Why FMs need to be SMaRT managing their premises

Using our latest technology such as SMaRT Web, it is now possible for you to receive detailed information about your fire alarm system and the precise location of any alarm activation on your smartphone or tablet. Admittedly, this won’t put the fire out – we aren’t that smart … yet! It will however, alert your key staff immediately, regardless of where they are, saving precious time.
You can also receive automatically-generated notifications of any faults in the fire alarm system, for swift action. Receiving such precise information of a building fault subsequently saves you money. Engineers who know the system well, will be able to decide whether the fault needs an immediate response. Of course, if the fault is critical, they will need to see to it straight away but if it is not urgent they can decide to wait until they are in the vicinity - avoiding unnecessary weekend or evening call-outs. The additional advantage is that having the full information to hand, the engineer can attend site with the appropriate parts to resolve the problem, negating the need for two visits; first to investigate and then to fix.
Other key benefits include a permanent record of all events that have occurred and the ability to drill into that data to produce reports confirming whether routine maintenance has been completed or detailing that the devices haven’t yet been tested. Further reports can be created to show that weekly testing is being carried out. Reports can be customised and saved in different formats to show the status of the system and measure engineer and system performance.
Even if the fire alarm systems are not connected to the internet, hand-held devices carried by engineers can be temporarily connected to the fire alarm control panel, recording activities as they carry out the maintenance. These can then be downloaded when there is an internet connection later that day.
Systems are now available that are compatible with all leading fire alarm control panels to provide a view of the status and performance of all connected fire alarm sensors. As a result, you can now carry around a real-time ‘snapshot’ of the alarm system in your building or even your entire portfolio on your mobile device. Now that is smart thinking! Call us on 0345 4593005 to find out more.

How the NHS shines a light on the true cost of false alarms in your business

False alarms are costing hospitals a small fortune, how are you managing life safety in your business premises?

Every year, the fire Brigade receives more than 600,000 calls about blazes up and down the country. Of those calls a staggering 50% are false alarms; hospitals have been identified as responsible for the vast majority, particularly in London.

To address the problem, in 2014 the London Fire Brigade introduced a penalty charging scheme for excessive false fire alarm call outs, although at present the scheme is suspended for review.

But the action shows how seriously the brigade views this issue and need for action by hospital trusts. Last year, NHS Ayreshire and Arran issued an information sheet on the issue. It provided figures from Audit Scotland which estimate that it costs taxpayers £2,342 every time the fire brigade is called to a false alarm on hospital premises.

It lists the most common causes of fires in healthcare buildings as cooking equipment; aerosols; malicious or accidental operation of break-glass call points; steam from showers, kettles and dishwashers; residual dust; insects invading sensor chambers in smoke detectors; and fumes from vehicles and petrol-driven garden tools.

By far the most common is burnt toast! The document states that most of these false alarms are preventable.

To quote directly, ‘New smart technology is currently being used in a number of locations to cut down on false alarms.’

This is where we come in. Drax’s AMX software was developed to do just that - help reduce false alarms. This is achieved by collecting data on all fire detection and alarm systems, analysing said data, and instigating measures to ensure unwanted alarms do not re-occur. Sounds simple? It really can be, add to this cost savings, secured safety as alarms become reliable with necessary procedures adhered to correctly and you know you need to be contacting us for a no-obligation site survey.

Call 0345 4593005 to discuss ways we can use the latest technology to enable the life safety applications in your business function more cost effectively. We can also connect you with one of our local accredited partners that can carry out a holistic review of your life safety service and maintenance package.

Swimming, software development and partnering with Bedfordshire University on their KTP scheme

It has been an energising few weeks of expansion at Drax Technology with a new office, new phone number, new products in development and our latest recruit Usman Ali. Usman joins us via Bedfordshire University and their Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme.  The University has been working with Drax for the last few months developing and securing a placement for a recent graduate to assist with our latest product developments.

Usman joins us on a two-year placement and brings a wealth of experience from early innovations during his undergraduate period at Bedfordshire University.  He has worked with prestigious local businesses, developed apps, produced software and has a soft spot for all types of programming language, with excellent interpersonal skills his transition into the Drax Technology team has been seamless.

When asked a series of questions for an internal blog, Usman’s funny story consisted of him literally diving in at the deep end on a school trip to the​ pool aged 12 before he had learnt to swim. A teacher swiftly rescued him and he learnt fast which seems to be an excellent metaphor for the way he has tackled projects ever since.

Usman is fascinated by every development regarding the Internet of Things and has hit the ground running looking at further detection and monitoring of false alarms and innovative ways in which the cloud can improve and reduce their occurrence. He is passionate about improving life safety and recognises the importance of trusting every element of critical alarms that are in place especially owing to such devastating news reports over recent weeks. This is an industry where technological advancements can make the difference between life and death – who wouldn’t want to be involved in that.

We are so pleased to welcome him and work with Bedfordshire University on such a fantastic scheme. The University of Bedfordshire has more than 400 experts and leading researchers to work with organisations and they offer a confidential consultancy service which enables us to harness the most recent research and innovation trends. You can read more about the program here.

Sign up to our newsletter to hear more about our latest developments and keep informed about our KTP scheme.

Smart Buildings Show 8th to 9th November 2017

Drax Technology are delighted to announce attendance at the first UK’s first dedicated smart buildings event. You have plenty of time to obtain a free ticket here as the event will be held at The Barbican, London, November 8th to 9th. A very exciting date to place in your diary, with guest speakers, exhibitors and plenty of opportunity for facilities managers to access the latest in Smart Building Technology.  Do come and talk to us on stand G2.

What is a Smart Building?

Smart buildings that are connected using the latest IoT technologies become responsive by interacting with operators and users, providing them new levels of visibility and actionable information. This enhances the occupiers experience whilst productivity, environmental impact and compliance are also improved.

To maximise the benefits requires designing in intelligence and monitoring the building’s performance through to the end of its useful life. Smart buildings use information technology during operation to collect data from subsystems, that typically operate independently, to optimise building performance. 

Smart Buildings Show will cover all key aspects of creating and managing a smart building, including;
  • Building automation systems
  • Building energy management
  • HVAC
  • Smart meters and monitoring
  • Fire/Security
  • Lighting and controls
  • Software services and support
  • Building consultancy and design

If you are an architect, building services engineer, building owner, operator, facilities manager, or involved in any aspect of running buildings then the Smart Buildings Show is a must-attend event for you. Find out more by visiting the organisers website