In the event of a fire, the most important thing is to get the people out as quickly as possible. Intelligent fire safety lights that identify and direct to the safest escape route reduce the risk of injury, smoke damage and prevent the spread of fires.
Imagine a situation where you are on one of the top floors of a hotel and the fire alarm goes off. You quickly run from your room to the hallway and begin to look to see which way to go. You see an emergency route light directing to the emergency exit stairwell on both ends of the hallway. The other one is green, but the other one has a red ‘X’ symbol over the exit symbol. You immediately know which stairwell to head to.
This type of communication of the safe escape route is possible in a fire safety system that combines fire alarms and route lights. The route lights symbols of the Hedengren Security Prodex FIREscape system change automatically based on the information received from the fire detectors.
- Separate fire and emergency lighting systems with static route lights continue to direct people to two stairwells, even if one of them were to have a fire. In a multi-function centre, however, the activation of a fire alarm in a specific zone initiates directing the escape from the building toward other routes, says Peter Malmelin, who has responsibility for fire emergency systems at Hedengren Security.
The Finnish intelligent route light for minimising damage
Malmelin says that Hedengren Security began to develop a multi-function system in order to improve the safety of people and properties in emergencies. The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency Tukes concluded that route lights with changing symbols fulfil the regulatory requirements for product oversight (Ministry of the Interior Decree on marking and illuminating escape routes (805/2005)).
- In the event of an accident or fire, the most important thing is to get people to safety as quickly as possible. The best way to avoid injury or death is if no one wanders off in the wrong direction and succumbs to smoke inhalation. Clear route signs also reduce uncertainty and panicking. Guiding people directly to a safe route speeds up evacuation and helps rescue workers with their work, Malmelin adds as significant benefits of the system for people.
From the building’s perspective, a route light with changing symbol helps reduce smoke damage and the risk of the fire spreading, as people do not open doors in the fire area when seeking an escape route.
- If the fire is not fed by more oxygen, the harmful smoke gases cannot spread and the building may sustain significantly less smoke damage, says Malmelin.
How do combined fire emergency lights operate?
The Prodex FIREscape system consists of Neptolux emergency lights and Prodex fire alarms: The shared keypad provides rescue personnel a comprehensive situational status of the building in an emergency. If necessary, the user is able to control the lighting and fire systems separately from the keypad.
Combining the two most central safety systems of a building into a single system also makes the work of the designer and installers significantly easier and substantially reduces the carbon footprint created by the devices, as cables, centres and keypads are needed only for a single system. Both the fire alarms and emergency lights have unit-specific back-ups and are the most energy efficient on the market.
Fire emergency route lights that indicate the safest escape route are in use especially in hotels, shopping centres and cultural sites that have a lot of people and alternative escape routes.
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