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Protecting a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Protecting a UNESCO World Heritage Site

June 8, 2022

The project is funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. The implementation is supervised by Elotec, a large Norwegian distributor of security systems and manufacturer of wired fire alarms, with more than 20 years of expertise in the market.

Challenge

Prevent fire hazards in a densely populated area with historic wooden buildings

Bergen has been affected by fires over centuries. City municipality faced the challenge, because security system should:

  • Meet various requirements. The equipment should work properly in all kinds of detached houses, townhouses, small shops and apartment buildings with several floors.
  • Be straightforward to install. Destroying the walls to lay the wires wasn’t the option. All devices should be seamlessly integrated into historic buildings.
  • Be easy-to-manage. Security system should become a part of everyday life. Residents and business owners get alerts in case of danger and don’t stress out about the false alarms.

It took about 6 months for Bergen Municipality to research the market, and choose such a system. Ajax and Elotec won the tender.

Why Ajax was chosen for this project

  • Approach. Ajax R&D team is ready to flexibly deliver the features, in accordance with the client’s requests.
  • Implementation. To install wireless detectors, there is no need for construction work. To monitor alarms, a fire department uses Ajax software. To manage the system, a user needs a smartphone with Ajax mobile app.
  • Ecosystem. Ajax product line of allows to add protection against burglars and floods. Users can integrate new detectors into the system any moment and extend their home/office security.

Solution

633 fire alarm systems that alert residents via mobile app and loud sirens

The wooden buildings are provided with Hub control panels, FireProtect fire detectors, and Button smart buttons. They were installed inside the apartments/housing units. With the Ajax mobile app, the residents are immediately notified of smoke or rapid temperature rise in the premises.

Preventing false alarms 

Each Ajax fire detector is an independent device with a built-in loud siren of 85 dB. Even if the Internet connection in the building is lost, all detectors will be triggered in case of danger as a unified system. This is possible due to the Interconnected Fire Alarm feature.

Special for the Bergen project, the Ajax R&D team implemented the delay of Interconnected Alarm. This minimizes false calls of the fire department.

«The development we have done with Ajax is crucial, and making the system perfect for these kinds of projects»Kristian Kleven, product and quality manager, Elotec

For example, if a person burnt food on the stovetop, they can press Button within 5 minutes (set in the app from 0 to 5 minutes) from the moment the smoke was detected. This will postpone the Interconnected Fire Alarm transmission. Then a person has another 10 minutes to handle the reason for the false alarm (for instance, to air the room). Thus, the fire department will not receive a false alarm.

However, if Button is not pressed within 5 minutes (depending on the settings), the Interconnected Alarm will be activated and the alarm transmitted to the fire department.

1 900 people now have wireless systems installed. All are monitored by the Bergen fire department

Any resident or business owner in the protected area had the opportunity to apply for the system installation. Each system is connected to the fire monitoring station for free.

Some people hesitated because of the cost if the fire brigade arrives at false alarms. With Ajax Button, and the delay of Interconnected Alarm, those worries were gone.

Button can also notify an alarm monitoring company about the intrusion, gas leak, or fire. Moreover, it can request medical help. In panic mode, the device supports 4 types of alarms.

Professional installer used approx 30 minutes in each apartment/housing unit 

Ajax wireless equipment is ready to operate straight out of the box. Smooth installation and user experience encouraged people to add more Ajax devices to the system, at their own expense. Now wooden buildings in Bergen are also protected from burglars and floods.

Growing opportunities

This project is still going, and more Bergen districts are now joining it. There are similar projects going on in other places in Norway. In Levanger, the municipality also implemented 450 fire alarm systems monitored by the fire departments.

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