The Treasure Island Resort & Casino (Red Wing, MN) had been experiencing tremendous growth over the past seven years. What began as a bingo hall 14 years ago has now expanded to include four casinos, a 250-room hotel, marina, RV park, and entertainment facility.

The facility, owned and operated by the Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe, had long since outgrown its existing fire protection system. With 1,400 employees and 20,000 guests weekly, though, management couldn't afford to roll the dice on being unprepared. Fortunately, when the resort finally did place its bet on a new fire safety system, the return was significant.

Where There's Smoke, There's Gambling

"We had grown, and the installers had exceeded their capabilities," recalls Dan Keizer, Treasure Island's security systems maintenance technical supervisor. "The resort tried to expand the fire safety system, but it wasn't capable of growing with the additions."

Treasure Island searched for a flexible system that could meet its expanding needs, and eventually found the solution in the Identifire Network System 2 (INS 2), from The Gamewell Co. (Ashland, MA).

The resort knew it would not be able to use smoke detectors in the casino area due to customers smoking. Instead, INS 2 allowed the resort to use heat detection, which is not set off by smoke, and was installed in the casino and administrative offices. The system also wouldn't hinder coverage elsewhere in the facility, in the event of a shutdown in the casino area.

"The system has already helped us to handle three different events in which office occupants dumped ashes into wastebaskets and caused a fire to ignite," Keizer reports. "The smoke detection quickly identified that there was a fire; the panel's point identification display told us which room the smoke was coming from. We extinguished the fires without having to wait for sprinklers to do the job, and saved a great deal of property."

No Unnecessary Alarms

Impressed with the performance of the INS 2, Treasure Island next installed the company's Identiflex 630 analog addressable fire alarm control panel with SmartStart(tm) in the brand-new, 250-room hotel.

The control panel features a default alarm mode for added security, and a 1,000-point history log to track all system activities. The interactive operator's display and keypad use LED prompting to allow Keizer's staff to monitor and maintain the system.

Keizer also found the system's zoning capabilities a major attraction. "The system allows us to confine the alarm signal to one room [in the event of an alarm in just one room]. We don't have to clear the entire building."

Moreover, if there is potentially a fire on the sixth floor of a seven-floor hotel, only floors five through seven would need to be cleared. However, "If an alarm goes off in the hallway, it is treated differently; all floors and room alarms go off," adds Keizer.

The use of wireless technology also gives the resort the ability to monitor other locations, such as its own water source and waste management systems, through the 630's panel. "We have multiple buildings that report back to the casino's dispatch center, which monitors all of the sites for fire intrusion and other safety emergencies," Keizer explains.

Perhaps best of all, Keizer says, the selection "has given us the ability to upgrade from one system to another without having to change all of the detection heads. It would be very costly to change detectors every time."

He concludes, "We've had growing pains, but with Gamewell's support, we have always been able to achieve our fire safety goals." ES