries. A guide to the fire risk that isn’t going away but can be managed

Case study

London high-rise apartments replaces Waking Watch with wireless fire detection solution

A wireless fire detection solution from Hochiki has been installed to replace a Waking Watch Scheme in six blocks of high rise apartments in North London.

EN54-25 approved and RED compliant, the Ekho hybrid wireless fire detection solution is said to use the latest in radio networking technology and provide a robust ‘always on’ network of devices which automatically adapt to changing environmental conditions. It was this design element that led Fire Alarms Fabrication Services (FAFS) to choose Hochiki to consult on their latest project in a North London borough, explains the vendor.

Hochiki-EkhoGroup-22Waking Watch schemes have been used for the last few years to provide 24/7 monitoring of buildings identified as fire risks due to dangerous cladding. With high operational costs, and the risk of human error reported, building owners and local authorities are looking to fire detection solutions and installers to help with alternatives.

The Government has encouraged this approach, with its Waking Watch Relief fund made available for building managers and owners.

The project covered six buildings with 16 floors each. A Waking Watch team of six patrolled the stairs, corridors, and communal areas at a cost of £10,000 per week. However, because the teams could not be in all places, at all times, it was noted that they might not be able to detect a fire escalating up the outside on the cladding. To add to this Waking Watch teams are not permitted to enter private apartments meaning early detection could be missed here too.

Commenting on the project, Fire Alarms Fabrication Services, Kevin Dodge, Sales Account Manager at FAFS, said: “The technology used in the Ekho devices helps residents feel safer compared to relying on a team of people prone to human error. The building owners are reassured due to the self-configuring mesh network which keeps the devices connected and communicating with the fire panel 24/7”

“This was an incredibly complex and highly involved project, we worked closely with the team at Hochiki who consulted on best devices for this project. The Ekho range offered a wireless solution which allowed us to work around issues such as cabling inside private spaces. Ekho allowed for early detection and most importantly detection outside of the building on cladding by installing heat sensor devices adjacent to every single window, including the windows for individual dwellings. The Ekho range is ultra-dependable, and much more cost effective than the Waking Watch scheme that was in place in these buildings.”


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