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The HVAC industry is continuously evolving, adapting to new norms, regulations and advanced technology. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) HVAC capabilities have advanced far beyond temperature control and air circulation. Integrating HVAC systems with security and life safety systems facilities can establish a safer environment.

IoT Sensors

IoT sensors form a major part of a ‘Smart Building’. Smart buildings are capable of controlling and monitoring the buildings mechanism and electrical equipment via a computer-based control system installed in buildings, known as Building Management Systems (BMS). BMS helps to monitor and control ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems within the smart buildings.

Temperature Sensors

Temperature sensors are configured to detect temperatures in the normal range. However, there are special heat-proof sensors that can detect  temperature of the fire. These sensors are capable of detecting fire even before they emit smoke, provide fire-fighters clues on the intensity of the fire, allowing them to alter their equipment and approach accordingly.

Prevention & Suppression of Catastrophic Event

IoT powered fire safety doesn’t just keep us informed but also keep us safe. The latest technology can already link a fire alarm or carbon monoxide detector with home appliances, such as an oven. If the system detects a fire or carbon monoxide, it automatically shuts off these combustion sources.

Several buildings have sprinkler systems, which function on the condition in which office equipment is cheaper to replace than an entire building. Gas and chemical solutions are also available, which minimize damages but are unsuitable for populated areas. IoT offers streamlined fire-fighting capabilities to put out small fires; staying put until the emergency crews arrive. A smart IoT enabled fire system is capable of deploying customised measures depending on the nature of the fire and occupants in the room to minimize damage to the facility. Automated management eliminates human errors and costs associated with manual checks, providing much higher asset visibility.

IoT sensors, can not only identify a fire but also tell you where it started, at what pace it is spreading and location thereof. Smart fire detectors and alarms can report, if they are running low on battery for efficient maintenance. IoT sensor can indicate if a fire extinguisher is missing. It can also alert the people within the building through an alarm intimating them to evacuate.

Systems integration can identify faults or upgrades required in current infrastructures such as HVAC, Fire and life safety systems to provide a greater return on their equipment investments. It can also spot unrealized inefficiencies within a facility through extensive analysis and diagnostics.

Fire Dampers

Fire dampers are used when room temperatures rise around 1650F at which the damper’s fusible link melts triggering its door to shut; to avoid more damage. The damper prevents spread of fire through heating, ventilation, and AC ducts, helping stop the spread of fire throughout the home or building. Dampers also prevent smoke from travelling through the building’s ductwork in the event of a fire.

Modern smoke control dampers are equipped with damper position, monitors and damper motor controls through the use of self-test software programs. Each smoke control damper can be accessed, at the touch of a button. Dampers
rotate between fully-open to fully-closed to confirm adequate operation – any failures are reported to the fire alarm control system.

Integrated System Testing

The concept of various life-safety oriented building systems working together is not new. However, the requirement to test their integrated operation is a significant change. The National Building Code of Canada now refers to CAN/ULC-S1001 Integrated Systems Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems to ensure building systems that provide fire protection and life safety, are integrated and functioning, efficiently.

In the past, individual systems may have just provided inputs or outputs which were never tested to prove they acted in harmony. The new requirement demands that a test is carried out to ensure all integrated systems which contribute to life-safety functions will work unitedly.

Improve Building efficiency

Systems integration can identify faults or upgrades required in current infrastructures such as HVAC, Fire and life safety systems to provide a greater return on their equipment investments. It can also spot unrealized inefficiencies within a facility through extensive analysis and diagnostics.

The integrated system helps enhance productivity and replace any equipment that is slowing down operations within an estimated budget. Additionally, an integrator takes on planned and predictive maintenance to make certain that all building systems are properly serviced to operate most efficiently throughout their life cycles.

Processes are automated and streamlined, reducing human error. As the building and life safety industries continue to grow so will the systems integration advance. From sensors that alert HVAC systems of fire to HVAC systems assisting with more immediate responses, these cases only showcase a small percentage of how systems integration can lead to safer, smarter and more efficient environments.


 References:

https://www.hpacmag.com/features/enhancing-facility-safety-with-integrated-hvac-controls/ 

https://www.theinvictagroup.co.uk/news/internet-of-things-iot-changing-fire-safety/

https://behrtech.com/blog/3-remarkable-iot-applications-for-fire-safety/

https://www.castotech.com/what-is-a-fire-damper-and-how-does-it-work/.